How to properly reference your images in Google?

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Can you imagine a website without photos or images? Text only… To avoid indigestion, it is important to consider the image as an important element of your website. However, an image without text on the web is useless to search engines. Indeed, Google is not yet capable of interpreting visual content alone. To Google, an image without text equals ghost content. To avoid becoming invisible to Google, it’s essential to know how to reference your images effectively. the explanation.

Why optimize your images?

Google gives more and more importance to images. From now on, the search engine giant displays pictures linked to the request directly in the results (provided they are in the first results in Google Images). As Christmas is approaching, internet users will start ordering gifts online. So referencing your images correctly will be important for any e-commerce site! Indeed, by being in Google Images an e-commerce site will be able to attract Internet users who need to quickly see the product before making a purchase.

Remember that if your image is well referenced in Google, it means that your traffic and hence, your sales are more likely to increase! be careful; Image optimization doesn’t just benefit merchant sites! Any website or blog that has properly referenced its images will gain visibility on the search engine as the volume of requests on Google Images increases. In short, properly optimizing your images has the following results:

  • Increase sales for e-commerce sites
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Get visibility on Google Images and Google more generally

Now that you understand the importance of optimizing your images let’s focus on how to properly reference your images. Best Practices for Referencing Your Images Correctly

a meaningful file name

A good first response is to rename your images. Between these file names: “109864387.jpg” and “google-maps.jpg,” which one is most relevant? Be careful with the file name of your images and make sure it is short but descriptive with keywords. It’s best to rename your files on your computer before uploading them to your CMS. Here are some small rules to follow for the correct file name:

  • no special characters
  • lowercase letters
  • Dash to separate words (no underscore).
  • Maximum 2 to 3 comments

Also read: What is SEO? Precise definitions and explanations

Image title tag to add

The title tag matches the text displayed when an Internet user hovers over the image with their mouse as a tooltip. At the moment, this field is not very important for Google in terms of indexing, but it provides additional information to the visitor during his navigation. This is not mandatory, but remember to do it on your site or blog for the convenience of your dear readers!

Correctly filled Alt (alternative text) tag

The alt tag is a short description of your image content that is displayed when the image cannot be loaded and is used as a link anchor when the image serves as a link. Although it has less impact on a page’s SEO, the “alt” attribute is taken into account by Google. On the other hand, to be referenced in Google Images it is necessary to fill in this tag.

To properly fill the “alt” attribute, it is advisable to write a short text containing the main keywords that simply and clearly characterizes the image. Here is an example: ”Google A word of advice: only fill in the “alt” tag for the images you want to see in Google Images. Exclude images that are used only for the design of the site. Excessive use of this attribute may be considered spam by Google.

image caption

The caption is essential because it gives the user information about the displayed image. A real added value to the user experience, the legend makes visual content easier to read and understand. Search engines also appreciate it because it allows them to interpret the meaning of the image. Unlike the “alt” tag, the caption is visible to the Internet user. Be sure to enter keywords that are not the same as the “alt” tag.

weight of images

We don’t think about doing it systematically, but reducing the weight of images is one of the fundamental steps in optimization. High-resolution photos should not be uploaded to your site. You will slow down your site’s loading speed dramatically. So you have to go through a tool to reduce the weight of your images, such as the online tool,, which I presented to you in the article on SEO tools.

Regarding image size, note that Google appreciates larger images larger than 500×500. Regarding image formats, Google can index the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF BMP, SVG, and WebP. BMP images should be avoided (cumbersome photos because they are not compressed). JPG is more efficient for photos, and SVG is sometimes considered by browsers.


Finally, remember to link to the page that contains the image; This is important for your SEO strategy. So write a link anchor using relevant keywords for pages that contain images.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

CDN, without going into details, is an additional data storage location (files, videos, images, etc.). These are Web-connected computers whose function is to provide content to Internet users; In our case, these are images. CDNs have several possible functions: distributing the server’s resources (reducing costs associated with bandwidth) and reducing the loading time of images for Internet users located far from the server. Finally, to finish, check that your robots.txt file does not block the indexing of images, and we also recommend you to create an image sitemap.

To finish

Remember that optimizing your images is a step that may seem daunting at first glance, but it is essential for your SEO. Once you get the right responses, it will be an integral part of your SEO operations. The most important thing if you want to keep your site manageable is to rename your images appropriately, fill in titles and alt tags, and reduce the weight of your files. With experience, this will soon become automatic!

Also Read: 5 Tips for Writing Articles That Engage Your Audience