The internet has long been a multimedia medium – so why are we only optimizing our text? Image searches can bring almost as many people to your site as the standard search. When someone is looking for an image they will go to an image search engine, find the image they’re looking for, and look at the webpage that has the image.
Those are qualified visitors to your site
Here is a quick tutorial to optimize your images for all the image search engines.
Use a descriptive filename for your image containing your site keywords.
Image crawlers can’t actually see your image (although that technology has been jumping by leaps and bounds). They rely on the filename to help search all the available images and return the most relevant ones. DSC0002.jpg does not get searched!
Try something like: cute-black-white-kitten-in-jail.jpg
Always use an Alt tag for your image
You would be surprised how many people don’t include this simple extra step: alt=”adorable cute black and white kitten stuck in jail!”
Provide context. If the writing around the image supports what is in the picture, then you’re looking at a well optimized image that will get listed well in the search engines (I’m a brand new Daddy so I feel no shame in putting up this picture of our kitten Ravyn)
See my gorgeous black and white kitten looking like he’s in jail? Isn’t he cute!
UPDATE September 1, 2010
After 5 months of posting this article, Ravyn (my kitten) shows up third when searching “kitten in jail” in Google Images.
We felt it was important to show you the results of Google Images Optimization rather than just preach best practices