Whether you’re looking to move your photography up a notch and set up a photography portfolio, or whether you just want to use your images on your blog, or website, the main aim for your images is to have them show up in search engine results.

There are four basic things you can do to improve your chances of moving up the rankings and best of all… they’re all pretty simple to do.

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Choose a ‘Keyword Friendly’ file name.

bearded dragon portrait

Close up of a Bearded Dragon

Search engines don’t have the capacity (yet!) to interpret an image and list it according to the content. This means that as with the web page as a whole, text is important. The name you choose for your image is treated as text, so if the content of the image is written in the file name, it will show up in both text searches and image searches.

The image to the right was originally named ‘DSC_0065.JPG’ by the camera.

Before uploading I renamed it ‘bearded-dragon-face.jpg’

 

This brings me nicely on to the second item….

Use Alt Text in every image.

The alt(ernative) text you use, should also include keywords for the image. I could’ve just stuck to my naming structure and used ‘bearded dragon face’.

I try to choose alt text that’s relevant, but uses another key word(s). In this case I went with ‘bearded dragon portrait’.

 

The third item is….

Use a descriptive Caption.

As before, you could stick to your naming structure, although this is a chance to use readable text for your image and describe what the image is. As you can see, I chose ‘Close up of a Bearded Dragon’.

Captions are deemed very important by most search engines and using a descriptive caption can really help your ranking.

 

And finally….

Optimise your images.

There are many software programs available that will resize your image for free, so there’s really no excuse not to.

Some blogging platforms will upload the full image, then adjust the size that’s shown by specifying an display size ie: <img src="myimage.jpg" width="200" height="150">, so that it shows on the webpage as a small image.

The problem, is that in order to show the image at 200×150 pixels, the browser has to download the full size image from the server, then resize it to the specified size on the screen.

You can always link the thumbnail to the full size image if you’d like, then the viewer doesn’t lose any of the quality, but your page loads quickly and they don’t click away because they’ve waited so long.

Personally, I use FastStone Photo Resizer, but there are many others available to try.

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Spending just a few minutes making sure your images are optimised properly can make a huge difference to your ability to get ranked higher up, especially if the main subject of your site is to display your photos to the World :-)

Do you have any tips for getting images ranked higher in Search Engines? Share your knowledge in the comments.