If you put images in your posts (and if you don’t you absolutely should), be sure and name your images descriptively and make sure you fill out the alt and title tags on them. I get a lot of hits to my site from people doing image searching and finding my images. True, some people could just use the image search to come and swipe the image and they never come back, but even if only a small percentage actually visit your site and take an interest, it’s worth it in my opinion.
Here’s a real-world example: In the past 7 days, 5% of my hits came from images.google.com (stats courtesy of Pmetrics). Even something silly like the question marks image I use in my “Name That Candy” segment pulls in people searching google for “question marks” (I’m the 5th hit on Google Images for it ) and that’s not really even relevant to my blog topic. Of the 5% of hits that were from images.google.com in the past 7 days, 15% of those were searching for “question marks” images. For images that are relevant to my blog topic, my images rate very highly with Google Images.
I read somewhere once (and I have no idea where) that Google gives more weight to an image’s content if the title and alt tag are filled out and if the image name had keywords in it so I have always done this from day one. An example of a bad image name:
a good image name:
Looking at the second image name, any automated “bot” (or person for that matter) can tell what the image contains. The first one – nobody knows. With the second one (and with the proper alt and title tags), Google will index that image with the keywords in them: “nerds”, “candy”, and “box”. I also try to always make the alt and title tags match the image name, so in this case, the alt and title would both be “Nerds candy box”.
I always use underscores and make each “word” in the image name important/relevant. I also always use lowercase but I don’t think that matters to Google, I just prefer all lowercase. I almost never tack on a number to an image. I’d rather rearrange the words in the name or add an extra/different word for the second. If I absolutely must add a number, I do something like:
so that the number and text stay separated.
I can’t say for sure that all of the things I do regarding images is helping, but I’m certainly doing something right judging by how Google ranks my images. Start naming your images descriptively and using the alt and title tags and see if you don’t start getting more hits from images.google.com too.