Image SEO: How to Boost your Google Ranking

Not only texts need an SEO tactic, the images of your website should also be optimized for Google. Because the visibility of your website is also related to the placement in the Google image search.

In e-commerce in particular, product images speak volumes and encourage potential customers to buy.

You can find out what you should know about SEO image optimization in this ticker post.

What exactly is image SEO?

The image search on Google connects keywords with image files. If users are explicitly looking for image content, it makes sense to optimize for this search. Traffic is generated on your website when users click on the associated source in the image search, because each image is linked to its corresponding target page. The image search has its own bot (Googlebot image), so that the indexing of the image content is carried out separately from the website indexing. Image SEO is assigned to OnPage optimization.

How does Google interpret images?

Unlike humans, who can quickly interpret images and extract information from them, search engines cannot read image information correctly. In order for your images to be found by Google anyway, you need to tell the search engine what can be seen in the image. For this purpose, Google and other search engines use the file name , the specified alternative text ( Alt attribute ) and the context in which the image is used in order to interpret the image as appropriately as possible.

Which factors influence the picture ranking?

There are a few factors that will affect how well your picture ranks. In the following, we limit ourselves to the factors that you can quickly implement without outside help.

Image file: resolution and size

Use high resolution images on your website. These appear more professional and of higher quality to the user than small and fuzzy image files. The guideline value for the minimum length or width is around 320 pixels. 

The trend is towards ever larger resolutions because the screens grow with them. The resolution for images on the web should be between 72 and 150 ppi (pixels per inch). However, it can happen that Google automatically scales or crops very large images. Therefore you should pay attention to an aspect ratio of 4: 3. In addition, your images should not be excessive in file size.

With special software you can easily compress images; the final size should be around 150 kB. Whether you use a PNG or JPG format is not relevant for the ranking.

Image file: names

Give your images meaningful file names and, if possible, use a relevant keyword that correlates with the image motif. Word breakers should always use the hyphen and not the underscore.

Image optimization: Alt attribute

As with pure text, the meta information for images contains HTML attributes such as description and title, which you should definitely assign. This is the only way that Google can correctly read the content of images. The alt attribute is particularly important here. 

An alternative text for the picture is assigned here, which is displayed instead of the picture if it cannot be displayed. This is important not only for search engines, but also for browsers that do not display images as well as for screen readers.

Surrounding text for images

It is important that the picture complements or visualizes the surrounding text well. Match the keywords of the text with the image keywords, because this has a positive influence on the website ranking.

Image optimization: source

Files that are used on your website require a specified storage location. Like the image, this location should have a unique name associated with the image. If you have uploaded images that you want to use on different sub-pages, you always access the same source. Similar to duplicate content, the copy of an image has a negative effect on image optimization.

With these simple tips you can positively influence the ranking of the Google image search. It is very important that you also have the rights for the images used. You can either buy image licenses, create your own images, or use royalty-free images.


The image search engine optimization should be an important part of your overall SEO concept, because the optimization of website images is also relevant to Google. Why? 

Alt tags and filenames are important to Google not only so that the search engine can identify the content of an image, but they also help determine the subject of the surrounding text. 

This information as well as the relevance of the website itself are the main sources of information that make up the ranking in the image search on Google. With certain search terms, image results are also displayed and thus have been optimized for SEOImages or graphics have a high chance of generating additional traffic for your website. 

It is also important that you keep an eye on the loading times of your website. These have a strong effect on user signals, which are also an important ranking factor for Google.

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