13 Tips to Improve Google Image Search SEO [2019]

13 Tips to Improve Google Image Search SEO [2019]

Images are an essential part of driving traffic to your website. Because of this, they should be optimised just like content. While this may sound simple enough, there are several tips you should follow to ensure you’re employing Google images search SEO effectively.

#1: Provide Proper ContextHand holding a lightbulb for Google Image Search SEO Tip 1: Provide proper context

When using images on your web pages, make sure you provide proper context, so they are relevant. The text of your content will influence how Google interprets the relevance of the image.



Computer screen with two people around it optimising image placement#2: Optimise Your Image Placement

Always place your images near the text that is relevant to them. Google will use that surrounding text to determine what the image refers to. This shows that it is essential that the images and text relate to one another.

One great way to do this is to add a caption to your image. Another tip is to consider placing a relevant image close to the top of the page for greater visibility.


#3: Create Websites that are High Quality and InformativeCartoon of two people creating a website on a computer screen

When Google ranks images from search results, the quality of the website content is also considered. The content is also used when Google generates meaningful snippets that reinforce relevance. This is why the page and image content should be directly related.


Three different devices (desktop, tablet, and phone) illustrating a responsive site for Google Image SEO#4: Create Websites That Are Device-Friendly

Google has revealed that users conduct more search using mobile devices than desktop computers. Because of this, your sites should be mobile-friendly so they will appear higher in the rankings.


#5: Use Good Image URL Structure for Google Image Search SEOTwo cartoon computers with the link icon demonstrating good URL structure

Google has also explained that they use the entire file path when understanding and ranking images. This is very useful in your SEO endeavours. For instance, if your web pages contain images of products you sell, you can create an organised structure that will place them in different categories that are more meaningful to the respective products. This will help prospective customers find the image when searching for products according to category or type.

Cartoon hand holding a megaphone coming out of a computer screen #6: Use Relevant Page Titles and Descriptions

Google uses the page title and meta description in the image search algorithm. While they aren’t necessarily considered page ranking factors, they do help generate snippets which help users decide whether or not to click through and visit pages. Both title and meta tags are important parts of this process.

Google Images will automatically generate a title along with a snippet used for explaining the relevance of each result and how it relates to the user’s search. Several sources are used to form this description to include descriptors found in the title and meta tags.


#7: Add Structured DataTwo reports with pie graphs and line graphs demonstrating structured data for google image search seo

Structured data plays an important role in both voice-assisted search and defining rich results on the search page. The voice assistant in Google is now embedded in more than 5,000 devices, so this is something you definitely want to be targeting with your image SEO.


Cartoon computer with the work 'Keywords' written on it symbolising keyword research for Google image search SEO#8: Use Unlimited Keyword Research for PPC and image SEO

If you search for a domain, you can track where it shows up on Google. You can check keyword searches on Google’s Adwords, ad variations and see organic rankings for the past 13 years. This will help you stay up to date with important trends and give you a better understanding of how Google Image search SEO works.

When you include structured data, Google Images can display the images on your page as rich image results, helping to inform searchers about your brand and drive traffic to your website. Just add the relevant markup for your page content. For example, if you’re selling clothes, include the appropriate clothing markup.


#9: Include Alt Tags with Your ImagesCartoon of a small man reaching into a laptop and editing the code behind an image symbolising the alt tex for google image search

The purpose of alt tags is to provide descriptions of images so users who are blind or visually impaired will know what the image is. These image descriptions are rendered as audio messages by screen readers, which are able to read the alt tags attached to the image.

Your alt tags should be short and to the point, while providing an accurate description. For example, if you place an image of your company founder on the about page, the alt tag could read something like “About John Brown.” This would be a brief and accurate image description without the use of unnecessary words or any keyword stuffing.


Cartoon of a vice compressing an image for Google image search SEO#10: Compress Your Images

While you want your images to be large for the sake of visibility, you also want them to take up the smallest amount of storage space possible. Though this may sound difficult, it can be easily accomplished using compression. There are plenty of tools out there to help minimise image size while retaining the quality.


#11: Create Unique ImagesCartoon of a person carrying an image component as they are creating a unique image for Google image search SEO

Stock photos are plentiful and can often come in handy, but what about those times when you can’t find the right image to use? Your images should be expressive and directly relate to your content, so using a stock photo that is almost, but not quite, what you need can do your company and website a disservice.

You need images that reflect your brand — you need to use original images. If you take them, be sure to use a camera with good resolution so your images will be high quality. If you pay someone else to do it, make sure the essence of your brand is captured so you will be using unique images. Going the extra mile to create original media that is part of your brand will be noticed by visitors to your site. This will go a long way toward proving your dedication to the products you offer and the customers who buy them.

If you are unable to create your own custom images, choose stock images that best fit your content. These can still speak to your audience in a way that illustrates your message.


Cartoon magnifying glass zeroing in on the search bar in an internet browser that has the word 'keywords' typed into it#12: Use Related Keywords for Your Images

Just like the content on your pages, your images should have a focus keyword. This is what will be placed in the alt tag and filename. In addition, you need to use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, that is, secondary keywords related to the focus keywords. An example of this would be using SEO Australia as your focus keywords and Google Image optimisation Australia as the LSI keywords.

You can retrieve a long list of suggested keywords for your images at the top of the Google Image Search results pages. These search terms are queries that users are actually typing into Google. The list is long, and you can see even more by clicking the arrow on the right side of the page. Once you have your list of keywords, you can run them through the Google Keyword Planner for additional information on each keyword phrase.

These features allow you to easily find LSI keywords, completely free of charge.

Long-tail keywords can also be found through Google in this way. These are keywords that function much like LSI keywords by building on your focus keyword and resulting in more traffic.

You can use long-tail keywords in alt tags. Be sure to use them for images on your five to ten most visited pages.


#13: Your Images Should Be Relevant to User Searches Cartoon of an image on a desktop computer screen with a magnifying over it

The images you use should be relevant to user searches. While this may sound like an obvious statement, it’s not quite so simple.

Let’s say you’ve written a blog post about a particular financial opportunity and included an image of a couple who represent the perks of opting into it. Then, let’s say that this couple wins the lottery. Now, their names are receiving numerous Google searches each day from people wanting to read interviews and learn more about their good fortune — something which is nothing to do with your own post.

Because that couple’s image is on your blog post, your page will come up when users search for info on their lottery win. Those searching for information about the lottery win aren’t looking for investment opportunities, so the post is irrelevant to them.

Why is this important? Well, it’s important because these searchers who land on your page in error will immediately realise their mistake and leave again. This causes your page’s bounce rate to skyrocket — not good at all for search engine rankings.

To avoid this, try going for an image more relevant to the financial opportunity. That way, users will find your blog post when conducting an image search as well as a content search. The end result will be an increase in relevant traffic to your blog as well as to your company as a whole.



The key to Google Image search SEO is creating a great user experience. Create pages that benefit the people who will be using them, and not the actual search engines. For more information about this and other relevant topics such as image sitemaps for discovering images, optimising for mobile devices, including alt text, using images that decrease load time and more, visit the Google Image Best Practices website.

If you’re looking to improve SEO, then you should conduct an SEO audit of your site. If you’d like some help with the SEO audit, then contact the team here at Pearl Digital Marketing.