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Image optimization: get more visitors by being listed at the very top of Google's search results

Google Images has indexed billions of images. If your image can be found for the right keyword, then you will get targeted visitors to your website.

Why images can help you to get more visitors

Depending on the search query, Google displays several images above the regular search results. For example, try this search for German Shepherd Dog:

The images can be found at the top of the search results and they are linked with web pages. If someone clicks on the image, the person will be taken to the web page that shows the image.

How to optimize your images so that they can be found

If you have a website about German Shepherd dogs, then wouldn't it be great if an image from your website was listed above the regular results? You'd get many additional website visitors then.

There are several things that you can do to improve the position of your images in Google Image Search:

Use a file name that contains the keywords for which you want to be found. In this example, the file name german-shepherd-dog.jpg would be a good idea. Separate the words with a hyphen.


Use a descriptive Image Alt attribute text. It usually makes sense to use the same keywords that have been used for the file name. In this example, the Image Alt Attribute would be "German Shepherd Dog":

<img src="german-shepherd-dog.jpg" alt="German Shepherd Dog">


In the same way, you should use the Image Title attribute:

<img src="german-shepherd-dog.jpg" alt="German Shepherd Dog" title="German Shepherd Dog">


The textual content on the web page before and after the image also impacts the position of your image in Google's Image Search. In this example, the text "German Shepherd Dog" should appear close to the image.


Bigger images seem to get featured more often on Google's first result page. The bigger your image, the easier it is to get at the top of Google's regular result page. Include the Width and Height attributes in your image tag to show search engines the size of the image:

<img src="german-shepherd-dog.jpg" alt="German Shepherd Dog" title="German Shepherd Dog" width="600" height="400">


Optimize the rest of your web page for the chosen search term. If the complete web page has been optimized for a keyword then it is easier to get good listings for images that are on the page.
Make sure that the image that you optimize for your keyword also looks attractive. If no-one wants to click on the image then it won't help your website if the image can be found on Google's first result page.


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November 2009 search engine articles