Optimise Images in Google Search – an important part of SEO

  • August 21, 2018
  • SEO
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If you have read our Search Engine Optimisation Guide (SEO) , you are probably aware of how much you can optimise your site and its content. However, something that many forget to optimise is their images. Therefore, in this guide, we thought about how to easily optimise your images to increase your organic traffic! 


Chapter 1: Optimising images for SEO

Chapter 2: Photos vs. “The Standard Search Results”


Chapter 1: Optimising images for SEO

As you probably know, there are a variety of ways to spice up your articles. Headlines, subtitles, movies and last but not least with pictures. But how do you really do to optimise search optimisation?

  • Choose the correct picture
  • Workmanship
  • User Rights
  • All-text textual description of the image that you can upload via most tools for creating website creators (eg WordPress). The text is not visible to website visitors but search engines know it.
  • Image caption – the title of the image or the closest associated with the image
  • Text content around the image
  • File name
  • Page title
  • Page URL
  • Engagement and popularity of the image – Are those who view the picture or are they browsing?
  • Dimensions of the image
  • Image size

Choose the correct picture

It is important that the image relates to what the article is about. The relationship between the text and the image does not have to be clockwise. A golden rule when it comes to imaging is not to use an image that directly describes the same as you can read in the text. Image and text should complement each other. Therefore, it is important to use the caption to develop and explain.


Yes, it is important that the images maintain a high quality with good resolution and size. Always double-check that they look great on the phone, the plate or the computer.

Avoid using free images, they are often careless and soulless. The absolute best thing is if you can take your own pictures. Secondly, it is worth renting a photographer who takes pictures for you.

Also, keep in mind that photos do not need to be photographs. An image may as well be a chart or infographic. On the net there are simple tools that allow you to create that kind of picture relatively easily. Many of them are also free.

User Rights

Both on Google and on Flickr you can search for images that are not copyrighted.

Via Google, you will find them when you do an image search, click tools, user rights, and then select “images that may be used”.

On Flickr you will find images that can be used via Flickr Creative Commons.

Because photographers need all the attention they can get, the basic rule is to always name the person who took the picture. If the photographer has waived the copyright, it’s just cool to bid for a little free PR back, right?

Alt text

A so-called alt text is briefly a textual description of the image. It is there to give a description of the image so that even those who can not see the picture get main information about and from it. For example, in WordPress, you can easily add and edit the entire text on your images:

Google Image optimisation

Below are three tips that may be helpful when designing all texts:

  • Imagine that you should be able to read the full text of someone on the phone so that they understand what the image is about.
  • If the image is relevant to your keyword / keyword, you can use this as all-text.
  • Be concise and do not use more than 80 characters.

Text content around the image

When you add images to pages or articles, it’s important that the image should be relevant to the content. Something that may say itself. Something that may not be as obvious is that the search engines also understand what your images represent using the text around the image.

File name

Another factor that the search engines use to understand your image is the filename. Therefore, it is also important to optimise the file name and make it as descriptive as possible. For example, if you publish a picture that represents a desktop, you should rename the image to desktop.jpg instead of img1054.jpg.

Dimensions & Size 

Advanced image search is a way to set different parameters when looking for images and it affects your ranking. For example, some only search for very high resolution images. Therefore, if you have high resolution, you will have a greater chance of being visible among these, and thus you can get rid of some of the competition quickly.

However, many high resolution images can slow down your website which is not good for your overall search optimisation. Partly for search engine rankings but also for user experience (which in turn affects rankings)


Below you can see examples of worst, best and best image optimisation: 

Worst image optimisation

File Name – img1054.jpg

Alt text – desktop desk height and lower office with desktop

What in HTML looks like this: <img src = “img1054.jpg” alt = “desktop raise and lower office with desktop” />

Good image optimisation

File name – desktop.jpg

Alt text – desktop

What HTML looks like: <img src = “desktop.jpg” alt = “desktop” />

Best image optimisation 

File name – desktop.jpg

Alt Text – Raise and Lowerable Desktop

What in HTML looks like this: <img src = “desktop.jpg” alt = “raising and lowering desktop” />

For further tips, read the Google Photos Guidelines .


Chapter 2: Photos vs. “The Standard Search Results”

Now that you know how to optimise your images for SEO, we thought about going through the biggest differences between search results of images and search results of web pages.

The search results when looking for images as compared to searching for web pages contains mainly two differences that are important to emphasize:

  • duplicates
  • Exposure


Unlike results on the web, duplicates of images are not seen as a problem by Google. You can buy stock photos and even if other websites use the same images, Google will only choose the one that has done the best search optimisation for the image.


The advantage of image searches compared to “the usual search results” is that it is easier to quickly capture a large number of images. Even if your image is in 20th place, you have a great chance of getting a click if the image is attractive and relevant.

Google Image SERP Results



To summarise this post, you should first of all start by selecting images that relate to the text. Then select a relevant file name and upload the images in the desired format. Once done, optimise the entire text and make sure the search engines have plenty of information to help them understand what your image is all about.

So take good time to optimise your photos, they are, nevertheless, an important part of SEO and can also give you more traffic than you think. Need help? Contact us >>

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