I have been trying to find ways of increasing traffic to my site lately and part of that includes SEO. Ever since I changed my domain name, traffic has dropped off the map and Google’s crawl rate is abysmal. I wrote about this in Where did all my Google traffic go?. That said, one article keeps pulling in traffic and at first I didn’t know why. At the time of this writing my most popular post is my Eternal Sonta Review. Every now and then I give a mini review to games I really like, but it’s a small part of my blog, and rarely generates much traffic, so the Eternal Sonata review really shouldn’t account for so much traffic, so why does it?
After checking Google Analytics, I found out where all the traffic was coming from, the source was none other than Google Images. If you type Eternal Sonata into Google Images the single image within the article consistently comes up in the first or second place spot.
So I dug around a bit and read over different ideas on how the Google image search engine works. At first I thought it was because I had named the file eternal_sonata.jpg, but a quick search on that shows lots of eternal_sonata.jpg files out there, and some of the top files returned in the search have very cryptic names anyway. That said, the file naming convention can’t hurt, but I think it’s a combination of a few other things.
Image SEO optimization
First, the image attributes are:
title="Eternal Sonata" alt="Eternal Sonata"
Here I have defined the title and the alternative text or alt text. Both attributes are the exact search term that is bringing up this image. The image is also in an article that is all about Eternal Sonata, and my research suggests that surrounding text plays a major role. Right below the image there is text saying “View my updated post and screenshots on Eternal Sonta”. I think screenshots may also work as a keyword for this image. Lastly, I’ve also read that image quality may play a role. The images for both Eternal Sonata articles were snagged from the Eternal Sonta Fan kit on the official site. The image in this particular post was created by me, combining the 4 characters onto a white background and was saved as a fairly high quality JPEG.
So the next time you are applying SEO to your site, be sure to think about your images, especially if they are relevant to the content around them. That said it’s probably best to optimize only relevant images. The benefits of image optimization are also two fold, not only are you helping search engines find you, you’re also making your site more accessible for the visually impaired, and remember that Google and other search engines are very much like a visually impaired user.