Traffic

How to Get Extra Traffic to Your Blog from Image Searches

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:
DSC1001.JPG

a good image name:
nerds_candy_box.jpg

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:
nerds_candy_box_2.jpg
not
nerds_candy_box_opened2.jpg

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.

Author: Chris Berry

8 thoughts on “How to Get Extra Traffic to Your Blog from Image Searches

  1. ???? ? ??????, ?? ????????? ???????? ? ????????? ????????? ? ???????? ?? ????????? ?????? ? ?????????. ?????????????? ?????????? ? ???????????? ????????? ????, ??????? ?????? ????????, ????????????? ???? ? ??????? ????????.

  2. Just curious, I saw an image search the other day. I was looking for something like “Angry George Bush” hoping to find a scowling image of Bush to photoshop.

    One of the images that came up in the top 10 or 20 was a naked female. I’m just curious, but could it be that people might also upload images that with keywords and alt text to get the image placed in the search, but use an image that entices people to click on it, even though its not a likely match?

  3. If you use your own hosted space for images, you can link to them easily enough through blogger.

    My solution

    Use Windows live writer -> It uploads the picture to mydomain.com and it sends the article to blogger, with a hot link back to the location of the newly uploaded picture at mydomain.com.

    I get the benefit of naming the image any way I like, and wlw takes care of the upload and linking fast. Plus, if you are a pop up type of person , you can enter the alt and title tags easy enough on the picture in wlw or just do it in the html view.

  4. The alt=”” text goes to the picture and the title=”” belongs to the anchor if the image is linked.

    For SEO purposes an additional title=”” in the image tag is OK.

  5. “The only issue with using alt and title tags is that it can greatly increase the time it takes to finalise a post and publish it, especially if you have a lot of images. All that editing HTML by end can get fiddly and time consuming in the end.”

    True, it does take extra time, but you just have to decide if the extra effort is worth the extra hits or not. For me, my posts usually have ONE image, so it’s no big deal to do it right. With WP it has a line for Title when you upload an image, so it’s easy enough to fill that out then copy it so it’s in the ALT and TITLE.

    Brian

  6. Excellent suggestion! Just to clarify…

    ALT Attribute

    ALT (alternate text) serves as a textual placeholder for the image for browsers that either don’t support images (some mobile browsing platforms, for example) or have the image display option disabled (to speed up page loads, for example).

    TITLE Attribute

    TITLE attribute serves as an image caption or tooltip (visible on mouseover) for your image. (Browsers with accessibility features enabled can also verbally “speak” this info for those who are visually-impared.)

    And remember that you can also wrap your image tag with a hyperlink tag to make the image into a clickable link. Just don’t forget to also include an appropriate TITLE attribute on the link tag as well!

  7. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to name the image files as you would like. Hosted solutions like Blogger have their own ideas as to what your file should be called and if you are linking a photo directly from another source (eg Flickr) you are similarly constrained.

    Having said that, that’s no excuse for not putting in something in the title=”” and/or alt=”” tags. I have a habit of putting attribution information in my title tags but I haven’t ever filled out the alt tags. Maybe it’s time I did and used it for the purposes you’ve mentioned above.

    The only issue with using alt and title tags is that it can greatly increase the time it takes to finalise a post and publish it, especially if you have a lot of images. All that editing HTML by end can get fiddly and time consuming in the end.

    Same goes for HREF links people. Even if it is just for accessibility purposes or to let people know where your link is heading, use the title tags.

    Just my 2c.

  8. You can use hyphens instead of underscores, although that doesn’t change whether you would rank higher or not.

    Traffic from Google Images is a great bonus, although I’d also be interested in hearing your ideas for converting that traffic into regular readers.

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