We discussed how an alt tag can put great search engine value to your images, similar value is added by the name of the image itself. When you download images, they get saved with pretty odd names that don't make sense. Because not everyone makes use of alt tags in previous days before Google introduced Image Search. If you are uploading an image having a alpha-numeral name rather than rich keyword, than even if you add alt tag to it, you are loosing chances of better ranking. Confused? Let me explain,
Optimize Images Before Uploading
Suppose I downloaded a beautiful 2012 wallpaper from Google image search and now I wish to upload it to my blog in order to share it with everyone. The name of the image is something like image23.png, once it is uploaded it will have its on URL/link as shown below,
Note: The examples here are for blogspot blogs, but similar concept applies to self hosted blogs and sites too.
The tale of this image link would end as image23.png. This ending part is every important as it further strengthens the description of your image. When someone searches for 2012 wallpapers, Google looks for more relevant images which may provide the user with the best search result. Since your image ends as image23 rather 2012-wallpaper.png, you are indeed in no way close to be picked and display in search results page because your image description says image23 rather 2012-wallpaper.
You can argue here that why worry when you can add an alt tag to the image to describe it. Yes that is correct but optimization means making your content as much search engine friendly as possible. Suppose someone has correct image tale and also a correct alt tag but your image has just a correct alt tag, then who has more chances to be picked by search robot and displayed? Of course the one which is twice optimized as yours.
A Little image search will show you how much irrelevant images appear when you search for something you want. Take a look at this image:
I searched for images and I got a fish appearing as the first thumbnail. Look clearly at its tale name which is help_clip_image020.jpg which has the word image in it and it is one reason why it appeared in results page. But can it appear for the word Fish ? Lets see,
I see it no where! Did the image served its purpose? Of course no. This is what we need to learn and understand else even if you upload thousands of images daily then it can drive no targeted traffic.
Tips For an optimized Image Tale
Lets now learn some basic tips that may help you to rename your images the correct way before uploading. Right click your image and rename it by keeping in mind the following tips:
Rename your image in no more than 3 words. Less is best
Use only rich keywords and not simple connecting words like "is, to, for, by, between, are, etc".
Do not tag images with senseless words. If the image is a screenshot of an installation process step for instance Windows7. Then instead of writing as "Click settings" or "Click Next" rename it with a rich keyword like "windows7 Settings" or "windows7 installation"
Avoid use of special characters like %, $, #, @,&, -, _ etc. (Fortunately not even Widows OS allow its use else internet images would have been with a lot of mess.)
Hope this little guide proves helpful. Have fun pals, Peace! :)
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