Should I Name My Images for SEO?

We often get asked, “how can we increase our SEO?”


Well, there are actually a few simple ways to help increase your rankings, or at least have google pay a bit more attention to your page. It starts with, naming your images before uploading to your website.

When thinking about names for your images, you don’t want to abuse the privilege by using the same keywords over and over, that will actually hurt your rankings rather than increase them. For example, you’re an interior designer and your business name is “Design by Nancy”, you DO NOT want to name everything “design by Nancy kitchen”. You want to be more creative and hone in on what the image actually is.

That said, let’s debunk those myths for today’s SEO and make sure you are avoiding “spammy” image naming.

Here’s Google’s Advice for Image Names:

This is not information that we’re coming up with, it comes straight from Google. In Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, they state:

Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames are best when they’re short, but descriptive.

Google recommends avoiding writing extremely lengthy filenames and avoiding copy/pasting entire sentences.

So what does that mean for your blog, website, etc.?

Guidelines SEO Image Naming:

Keep Your Filename Relevant With Your Image

Tip number one, ask yourself what the image actually represents? Once you figure that out, name your image to correspond accordingly. If you have a kitchen design with white cabinets, pumpkins on the counter, and a pumpkin pie straight out of the over, name the image something like, “pumpkin-pie-season.”

Do Not Keyword Stuff:

This could be your worst mistake, and we see many people doing it. Don’t make your image name a keyword bomb. For example, to match above, “Design-by-nancy-pumpkin-season-kitchen-interior-design.” That is not good.

Keep the title short, sweet, and straight to the point.

Keep It Short and Simple:

Try to keep image names to no more than 4 words or fewer.  If your image name is getting into 6-7+ word territory, you’re probably keyword stuffing. Rein it back in.

Although most images, when you upload them, read to be something like – IMG7482.jpg, this is not correct. YES, it is short, but not descriptive. Be descriptive.

Separate Words with Hyphens:

On a technical note, separate words in the image name with hyphens.  This helps search engines read and understand the image name better. Again, similar to “pumpkin-pie-season.”

To Sum It Up:

Yes, it may seem to be a bit much to name EVERY SINGLE image that is on your website, but the effort will pay off. Keep those descriptions short, sweet, and to the point.

If you have any other SEO questions or would like to chat with Centerlyne about how we can help, click here and shoot us a note!

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