I get a lot of questions about search engine optimization (SEO) for B2B ecommerce sites, so I thought I would take a look at how you can boost your SEO by optimizing your images.
Okay, let’s get started.
Why should you optimize the images on your ecommerce site web pages?
First and foremost, optimizing the image allows the search engine crawler to “see” the image. Crawlers are only able to read text, so any information supplied via images is passed by during the index process. Optimizing associates text with each image to make sure the crawler (GOOGLE) “sees” them.
Second, ALT TEXT serves the visually impaired by giving them text that can be enlarged substantially without the distortion that happens with an image or giving programs that read on-screen text outloud a description of the image.
Finally, ALT TEXT appears when a image link is broken or when the visitor is not able to view images on screen.
To cover your bases with search engine crawlers, visually impaired site visitors, and broken image links, you need to do two things:
Name your image files with a keyword-rich file name. It’s tempting to name your images with a short code like, “widget3xt-sm.jpg” but doing so will not improve your SEO. Because search engine crawlers read text, it’s beneficial to name your file in a way that would be meaningful to them and add relevance to your page.
For example, if you are optimizing a product shot of the widget mentioned above, it would be better to name the file, “The-Wonder-Widget-3-Extra-Tall.jpg.” Since your web page is focused on The Wonder Widget 3, Extra Tall, the crawlers will see the file name and recognize that the picture does, in fact, match the subject of the page. This will add credibility to the page. Each instance of an image should have a unique, yet relevant-to-the-page file name–even if it’s the same image.
Bonus SEO Tip: Notice the hypens between the words in the file name, “The-Wonder-Widget-3-Extra-Tall.jpg.” This is important because crawlers see hyphens or dashes as spaces. Crawlers don’t know what to do with actual spaces and so they fill them with “%20″ instead. Leaving spaces in the file name would mean that the crawler reads:
Since this will not match any text on the product page, the file name doesn’t boost your SEO at all.
Always use keyword-rich ALT TEXT to describe your images. It’s even thought to be beneficial to make an image’s ALT TEXT the same as it’s file name. <————————————-This means that this image would be named “B2B-E-Commerce-SEO-Optimize-Your-Images-2.jpg” and the ALT TEXT for the image would be “B2B E-Commerce SEO: Optimize Your Images #2.” (Which it is!)
NOTE: These techniques only work if you allow search engine crawlers to index your pages. Any images appearing on pages with the “NoIndex,NoFollow” Meta tag will not be indexed making these techniques ineffective.