Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of any website that wants to be discovered and ranked by search engines. While many website owners focus solely on text-based content, images can also significantly boost SEO. However, giving them appropriate names is essential to optimise images for search engines. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of using images for SEO and why naming images is crucial for SEO. We’ll also provide some do’s and don’ts of naming images.
Why Use Images for SEO?
Images can be a valuable asset to a website’s SEO efforts in several ways:
- They can improve user experience by breaking up large chunks of text and making content more engaging.
- They can help to illustrate complex ideas, making them easier for users to understand.
- They can help to convey a brand’s message and personality.
- They can increase the chances of users sharing the content on social media platforms.
- They can help improve a website’s bounce rate, as users are more likely to stay on a site with engaging images.
Why is Naming Images Important for SEO?
When it comes to SEO, image names play a crucial role in helping search engines understand the content of an image. The name of an image file is used as the alt text, which screen readers and search engines use to understand the content of an image. The alt text is also used when an image fails to load for any reason, allowing users to understand what the image was supposed to be. By giving images relevant, descriptive names, website owners can improve the chances of their pictures being discovered and ranked by search engines.
Do’s of Naming Images for SEO
- Use descriptive, relevant names: When naming an image, use a descriptive, relevant name that accurately reflects the content of the image.
- Use hyphens to separate words: Use hyphens to separate words in image names. Avoid using underscores, as search engines interpret them as spaces.
- Use relevant keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords into image names, but avoid keyword stuffing, as search engines can see this as spammy.
- Use lowercase letters: Use lowercase letters in image names. Avoid using uppercase letters, as search engines interpret them as different from lowercase letters.
- Use a consistent naming convention: Use a consistent naming convention for all images on a website. This makes it easier for search engines to understand the content of images across the site.
Don’ts of Naming Images for SEO
- Don’t use generic names: Avoid using generic names like “image.jpg” or “picture.png,” or “screeshots”, as these don’t provide any information about the content of the image.
- Don’t use special characters: Avoid using special characters like # or $ in image names, as these can cause problems with the way search engines interpret the file.
- Don’t use too many words: Avoid using too many words in image names. Keep them short and descriptive.
- Don’t use non-alphanumeric characters: Avoid using non-alphanumeric characters like spaces, underscores, or periods in image names, as search engines can misinterpret these.
- Don’t use copyrighted names: Avoid using copyrighted names in image names, as this can result in legal issues.
In addition to naming images correctly, it’s also essential to ensure that they are taken from the correct sources and properly credited. Here’s why:
Why Take Images from Correct Sources?
When adding images to your website, it’s crucial to ensure they are taken from the correct sources. Using images without permission or proper licensing can result in legal issues, including copyright infringement. Additionally, using images from unreliable sources can result in poor-quality images that don’t align with your brand’s image.
For example, if you run a travel website and use low-quality images that are pixelated or blurry, it can give the impression that your content is low-quality as well. Similarly, using images from unreliable sources can lead to security issues or viruses that can harm your website and its visitors.
Examples of Correct Sources for Images:
- Stock Image Websites: Websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Getty Images offer a vast collection of high-quality images that can be used for various purposes. These websites usually require a fee or subscription, but they provide a range of images that can be used legally without any copyright issues.
- Creative Commons: Creative Commons is a platform that provides free, legal images that can be used for various purposes. These images are created by photographers and artists who allow others to use their work, provided they are credited appropriately.
- Personal Photos: If you have taken photos yourself or have hired a professional photographer, you can use those images on your website. However, ensure that you have the proper permission or licensing to use the images.
Why Credit Images?
Crediting images is crucial because it shows respect for the creator and their work. Additionally, it helps to build a positive relationship between you and the creator, which can lead to future collaborations.
Not crediting images can lead to legal issues, including copyright infringement. It can also harm your website’s reputation and lead to a loss of trust from your audience.
How to Credit Images:
- Include the name of the creator or photographer.
- Include a link to the original source or website.
- Include the name of the image or the title of the work.
- Include the license or permission obtained to use the image.
Do’s of Crediting Images:
- Always credit the creator or photographer.
- Provide a link to the original source or website.
- Use the correct name of the image or title of the work.
- Provide the correct license or permission obtained to use the image.
- Ensure that the credit is visible and accessible to users.
Don’ts of Crediting Images:
- Don’t use images without proper permission or licensing.
- Don’t credit the wrong person or website.
- Don’t remove or alter the credit once it’s been added.
- Don’t use generic credits like “image source” or “photo by.”
Images can be a valuable asset to any website’s SEO efforts. By using descriptive, relevant names for images, website owners can improve the chances of their images being discovered and ranked by search engines. Remember to follow the do’s and don’ts of naming images for SEO to ensure that your images are as optimized as possible. With the right approach, images can effectively improve a website’s overall SEO performance.