Image Optimization With Alt Tags: How to Do Image SEO for More Traffic (Fast)

By | August 12, 2019


So, today we’re going to talk about image
alt text optimization. Or image alt tag optimization. So, the process of optimizing all your images
so that search engines understand them, and for accessibility issues. There’s a bunch of reasons why you would want
to do this. So stay for the whole video, because we’re
going to talk through the exact, step-by-step process that you need to optimize all of your
images in an SEO-friendly way that’s also helpful for users. I’m Tommy Griffith with ClickMinded.com. Let’s get going. Okay, so image alt text optimization for search
engines. Optimizing your images in a way that’s good
for search engines and good for users as well. So let’s dive into this in a little bit, but
before we do that, I just want to do kind of a quick reminder here. So we can zoom out a little bit and really
get the context of what we’re talking about. We’re talking about an SEO component, right? An SEO is only one piece of digital marketing. This is very specifically a search engine
optimization tactic. But there’s a lot of other things that you
can be doing in order to drive traffic and customers to your website. So do keep that in mind. And within SEO, image alt text optimization
is only one piece of the entire SEO puzzle. So just getting this right, or just getting
this wrong, is not going to make or break you either way. Do keep that in mind, this is only one component. Image alt text and file names. Let’s talk a little bit this. So, first of all, state the obvious. Search engines are not humans, right? They do not view or see images the way that
we do. So we as SEOs or we as digital marketers have
to do some things to help search engines along a little bit. To kind of give them some hints on what that
image is about. So we help search engines see images by naming
them correctly. This is also used for accessibility. So visually impaired or blind users, they
use these special browsers that read images to them. And our image alt text and our file names
can be helpful for that. Helpful for users that are using special browsers
like this, so it’s an accessibility issue as well. So do keep that in mind. When you’re writing your alt text, in general
there’s 125 character maximum. So you can populate that as much as you’d
like, as long as it’s reasonable. Don’t forget the file name. This happens a lot. A lot of people are uploading a file, it’s
called home-page-graphic-6.jpeg, right, that’s not good. You can be much more descriptive than that. So please do it if you can. And finally, this tactic is very prone to
over optimization. I know this because I used to do it. I used to over optimize this. It’s not good at all. When people first getting into search engine
optimization, they get really excited about this. They go through the entire checklist and they
say, okay, here’s all the things I need to do to rank higher in Google. I’m really excited about this. And then they get to image optimization, and
they look at their images, and they just overdo it. They stuff it with too many keywords. It ends up being not descriptive at all. This is very prone to over optimization, so
please try and avoid it if you can. Let’s look at a couple of examples. I’ve grabbed an image here from Zappos, so
we have an image, right. The file name is mens-boat-shoe.jpeg. Whenever you have spaces in your files names,
you want to use hyphens, not underscores. So hyphen indicates a space. So, mens-boat-shoe.jpeg. And the alt text, or the alt tag, is mens-boat-shoe. That’s okay. Kind of a standard sort of image and alt tag
optimization. Could be a little better. Could definitely be worse. I think this is fine for all intents and purposes. So that’s an example of what the actual code
looks like. This is within an actual image, right, so
before the image tag closes, both the file name and the alt tag are both there. Now with that said, this is okay, right, but
it could be better. So let’s look at an example of kind of like
a bad, better, best situation. So here we have a woman. A redheaded woman. She’s younger. She’s on a phone. A bad example might be, image source=woman.png. So the file name is called woman, and the
alt tag is woman. Better than nothing, but not that good. This is bad, this is a bad … Not descriptive
enough, right? Better might be, woman-phone.png, right, as
the file name. And then the alt tag, woman-using-phone. Better, but could be improved for sure. And the best might be, you know, a file name
called, red-hair-millennial-woman-iPhone10-iPhoneX.png. And then the alt tag, redheaded-millennial-woman-using-an-iPhone10. Right? So, much more descriptive. A lot of different types of phrases in there. The way to think about this is like, read
your alt tag out loud, close your eyes. Or have a friend, right, read it out loud
to a friend. Have them close their eyes. And sort of visualize what you’re saying. And then see how close that visualization
is to your actual image. If you can be descriptive about it, if you
get close, you’re in good shape. But using the bad example, woman. If I just said to you, woman, imagine a woman. This isn’t … It’s not descriptive at all,
right. That’s terrible. So, just keep this in mind when you’re doing
it. The rule of thumb here is, be descriptive
in both your file names and in your alt text. It’s great for search engines, it’s one more
component of the entire sort of SEO equation. And it’s also very helpful form an accessibility
perspective, for visually impaired and blind users. And so that’s it. That’s really all there is to image alt text
or image alt tag optimization. So I hope that was useful. If it was helpful and if you learned something
today, go ahead and click subscribe down below for even more digital marketing tactics and
tips from us. If you’re on YouTube, I would love a comment
from you. What’d you think? Do you optimize your images in a different
way? Have you seen any bad alt tags out there? I would love a comment. If you want to leave one right now, I read
every single one. Finally, if you want our comprehensive SEO
checklist that lists everything that you need to do in order to rank higher in search engines,
go ahead and click that link down below to CLickMinded.com to get your free checklist
right now. Thanks a lot.

