Creating SEO optimized images in WordPress is so insanely simple yet people just skip it. If you’re one of those people, don’t do that. Ever again. This valuable SEO tactic can bring in hundreds, if not thousands, of new search engine visitors each month. WordPress has built-in tools for image SEO; you don’t even need to install a plugin!
Search Engines “See” Differently
Search engine visitors (such as you and I) can see what an image is about just by looking at our monitors but search engines don’t have that luxury. The only thing a search engine “sees” is the title and file name. These two things are the key to the SEO of your images.
To optimize images for SEO, all images should have:
- Relevant file names: Naming a photo unicorns.jpg when it is a photo of puppies isn’t the best tactic. Instead, include a relative SEO keyword in your image file name. Also, don’t use spaces in your file names; use dashes ( – ) or underscores ( _ ).
- TITLE and ALTERNATE TEXT (ALT) definitions: This should be a short sentence or phrase describing the image. Be sure to include relevant SEO keywords. Note: ALT text isn’t really necessary for SEO but ALT text displays should there be a problem loading your image on your blog. ALT text is also useful for accessibility for visually-impaired visitors. ALT text is also what appears when a mouse arrow hovers over an image.
And while we’re at it, if you have an image that doesn’t need to be clicked on while in a blog post (like the one at the top), then click the “None” button below the “Link URL”. The only time the Link URL should remain is when you have an image that needs to be viewed larger, such as a photo of food or instructional images (like the one to the right).
Real-Time Image SEO Examples
The SEO image at the top of this post is named seo.jpg and has TITLE and ALT text descriptions of ‘SEO’ for both. It is an image about SEO so that is what I would like people to search for to find it.
The instructional image above is named wordpress-image-seo.jpg and has TITLE and ALT text descriptions of wordpress-image-seo. (Are you seeing a pattern here? Yes, dashes are okay!)
So the next time you need to add an image to a WordPress post or page, do yourself an SEO favor and give the image a relevant file name and keyword-driven TITLE and ALT tags. Your analytics will thank you for it.