These numbers suggest that the image search market is far less competitive than keyword search, and I’m willing to bet that if you focus on image search optimization, you will reap some pretty huge benefits in the form of traffic and pageviews.
And if you’re anything like me, you’re all over this :)
So now this begs the question: How do you take advantage of image search and rule Google’s wild, wild west?
Optimizing Your Site for Google Image Search
Image optimization is one of those things that falls under the “best practices” heading for Webmasters of all shapes, sizes, and knowledge levels. Simply put, if you are truly running your site the right way, then image optimization is a de facto benefit.
What, then, is the proper way to construct an image reference in XHTML, and what aspects of this help in Google’s image search?
Every standards-compliant, Google-sensitive image reference should contain 5 key items:
1. A src attribute specifying the URL of the image
2. A width declaration in which the width of the image is specified in pixels
3. A height declaration in which the height of the image is specified in pixels
4. An alt attribute that describes the content of the image—this is the #1 element of image-oriented SEO
5. A title attribute that contains text to be displayed when the user hovers his/her mouse over the image
ambatchmasterpublisher For this example, we’ll use the image of a yellow hot air balloon at right, which is 220 pixels wide by 212 pixels high.
When we apply the five key items from above with the elements from our example image, we end up with an XHTML image reference that looks something like this:
That’s all there is to it! If you’re not accustomed to providing anything more than a src URL with your images, then you are probably slightly dismayed over the additional work that you’ll have to put in here in order to optimize your images.
All I can say to you is this—the benefits from running a Website with fully standards-compliant markup are amazing, and image optimization is one of those things that produces extremely tangible results. You would be wise to do this sooner rather than later.