44 thoughts on “Image Optimization With Alt Tags: How to Do Image SEO for More Traffic (Fast)

  1. vbelie Post author

    Hi, thanks for the video:) Just a quick question, in the file name would you recommend leaving your website's url or is it better to upload the file without it?

    Reply
  2. Camilo Andrés López Bernal Post author

    Tommy, I always put the brand name at the end of the file name, do you consider that spammy? Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  3. Launch4Life Post author

    It's good that you mentioned that you need dashes in the file name and not spaces. I didn't realize you COULD use spaces in the ALT TAG. Good to know. It there a good site you can recommend to "check" to see our ALT TAG looks good?

    Reply
  4. Anthony Sano Post author

    Hey Tommy, subbed and just followed on Twitter as well. I have a shopify product collection entitled COOL SOCKS. So if I Have 100 different pairs of women's crew socks, and I label each image and alt text "women's crew socks" plus any additional descriptive words, would that be considered keyword stuffing? Even though I'm describing exactly what it is? Should I constantly be rewording since this will be the case with many other collections like mugs, flasks? Thank you!

    Reply
  5. jon elsea Post author

    What if you have 12 images frame by frame of a guy doing a backflip on a bicycle? How do I optimize without keyword stuffing. How about if you have 10 pages of guys doing backflips. Very hard to be unique or not stuff. Does google penalize for same file names and alt. text on different posts?

    Reply
  6. BikeGypsy Post author

    Great info… Thank you. Do you think that Google ranks sites higher when they do have images?

    Reply
  7. Ritchie Shaaya Post author

    hey, thank you so much for this info so helpful. is using "underscores" in the naming bad?

    Reply
  8. Arvin Media Post author

    Hi, I really enjoyed your video and subscribed. You described everything so clearly and easy to understand. I'm defiantly going to follow your next videos. After sending this comment I'm going to sign up for your SEO checklist <3

    Reply
  9. aakula pusshaan Post author

    good video sir pls do a detailed video on keyword research and how to write title and description and how to use eywords in that. pls do a video how a crawler thinks in crawling a website

    Reply
  10. Martin Nielsen Post author

    Very good very understandable and clear, Thank you !

    Reply
  11. adam Post author

    Really helpful video thanks, the only thing that is unclear or rather than Im still confused with is how important is it to place a keyword in the alt text and how frequently should I be placing the keyword in.

    As I quite often will be using images that aren't necessarily about the keyword per say even though it may visually represent the concept if that makes sense?

    Reply
  12. rahat ahmed Post author

    Finally a clear video on the topic. Liked and subbed your channel.
    Pls correct me if i am wrong
    so it's all about writing relevant words that describe the image. Say I post 10 images of skateboards and i put keywords in each alt text and file name and i shouldn't do that. Instead say what the image says?

