When people hear about significance of optimising their content for search engines, they usually think of doing SEO for their posts (articles). However, SEO is much more than just optimising your text content.
Optimising images is often as important as optimising the text of the post. The process isn’t complicated at all and will not require additional keyword research on your part. But skipping this step will keep you from getting some serious traffic.
If you are not using images in your posts, start now. Even if you think your topic can not possibly have an image attached to it, there is always a way to make it happen.
If there isn’t a perfect image that explains the topic as soon as you lay your eyes on it, at least use a funny image that will warm people up before they start reading. Just make it “half way” related to the post.
I don’t even have to tell you why it is so important to have images in posts, maybe you should see it for yourself. This is a screenshot of a site in pet industry (not dogs, not cats) with its top 21 traffic sources (it is all I could fit in the screenshot).
As you can see, 5 out of top 21 sources are image related.
5.75% of visits in this screenshot is organic traffic from search engines that came from image searches!
That is 4.052 visits in one month, just from optimising the images on the site!
So how much work will this take?
Hardly any additional work! Start by writing a post with a keyword in mind. Find an appropriate image for the post. Rename it using the keyword you are targeting in the post (make sure the image has something to do with it).
So if you have a recipe site and you are writing a post about “chocolate cherry cake”, that is how you will name your image. As I said, make sure the image is actually of a chocolate cherry cake.
So let’s say you buy an image from a stock photo site. It will usually have some long un-optimised name. I often buy them from Fotolia.com and the file is usually named something like fotolia_25779433_27158621_XXL. Not even close to optimised. In this case, change the file name to “chocolate cherry cake”.
Use the same keyword as an ALT tag of the image.
It is even better to target long tail keywords with these images. They will rank even higher on search engines with no additional work apart from this basic SEO. One of the reasons is that most of the people on the internet are too lazy to do any optimisation so they simply don’t optimise their images.
Another thing you can notice when you go to Google Image Search for example, is that some more specific topics don’t bring a lot of good and targeted results. So if some of your posts (or even the whole site) are related to one of those topics, this is a great opportunity to rank your images to the top of the image results.
This is one field not many blog/site owners are in yet. I am not sure why, but that screenshot is the proof how big the image related traffic can be. Don’t miss on this opportunity and if you can’t rank great for some competitive keywords, maybe image search will be your back door way in to the top search engine rankings.