With Google’s recent updates to Google Images, it just makes good sense to SEO your website’s images, particularly if they are an asset to your selling toolkit. Having indexed more than 10 billion images, Google’s densely populated tool attracts users who are “learning and even shopping.”
Searchers who have a very specific need may use Google Images to identify or learn more about what they want while at the same time consider possible solutions. For example, a home owner with a mold problem wants to identify the mold she has, learn more about it, and discover what can be done to get rid of it and keep it from coming back. Using Google Images, she would search ‘black mold on walls.’ Providing eighteen results per page, Google displays images related to the search. When the user clicks on an image, a new screen opens that displays the image and caption on top and the web page where the image resides below.
Ways in Which Google Identifies Images
The context in which the image resides on the web page carries the most amount of weight for image identification. Google’s indexing algorithm is predominantly concerned with the body copy or textual information on the page that surrounds the image or that the image supports. In other words, identification and relevance both play a factor in indexing and ranking. Think of Google’s overriding objective: to provide end-users with information relevant to their query. The assumption is that people search images as a stepping-stone to the more detailed information they are after. They don’t just wnt to see the picture. They want to learn something about it.
What You Can Do
Search engine optimization of your images ensures two very important things:
1) images are clearly identified and contextually placed on your web pages to offer you the greatest support for your sales and marketing or informational message; and
2) Google Search can easily identify them and their contextual relevance, making them easy to index and rank within the Google Image search results pages.
Strategically placing images on your web pages and ensuring they are surrounded by carefully crafted body copy offers you an additional opportunity to increase your visibility online and be discovered by potential buyers, members, or supporters who are actively looking for what it is you offer.
Search engine optimization of your images is another aspect of the optimization process that is designed to help you get discovered by your target audience groups and identify your highly focused content as relevant to their needs.