    Reply
  13. JB MPYADORA Post author

    Thanks for the clarity on this topic. Can you do an SEO on a simple site or normal website ( not blog or article)

    Reply
  14. Russell Anne Mendoza Post author

    Thanks for explaining it well! Subscribed because of this.

    Reply
  15. Pallavi Gungaram Post author

    Hi, thanks for the video. I have a question – say I have a picture on a page on my site and it's of a server room. Now, my research told me that the keyword 'server room' (fake example) is easily ranked for and has a high search volume. Will including this keyword in my alt tags help me rank better? or does it not matter for pictures (alt tags) and I should focus more on describing the picture itself?

    Reply
  16. Muu Coww Post author

    Thank you, I will subscribe. You have a great way of explaining things.

    Reply
  17. Andy H. Tu Post author

    1. Are Alt Text and file name the only thing that matters for SEO in an image?
    2. Do titles, descriptions and captions do anything? They say that you shouldn't stuff a file name with keywords, but…
    3. How do you know when you're stuffing it? Is there a limit on how many words can be on a file name or an alt tag? You say 125 characters, but how do search engines read it? In google console I see short phrases that have impressions on it, and then there was a few long long key phrases I had impressions on. Can a long filename/alt tag be read in portions or does it get seen as that entire tag?

    4. Mine comes out pretty long when trying to describe the exact picture. 5-6 words become pretty long, is that bad?
    5. My file names are uploaded with weird numbers, so I can't change it directly in wordpress, so how would I go back and rename the file name without having to delete and re upload?
    6. "Fit blonde girl doing pulling ups in green activewear" Is that too long of a description for Alt Tag or File name?
    7. Can file name be the same as alt tags every time?

    I'm fairly new to SEO, so as I'm learning and learning I keep learning about the new mistakes I make. File image naming and alt tags are my new woes. I'm going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. It seems endless. 😂
    Had to edit and say thank you for the video 🙂

    Reply
  18. sverige 2000 Post author

    This was so helpful, friendly, clear and best video on the subject that I have watched. A great teacher. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  19. Joanna Galindo Post author

    Thanks. What is an example of "over optimization." Perhaps using Woman-phone image…

    Reply
  20. Sortlist Post author

    like it! thanks!😁 We also publish videos about SEO! Could you give me some feedback? Thank you! 😀

    Xavier‍🚀

    Reply
  21. sai mungati Post author

    Got a Clear Statement on how to write alt+tag Context. thank you so much for the Info.

    Reply
  22. Jan Alleman Post author

    Hi! thanks for your video, very enlightening. It is unclear to me if the alt tag should closely resemble the file name or i i can add more info in the ALT text?
    I was also wondering if this only helps for your findability in Google-Images or also for the google search result of the webpage on which the image is shown.

    Reply
  23. makil andrew Post author

    Short video but straight to the point. Awesome tut.

    Reply
  24. Dylan Post author

    Thanks, does it also, make sense to fill in the description field for products?

    Reply
  25. Project UniCore Post author

    Viewer-optimized video experience, good job.

    Reply
  26. Sarah Jack Post author

    Thank you for the video. One question : do we put the same file name for alt text or can the two of them be two different things ( Like two ways of saying one thing) for example file name: red-hair-woman-holding-a phone and alt text to be A red hair woman looking at her iphone

    Reply
  27. ShowBizJunkie Post author

    Very very good explanation. Concise and to the point with examples. I came here after watching videos that talk about SEO-optimized artcles but they don't give example to how to optimize alt tags. Thanks for the video. You are also a treat to watch LOL.

    Reply
  28. Anas .H Post author

    What if you added a website name in your alt like ( Amazon, Ebay, Etsy… etc ) so to make your images like targetting the visitors of these websites, wouldn't that work ??

    Reply
  29. Fazlul Karim Chowdhury Post author

    You did not show how to do that. Not clear, this is a bad teaching

    Reply
  30. Mufid O. Bohorquez Post author

    Thank you, so clear, straight to the point. I will subscribe now.

    Reply

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