Friday, December 5, 2008

google image search optimizationGoogle Image Searches can bring as much or more traffic to your site as all other search engines combined. I did a little analysis of my blog for inbound searches recently and found that well over half of my inbound searches have come from Google Image Searches!

Three of the most important things that Google Image Search looks for, in descending order, are:

1. Alt Text
2. File Name
3. Surrounding Text

1. Alt Text
See the earrings above? In Blogger, in Compose mode all you see is the image. But if you click on the Edit Html tab, you will see the following html language:

alt text

Notice the alt="" that I highlighted in yellow?

The Alt Text (the part between the quotation marks) can contain keywords describing an image - BUT ONLY IF YOU ADD THEM. Alt Text is the text equivalent for an image, and is used by blind people (and also for other things).

But, importantly, Google uses Alt Text to find images. It's the MOST IMPORTANT element of Image Search Optimization.

How can you add it? Just by putting a description between the quotation marks.

I'll show you how. For this example, let's add the words "sterling silver hoop earrings swirls":

google image search optimizationRemember, try to be descriptive with your Alt Text, but don't over do it. The best thing to put here are keywords you personally would search for if you were looking for that image.

2. File Name
Instead of calling your photo file image1234.jpg, rename it to something more descriptive such as sterling-silver-earrings-with-swirls.jpg. Try to keep the File Name either the same, or very similar to the Alt Text. The name of the file for my earrings is silver-hoop-earrings-with-swirls.jpg. The html Image Name for the image is:

Google will use the Image Name as it searches for images.

3. Surrounding Text
Always try and place a paragraph of descriptive text directly above and below your image, with words from your Alt Text and Image Name included in this text.

Google will look for relevance. If it doesn't think your Alt Text and Image Name correspond with your surrounding text, it might ignore your image.


It may take a while for google to crawl through the web and find your site, but you' ll be AMAZED at how many more hits your blog will have if you remember these 3 steps.




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44 Comments:

  1. Little Lovables said...
    Wow, wonderful tips! Now, just tp remember to do them!!

    I know I personally use the google image search tons!

    I am totally going to link this to my blog if you don't mind!
    Contrariwise said...
    It's not too hard to remember if you get into the habit. Especially naming your files to ones that relate to the image. And it WILL make a difference in your views.

    (Please, go right ahead and link this to your blog.)
    SleightGirl said...
    Really great tips! I love blogs where I can learn somehing...going to follow you!
    Jelveh Designs said...
    good to know, I will try this, thanks for sharing...
    modern mom said...
    this is a great tip, i will have to keep a copy of this. thanks for sharng :)
    Morrgan said...
    Thanks for the tip! I've already noticed quite a few hits from GIS - I'll start doing this alt thing and keep an eye on what effect it has.
    RocketScienceShop said...
    This is a fabulous tip!
    Contrariwise said...
    Everyone talks about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but this is not as widely known. I don't know why because it's pretty easy to do and it really gets results.
    n*stitches said...
    Thank you for the information!
    Miniature Patisserie Chef said...
    Great tips! Thank you!


    Pei Li
    Contrariwise said...
    Hope this helps.
    Yesterday, I had 60 views from google image searches alone!
    twiddlestix said...
    Fantastic! Thanks for the great tips...hopefully I can get the hang of it right away.
    Smile Moon Woodworks said...
    Great tips! I'm going to make some edits to my blog photos today! Thank you!
    Contrariwise said...
    After you make the edits, don't forget to ping your site.
    KayzKreationz said...
    Thanks, these are great tips. Just tried them and will keep track of my hits to see if it helped.
    Contrariwise said...
    Remember, it might take a while for the Googlebots to find you. So the results might not be instantaneous.
    em said...
    Great tip!
    Lisa K. of XSBaggage & Co. said...
    Super informative! Thank you!!
    LindsayLuu said...
    thanks so much for explaining this, I never would have known!

    also, those earrings are fantastic.
    Liv'nGood Jewelry said...
    thanks for this - i knew about alt tags but never remembered to go back and add them to photos
    Jean9 said...
    What a great post, I learned things in this post that I had never heard or thought of before, thank you for sharing!
    Contrariwise said...
    I'm glad you found it helpful!

    It's funny that there's not this is not something that's widely used. SEO is always talked about, but not this.
    Sarah said...
    This is so helpful, I had no idea. Thank you!
    craftyLinda said...
    Wow thanks for this tip. I am new to blogging and I didn't know anything about this. I will have to try it out. I am just now trying to put badges on my site. Not having much luck either. I am not a computer quiz that is for sure.
    I am going to mention your post on my site I am sure there are othere that would love to know about this.
    Thanks again.
    Contrariwise said...
    craftyLinda,
    Welcome to blogging and good luck to you! And thanks for mentioning my post on your site.
    memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...
    Wow! Great info here...Thanks!
    Bliss Soybean Candles said...
    Thank you. This is so easy that I could kick myself for not knowing sooner!!

    -Suzanne
    Contrariwise said...
    I know. Especially the part about making sure your file name is descriptive. I've always tried to do that - but now I know why it's important.
    SolSisters said...
    I just went back and alt tagged the last three pages of posts on my blog... AFTER I put up a post sending other etsy folks over here to see your great tip. http://www.solsisters.blogspot.com

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing.
    Contrariwise said...
    SolSisters,
    I'm glad you found this helpful and I wish MANY MORE views for your blog.

    And thanks for the call out on your blog.

    :-)
    HouseThatCrowBuilt said...
    Great tips! I can't wait to try ito ut. I wondered though what is pinging your site mean? I am clueless!
    Contrariwise said...
    HouseThatCrowBuilt,

    Well, that will take more than a quick comment to explain. Maybe I need to write about that in a future post.
    Shoozles said...
    I have wanted to know this info for so long. Have I mentioned you rock? LOL

    Thanks tons-shoozles
    Contrariwise said...
    Shoozles,
    You're great! Hope you found this useful and get many more views.
    asmaliana said...
    Hmm I will tried, thanks for sharing.
    Mayhem said...
    Great Tips!

    Thanks :)
    Savoie Faire Photography said...
    Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try!
    Sam said...
    Great post! Will come back to read it in detail - love your earrings too! Very pretty!
    Black Rose said...
    Just seen the Etsy forum thread where you mention this and came along to read more about it - thanks! I will have to try it out:)
    Kreated by Kelly said...
    Wow!!! This is fantastic and helpful information!! Seriously, this is the best thing I have read in a long time & it is something I can implement immediately. I love you for sharing!! I cannot believe I have been using flickr for a long long time and never made that connection with the alt"". THANK YOU!!!!!
    off the hook handcrafted accessories said...
    very cool! thanks!
    Amanda (Blake) Fall said...
    Whoa! I do image searches all the time... and *cough* never knew that's how it happened. Thanks so much! I will definitely implement this in my blog.

    Found you in the Etsy fora :)

    -Amanda/PersistentGreen
    Arizona Skies said...
    Great tip and love the samples you provided. I'm bookmarking your blog. I found you in the Etsy forum, too. Thanks!
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