Using images in SEO

Search engines, and Google in particular through its Universal Search initiative, are making great strides towards delivering multi-media search engine results. Images, audio, and video links are being sprinkled into certain types of searches. The tough part about this desire is that it can be hard for a search spider to determine the actual content or intent or a photo or video. But, that’s where you come in.

Actively using images as part of your overall optimization strategy can pay dividends.

The first step is to make certain that you use the ALT attribute in your website HTML. Further adding descriptive captions in the text around a your photos is another standard practice.

FlickrTo take this thought up a notch, however, you should consider creating images pages on social media sites and optimizing those pages as well.

The first place to go in my opinion is – Flickr, owned by Yahoo, is one of several photo sharing sites. Other popular ones include Picasa, owned by Google and Photobucket. These sites allow you to create accounts and they upload your photos for sharing publicly or with friends.

All of these services have created sets of tools that allow you to tag and describe your photos. Most people use these as a way to sort, categorize and find their photos, but marketers can use these tools to perhaps create some interesting search juice.

Flickr, for example, allows you to create a separate page for each photo. This page has meta tags you choose – title, description and keyword tags as well as H1 title, and keyword anchor text backlinks. You can view an example page here featuring my Ultimate Marketing System product. This is not simply a ploy to point out my products, the point is to show you how this tactic creates a well opitimized page and photo on a highly indexed website, pointing to my product. This page will get indexed and may rank highly on its own. (Right click and view the source code on this page and have a look at the meta tags data)

This is a potentially potent way to create some nicely optimized backlinks to your site and generate page views of your products, events, announcements, people, and activities. Once you know how to navigate around Flickr it’s pretty easy to create lots of these pages. Don’t forget to take advantage of the geo tagging that allows you to create local content.

    Here’s your recipe for success with this idea

  • Upload lots of decently composed images
  • Create strong, keyword rich, unique titles for each photo
  • Tag each photo with your most important keywords
  • Write good descriptions and add a link to your site with keyword anchor text
  • Make sure the photos are publicly viewable – it’s a check box option
  • Submit the photo pages to other social sites such as delicious

It’s great if you have riveting images with tons of viral potential, but this works wonders for any well taken image.


Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, Universal Search, Yahoo

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