If you usually reserve your SEO efforts for your website’s textual content, including its headers and subheadings, you might be alarmed to see, these days, how much space on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) is swallowed up by images before you even get to see the text listings.

The bottom line is: the SEO juice of your images matters, and it could help you to make the crucial first impression that lures visitors to your website. However, like the “man behind the mask” that Alice Cooper sings about, there’s the, erm, “text behind the images” to heed with your SEO…

Give your images explanatory filenames

When you first download an image or upload it from a camera-equipped device, the image’s filename might be a nonsensical jumble of text and numbers. So, don’t hesitate to help out Google by changing the name to something more telling – like “chocolate ice cream”, if that is what is depicted.

Make your alt text descriptive

Alt text is alternatively known as “alt descriptions”, and appropriately so, given that this text should indeed be used to describe the image itself.

Google’s official guidelines urge you to “focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in the context of the content of the page”. However, we urge you to shy away from keyword stuffing, as it could make your site look spammy – a warning sign to Google’s web crawlers.

Another incentive to craft your alt text carefully is that screen-reading tools use it to tell visually-impaired web users what your image portrays.  

You could find that changing a particular image’s alt text is as simple as heading into the site’s content management system (CMS) and clicking on the relevant image to bring up a text field that lets you change the text. However, if you struggle, Jumping Spider Media’s SEO experts can guide you.