How To Optimise Your Images

SEO Blog 28th Aug 2013

I’m just going to talk briefly about tips for optimising your images. What this will help you do is show up in things like Google image search where people aren’t looking on the web, normally speaking, in a normal search way. What they’re actually looking through is just images and nothing else. They might be doing this because they’ve seen something they like and they want to find it again. They might be doing it because they have a specific product code, and it will help them go straight there. Or they might even just be looking for inspiration.

So the first point is to use good images. Now that might sound obvious, but you do want to have images that, ideally, are clear [and] accurate. They show exactly what it is that you’re selling, not something very, very similar, but your actual product, and that the images belong to you. You’re not going to have any copyright issues, not stealing them off of anybody or anything like that.

Now, if you follow me down the list, point two is identification. So let’s say we have someone who’s looking for gold and silver. For all we know, they could be searching with keywords such as “gold” and “silver,” or they might already have that product code. So you want them to find you through whichever ones they’re using. So, ideally, when it comes to tagging your images, right through from the file right down to the Alt attribute tag on the page, you want to be using both. Make sure that people who have the product code and the people who are just using the keywords can both find you.

That doesn’t mean you get to stuff it. Don’t just put loads of different possibilities in there, like “gold necklace, gold bracelet, gold this, gold that, gold the other”. It won’t do you any favours. It needs to be a nice, tailored, individual, very relevant term that follows right from the beginning right to the end.

Sitemaps. You can either have an image-specific sitemap, which is a little bit of a revolution. Google tools allows you to do that now. You can search for it, and you’ll find it no problem. Or you can add image-specific text to your XML sitemap that you already have. Most people do, do it that way. It’s just easier. You have everything in one page. But either way is good. But again, follow through with the same line as you’ve used here so the identification just stays in line.

Next thing is the quality of the page, whether it’s high or low. So if you’re optimising images on a page that’s quite low ranking, that doesn’t get much traffic, the image tags alone aren’t going to bolster you that much. They’re not going to do you that much of a favour. You are going to rank lower. So if you are going to be optimising images on low quality pages, you want to be optimising everything else on-page and off-page as well to try and bring it up as much as you can obviously for your organic rankings, but for image search as well.

The last thing is redirects. I don’t know about you, but I see red when you get to a page and you’ve been searching for something for ages and then you get to it and it says it’s out of stock, it’s sold out, it no longer exists, whatever. It’s poor housekeeping, basically. So if you run out of a product or you sell out of something or it’s discontinued, that page, if you still want people to come to you, for example, for green shoes or for gold, then redirect that page to the most relevant next page. So if somebody was searching for a particular type of gold necklace, redirect them to the gold necklace section. Don’t just let the page sit there saying out of stock, discontinued, or anything like that. It annoys customers, and they’re more likely to click away and go to a competitor’s site than they are to keep looking on your own one.

So, just to recap, use good images that belong to you. Keep your identification all sort of uniform all the way through, descriptive, but don’t keyword stuff it. Get your image tags or your image sitemap together. If you are trying to rank for images on low quality pages, go the whole hog, optimise the whole page, not just that area. Please sort the redirects out and make sure that users are kept happy and buying from your site.

I hope that helps. If you’d like any more information, have a look at the social profiles at the end of this video. Cheers!


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