Few people use sitemaps effectively, and fewer actually use their images effectively. Even though most will think of SEO as just text content, it actually includes all content on your pages such as images and code functions.
What I’d like to point out is a simple process of making sure that you can maximize your SEO using the images that are on your pages.
1. Make sure ALL images have a descriptive ALT tag.
By doing this, you’re not only helping the plain-text SEO, but you’re also helping Google and other services index your site correctly if you follow that simple step. Not sure if you are using the ALT Tags correctly? Check your site at DomainTools. You will see something that looks a lot like this:
Images: 1 (Alt tags missing: 0)
Ready to take this to the next level? Good.
2. After you’ve verified your site, created a sitemap, submitted it to the major search engines, you can then select an option in Google Webmaster Tools called “Enhanced Image Search”. The really great thing about this service is that you can begin to index your site in a whole new way. So how do I do this again? Glad you asked. Here’s the instructions per Google:
What does it mean to opt-in to enhanced image search?
If you choose to opt in to enhanced image search, Google may use tools such as Google Image Labeler to associate the images included in your site with labels that will improve indexing and search quality of those images.
To opt in to enhanced image search:
Once you have opted in to enhanced image search, you can opt out at any time by returning to this page and clearing the checkbox.
If you’re really bored, Google Image Labeler is actually a pretty fun way to pass the time. You and a random partner pair up and start guessing what a picture should be called. Now the idea, for Google, is not to take just your matching suggestion, but also to try and associate all of the terms that were suggested during that and that’s how they improve their “algorithm”.
3. Use image names the same way that blogs create permalinks. For example. This blog will have a permalink like “sneaky-seo-using-google-images-to-your-advantage” in the URL. So, go start describing your images and make sure that they are the same within the code.
These things do matter and show up in different types of search engine algorithms. Use this tip to your advantage.