Image Optimization – Leveraging Google Images to Drive More Traffic to Your Site

Google Images is an effective yet underutilized tool for driving traffic to a website. When the subject of traffic generation is brought up, on-page SEO optimization and off-page Internet marketing immediately comes to mind. Many have not thought of leveraging Google Images to drive organic traffic to their site.

Why Google Images?

Google Images is for images as Google is to text based content. It is the largest search engine for images on the web today. In 2010, Google revealed that there are over 10 million pages in Google Images’ database. Every day, hundreds and millions of users use the service to look for all kinds of things, from celebrities to products. Google also revealed that over 1 billion images are being viewed each day.

Imagine being able to get a fraction of these viewers. Even just 1% would mean a lot.

Like text-driven search engines, Google Images let you search for image content using keywords. When you type “sunflower”, you will be presented with rows and rows images of sunflower, complete with image title, file format, and source site. Clicking on an image takes you to source, but the image, which is over-sized, is superimposed on the owner’s web page. Closing the image (there’s an X icon on the right) brings you to the page source.

How I discovered the power of Google Images in driving traffic to my site is purely an accident. I was reviewing my traffic sources one day when I noticed that a good number came from Google Images. Since then, I made sure to incorporate properly optimized image content to my articles and blog posts. I also went back to my previous posts and added at least relevant images to each.

Great Photo Means More Click Throughs

When you enter a search term, Google Images will roll out hundreds and thousands of images in one scrollable page. How do you get viewers to click on your photo?

People tend to gravitate towards nice-looking objects. Pictures are no different. Who would want to click on a blurry or dim photo when there are thousands of other images that are easier on the eyes?

When it comes to getting high quality photos, you have many options. If you don’t have the time, you can outsource the job to a professional photographer. You can also take advantage of royalty free images.

You can use your own photos. A decent digital camera and an amount of cropping and photo retouching tutorials for Photoshop are all you need. If you lack the time, there’s never a lack of professional photo retouching services to tap.

Optimizing Photos for Google Images

Now that you have beautiful photos, the next step is to ensure you get good results with Google Images. Certain steps have to be taken.

  1. Use descriptive file names. Cameras automatically assign an alphanumeric filenames to images such as DSC034456.jpg. They don’t provide any information to search engines. Now what you want is a filename that search engines can read. What I do is use filenames that contain relevant keywords. If it’s a sunflower, I may label it “garden-sunflower.jpg”.
  2. Add appropriate Alt Tags. Alt tags are your photo’s label or title. This is what search engines use to identify what an image is. Remember the spiders cannot view images; they index files based on text. Thus, I always see to it that the alt tags I use are relevant. For instance, if I have a photo of a family grilling outdoors, I may use “family outdoor grilling”, “outdoor grill”, or other tags along the same line.
  3. Add descriptions to images. If you are using content management systems such as WordPress, take the time to add great and keyword-optimized texts to your images.



As with creating high quality photos, you may find yourself lacking the time to do these tasks. What I do is hire freelancers to help me. If you don’t have the time, get help.

In Closing

Now that you know how to optimize images for better traffic, I suggest you try it now. Start with a few images, then let them soak for a bit. Monitor the results. Do you notice any changes?

About the Author:

James Martell is a self-taught Internet entrepreneur who has earned success from affiliate marketing. He provides lessons and trainings to people who want to earn income with affiliate programs. Martell lives with his wife of 27 years and their kids in a seaside suburb in Vancouver, Canada.

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