How To Make Your Images Searchable in Google Image Search

I’m posting today as part of Plum and June’s “Let’s Figure it Out Together” series.   Beth has collected a lot of great advice from craft bloggers on ways to improve your blogging experience. I encourage you to check out the entire series.

Image SEO for Blogs

I’m going to give you a few easy tips on how to get more traffic to your blog, so you can share your craft with more people.

Have you ever done a Google Image search to find quilt inspiration?  I do it all the time.  Craft and quilt blogs are very visual in nature and having great photos is important.  You want people to be able to find your photos when they do a Google search, which will in turn lead them to your awesome, inspiring blog.

There are 3 very simple steps you can do to make your images searchable:

1. Resize giant images.
2. Appropriately name your files.
3. Describe your image in the Alt Text box.

Resize Your Image

I tend to take HUGE photos on my fancy-schmancy camera and then upload them as is.  This is a big no-no, because my 3000 x 3000 pixel photo will take way too long to load on many computers.  Before you upload your photos to your blog, resize them to fit on your blog.  Every blog has different proportions, but you generally want to keep your image size under 600 x 600.

You should be able to resize the images right on your desktop.  I use Photoshop, or Preview on my Mac.  You can also do it on PicMonkey.  Just upload your image and click on “resize”.

resizing an image for seo

Insert your new numbers in the “Change size to” boxes and click on “Apply”.  That’s it!

Appropriately Name Your File

Image seo for blogs

 I am very guilty of being in such a hurry to get my blog post done that I just upload my photos without changing the file name to be descriptive.  DO not upload “IMG_2066.jpg”.  Upload the retitled “mod-mosaic-block.jpg”.

A couple of rules:

1. Do not use spaces, use hyphens between your words.
2. Keep it short, like 3 words.
3. Format your image in .jpg and include it at the end of the filename.

Describe Your Image in the “Alt Text” box

(see photos below for help in finding your “alt text” box)

Using the Alt Text box is the MOST important step you can take to make your images searchable.  Search engines (like Google) can’t tell what your image is unless you fill in the Alt Text.  Add a clear, simple, description of what the photo is.  Think about how you would describe your photo to someone who is blind. Instead of saying “My latest quilt”, you would say something more descriptive like “Blue and Green Elephant Baby Quilt”.   You are trying to get keywords in there, but don’t be spammy with it and make it 20 words long.  I try to stick with about 5 descriptive words.

Below is what my image editing box looks like on WordPress.  In the top image I simply uploaded the photo without changing the file name and I left the Alt Text box blank.  Don’t do that! In the bottom image, I have appropriately titled my image and I have described it in the Alt Text box.

image seo for blogs

 Most of the quilting blogs I read use Blogger as their platform, so I will show you that, too.

 Click on the image you want to edit and a menu will open at the bottom of the image.  Click on “Properties”.

A box will pop up titled “Image Properties”.  This is where you fill in your image name and alt text.

 Fill in your file name (using hyphens) and your descriptive Alt Text, click “ok” and you are done!

Now let’s all get busy and optimize our images!

26 thoughts on “How To Make Your Images Searchable in Google Image Search

  1. Great post! I’m guilty of huge pictures and I never rename my files. I had no idea! I need to take more time editing but sometimes it’s just so darn time consuming. But I guess it’s super important!

    1. You would need to change the file name on your computer and then re-upload your photos. I wouldn’t worry much about going back and redoing photos, though (unless it’s something special like a tutorial). Just concentrate on optimizing your images in future blog posts.

  2. Finally! Maybe this will help as I have not had any comments on my blog, therefore I have not posted lately because I feel like I’m talking to myself!!!! I think my images are ok, but I need to do everything else you mentioned. Thanks for the info!

  3. I have the same question as Kathi. Can you do this to photos already on your blog? Picasa resizes mine when I upload and adds my copyright. I’ve also started adding a watermark that isn’t near the edge like my copyright is. I also try and add captions because I thought one of the Google videos said that was good for SEO. I’ll have to watch it again and see if it was the parts you are talking about instead.

    1. You would need to rename the file and then upload it again. Do you link directly from Picasa? I think that gives Picasa your traffic and not your blog when someone searches images. I’ll have to check with my SEO friend. Adding captions are a great way to reinforce the ALT Image text. I don’t usually use captions simply because I don’t like how it disrupts the flow of my blog post, but it is a good tool for getting your keywords into your post.

  4. I have the same question as Kathi. Can you do this to photos already on your blog? Picasa resizes mine when I upload and adds my copyright. I’ve also started adding a watermark that isn’t near the edge like my copyright is. I also try and add captions because I thought one of the Google videos said that was good for SEO. I’ll have to watch it again and see if it was the parts you are talking about instead.

  5. On 16 May 2006, Flickr updated its services from beta to “gamma”, along with a design and structural overhaul. According to the site’s FAQ, the term “gamma”, rarely used in software development, is intended to be tongue-in-cheek to indicate that the service is always being tested by its users, and is in a state of perpetual improvement.,^

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  6. Google’s rise to success was in large part due to a patented algorithm called PageRank that helps rank web pages that match a given search string. When Google was a Stanford research project, it was nicknamed BackRub because the technology checks backlinks to determine a site’s importance…

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