Optimizing your content for the search engines doesn’t just mean creating original text and adding the keywords. An underrated part of this process is to improve image ranking.
Just like choosing a creative title for your content makes it more intriguing and click-worthy, learning how to optimize for image search can have the same effect.
Since Google understands only text input and not images, the answer to how to rank in a Google Images Search is simple: give as much information as you can so that Google knows what your images are all about
The great part about this process, therefore, is getting the basics right and can make a world of difference for your content, and become a gateway to learning and applying more advanced strategies as well.
Analyze your Situation – Where does your page stand in Google Images Search Rankings?
Before you improve image ranking, know where you stand:
This may be the first time you’re going to optimize for image search, or you may have been doing it for a while now.
It’s important to know where you stand so you can plan your future strategies accordingly.
Fortunately, Google has you covered with two simple tools. You can use the Google Search Console, click on the Performance tab and filter by image. Alternatively, the Google Analytics tool is another simple way to know your desired statistics.
Once you know this, take it as your starting point and map the changes in your ranking and the growth of your page to this figure.
Want to Rank in a Google Search? Be original.
Know that original content has better chances of ranking in a search:
The amount of attention that one pays to avoid plagiarism in the text must also be given to uploading original images and graphics.
In its image best practices help file, Google discourages “pages where neither the images nor text are original content.” Taking the easy way out and uploading someone else’s images or graphics decreases your page’s chances of showing up on a search.
No one understands what you’re trying to say through your content better than you do, so adding a unique image to support your message is not just helpful but also essential.
A phone camera, online infographic tool, and your creativity are the only tools you may need.
Optimize the image for search engines, get the basics right
A keyword-optimized file name that is SEO friendly:
If you’re wondering how to rank in Google image search, the easiest thing to do is to choose the right file name.
We often use the default name for our image files or change it to something extremely generic. While a name such as IMG_000.JPG or images.JPG is very convenient, it does nothing to optimize for image search.
Instead, when you save an image or graphic, change the name to something that describes your image and its contents. Separate words with a hyphen (-) for the best effect.
When Google searches the web for relevant images, the filename is a factor it uses to determine relevance.
The right file format can improve your ranking:
Depending on the type of image, there is a format you should prefer. While JPEG is the most commonly used one, other formats may be more useful, especially when a targeted search is made.
For example, if someone is looking for memes, they may search for ‘funny GIFs.’ A graphic designer may search for.PNG or.SVG formats.
When your image format is in line with the content of the image, it helps improve image ranking in search.
Optimize your images:
The size of your image can affect the performance and loading time of your page.
As important as this is, you must also find a balance between file size and image quality and resolution. Compressing the file to a large extent may cause blurred and unclear images, which then reduces clickability.
There are several easy online tools through which you can resize your image and optimize them for image search.
Image optimization hack:
The alt tag is a must: Alt tag is a caption of sorts. It helps people with visual impairments understand the content of an image.
Not only does this make your content more inclusive and accessible, but it also acts as an aid for search engines to understand the contents of your image.
The main point to understand for Alt tags is to make it easy to understand, use keywords (but don’t clutter with them!) and keep is short.
To add structured data:
Chances are when making a Google search, you’ve already spotted a structured data markup.
This is a label that shows up on a Google search for a product, video, or recipe, thus letting you know that the image you have found on a search is accompanied by one of these.
Adding structured data to your page enables Google to display additional, useful information along with the image such as the availability of the product, price, and discounts, links to purchase, etc.
From beginner-friendly to advanced, the above steps will help you learn and form the basis of how to rank in Google image search and improve overall website ranking.
Once you learn and implement this process, you will see the impact it has on the ranking and performance of your content.