Photographers Guide to Image SEO

Full blog post here:

Benefits of Image SEO –
Elevates the SEO of a page or post
Increases Google image indexing
Increases visibility in Google image search
Increases the user experience
Increase user engagement

Image Selection –
Image should add to the value of the page
Is the image necessary?
Image should be congruent with the goal, purpose, and target
keyword(s) of the page
Why are you using this image?
Avoid duplicate or similar images
Google may not index similar images

Image Placement –
Add image near the text/copy where discussing like content
Make sure the image adds to the copy, the page, and the target

Image Pixel Size –
Use your CMS (like WordPress, Squarespace, etc…) to determine the
exact pixel size of the image
Best to provide the exact size and not let the CMS resize it for you
Test pixel size using Google’s PageSpeed Insights

Image File Size –
Make images a small as possible without degrading the quality
Goal less than100kb (can be bigger especially for photographers)
We recommend using tools like ImageOptim or websites like
JPEGMini, PunyPNG or Or use the Google PageSpeed
Use Lightroom to optimize image size
Great article from SLR Lounge on how to optimize image size

Make sure your CMS allows for smaller sizes to be delivered on
Srcset attribute
Test with Google PageSpeed Insights

Image File Name –
Use file name that Google would know what the image is about
without seeing the image
Use the target keyword (or appropriate iteration) for the page
If using the keyword is not appropriate, then question why are you
using that image
Do not stuff keywords
Duplication of file name is ok
But question why are you using two similar images
Use number to separate duplicates (xyz-1.jpg, xyz-2.jpg)
Keep file names concise
Use dashes (not underscores) to separate words
10 words or less

Image Alt Text –
Alt = Alternative
Used in case the image does not show up
Used for blind users with verbal browsers
Used by Pinterest to auto populate pin descriptions
Describe the image to Google
Describe what’s happening in the image / Sentence fragments are ok
Describe where the image was taken or is depicting (for local SEO)
Use your target keywords
Be clear, descriptive, concise and not stuffed with keywords
Ok to duplicate if images are similar
100 characters or less

Other Considerations –
Use when appropriate
Featured Images
Open Graph (Facebook) and Twitter Tags
OG debugger
Twitter debugger
Allows you to give more info about your image

Image Optimization Resources
Google Image Optimization Checklist

Google Image Optimization Guide

VIDEO How to use Google PageSpeed Insights to optimize Images


  1. Hayden Murtagh Photography says:

    Hi Ben, great video. Quick question. I am an event photographer so how i do name all 300 photos taken at the same event to be unique? eg a Black Tie Ball, where everyone is dressed the same?

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