Simple Image SEO Best Practices for Google Image Search Traffic


It’s astounding how simple image SEO for blogs really is. How do I know? Let me explain!

I’ve been ranking very high on Google Image Search with the images that illustrate my posts for many years.

My images were so popular on Google that I got more traffic via Image Search than the text based Google search despite being top 10 for the likes of

While image traffic is not always valuable without making it useful the first step is to get that traffic at all.

How to Implement Simple Image Search Optimization Techniques

Let’s take a look at the simple image SEO best practices for Google Image Search traffic then and how to actually implement those simple image search optimization techniques in real life:

  1. The title of the page and the headline of the post should be corresponding to the image. “A Red Apple Tastes Better” should be followed by red-apple.jpg
  2. The post or body text below should deal with the same topic as the image or literally describe it. Here it’s apples or more specifically a red apple and its superior taste.
  3. The image caption (the text directly below the image) should focus on the image subject: “Tasty red apple from Italy” would be a good caption in our case.
  4. The image size should be at least 250*300 pixel but ideally bigger. Thumbnails do not rank well. Full size images do.
  5. The image name should be something like keyword1-keyword2.jpg: red-apple.jpg or tasty-red-apple.jpg or apple-italy.jpg – You get the point.
  6. The file type should be JPG, PNG or WebP – Portable Network Graphics and Web Photos perform best. WebP is a format introduced by Google so no wonder they prefer it. It also ensures the smallest file sizes and highest quality.
  7. The alt attribute (NOT tag!) should be as descriptive as possible: “This ripe tasty red apple from Italy has just the right color to sell”. Skip the spammy and keyword stuffed alt attribute and use it for the visually impaired instead.

Is Google Image Search Traffic Worth Optimizing for?

Once these image SEO best practices are in place you can think about what to do with all this Google Image Search traffic.

Ask yourself this question: is Google Image Search traffic worth optimizing for? It depends! For me it’s sheer load.

For most blogs image search traffic could be helpful especially in case you sell art prints.

There are several ways to make image search traffic useful. I explain these in my other image search engine optimization posts.

When you just add images as metaphors to illustrate your posts like I do the traffic is not that easy to make use of. Many of the searches are offtopic then and the searchers only interested n grabbing the images.

Ideally you know upfront what to do with the Google Image Search traffic! This way you can ensure the effort spent on image SEO is not wasted.

* Creative Commons image by Dan Foy