Images are usually something the average SEO professional doesn’t talk much about, however they are amazingly important to building a natural and effective backlink profile. Images not only drive extra traffic to your website, but provide it with a whole new type of backlink many SEO professionals often overlook. These are high quality, relevant backlinks that will help your website rank higher in the search engines.
Many people tend to think that images are often bad for website design, as they can decrease load times. Although this is true, it’s only really an issue if you have too many images. The first thing people look at when entering a website, is the images. They draw your attention before any text, links, or anything else can take you away. This is why it’s incredibly important to make sure you have at least one image on your home page. So what factors are important when optimizing your images for search engines?
Three Important Factors
- The File Name:
The first step in properly optimizing an image is choosing the correct file name. If your image is named something like Canon871112.jpg, the search engines will have absolutely no clue what this image is supposed to be. However, if your image is named something like Geometry-Textbook.jpg, the search engines will be pretty sure that your image is a geometry textbook, and categorize it as that. Even if you don’t have full control over your file name, such as when uploading your image to a 3rd-party site, try to rename your image beforehand so it doesn’t get incorrectly categorized.
- The Alt-Text:
The alt-text attribute is commonly overlooked by many people because they figure it is irrelevant. What a lot of people don’t know though, is that the alt-text attribute is used to provide people the name of the image, in case it cannot be shown. Google doesn’t personally look over every image to see exactly what it is, so it’s your job to help optimize the image and provide it with the correct alt-text.
- Your Sitemap:
Another thing many people don’t know, is that you can insert your images, their alt-text, file name, and everything into your sitemap. By providing this extra information in your sitemap, Google will be able to crawl your image easier and will know more about it from this information.
How Do You Improve Your Backlink Profile?
Now you may be wondering, how can I send high-quality image backlinks to my website to actually build my image backlink profile?
Well, the answer may surprise you, but you build image backlinks in the same place you would normally get high-quality backlinks from. You can get high-quality image backlinks by uploading your images to article websites like Squidoo, EzineArticles, Hubpages, and more. As these websites hold a gigantic authority with Google, and will surely pass on some extra link juice to your website. These websites may also drive some traffic to your website, as you’re linking back to it via an image.
Another cool way to spread your image backlinks, is by using relevant forums. You can upload the images to your signature, or even post them in related threads. As long as it looks completely natural, and is relevant to the topic, your images will stay for long periods of time, and like the article websites, will bring in some extra traffic.
If you need a good place to start looking for images, consider iStockphoto for royalty-free pics.
Image Backlinks – It’s Worth It
Hopefully this article taught you some new things to aid you in your SEO campaigns. Although building image backlinks can be an extremely tedious process, it’s worth it in the end. If you have further question, consider asking the Edmonton SEO experts, Canada West Internet Marketing for more info.