Image Naming for SEO
Do you rename your images when you upload them to your website? If not, let’s hit pause real quick and talk about why you should. Image naming is easily overlooked but is a best practice that content marketers need to make a habit.
Why is image naming important?
Have you ever searched for something on Google and went to the “Images” tab to find what you’re looking for? Like articles, images reach the top of the page due to their SEO ranking. Not only does using a keyword in your image name help bring your photo to the top of the page, but your image name is visible on Google. And do you really want “img_7116549.jpg” showing up under your picture?
Where do I begin?
Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide shares best practices to lift your images towards the top of the page:
- Don’t keyword stuff. (link to keyword stuffing blog) Keyword stuffing will give you the opposite effect; it will ding your SEO. Your alt text is not the place for shoving in every keyword for your website. If you have every keyword that’s part of your strategy, it will look like spam to Google. Keep your image name short, and stick to five words or fewer.
- Use hyphens. To help the search engine read your file name, use hyphens to separate your words. For example, rather than imagenamingbluestardesign.jpg, it would become image-naming-blue-star-design.jpg.
- Avoid abbreviating words. In an attempt to keep names short, we often see people abbreviating some words in the titles. For search engines to pick up on your keywords, don’t cut them short or shorten them.
- Be consistent with your naming. Especially for images that you use several times throughout your website, such as logos. Content Marketing Institute says, “If you rename a commonly used image, it may vanish from another live page, and you may not notice the mistake.” Be sure to set one name for each image for your entire team to utilize.
Interested in learning more about SEO?
Check out our blog on keyword stuffing.
While it isn’t always convenient or a quick process to change the names for all of the images you’re uploading online — especially if you’re uploading a blog with several throughout it. We promise the time it takes for photos that you want to showcase on Google or to represent your brand it’s well worth it.
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