Image marketing is an integral part of the search engine optimization process and while it builds search strength for the host web site there is a secondary marketing opportunity that is often over looked and that to build strength in your brand via Google images. Bing, Yahoo and MSN also have image search but for the purpose of this short article I will focus solely on Google images.
On the top left hand corner of the Google search page you will see Google images – click on it and you will be able to search though billions of images by keyword. Google uses a search spider called the Google Image Bot which only indexes images results and this is a different Bot from Google's conventional search process and the primary difference between the two Bots is that the image Bot will visit your web site less frequently probably only once every 4 to 6 months compared to once every week for the traditional search bot.
The Google Image search algorithm is based on the following image attributes:
As well as interpreting the theme of the page the Bot will also assess the copy text surrounding the image for relevance to the keyword.
Canon cameras produce file names similar to IMG_1234.jpg – and how many people search for images called 'IMG_1234.jpg? (Other cameras use different file formats but all are equally generic.) I would advocate that a search of that nature would be very rare.
Therefore, it would make sense to name the photo using the most popular keyword that would apply to that particular image. If the image were a photo of a Black Labrador Puppy, I would rename the image to black-labrador-puppy.jpg.
The Alt tag (for those familiar with HTML) is used to describe an image in text browsers – okay in 2011 no one uses text browsers and this is a throwback to the days of dial-up when there was an option to turn of images to speed up the download process: the browser would only download the Alt tag. It is important that the Alt tag describes the image and in today's world of 'search' the Google Image Bot uses the Alt tag. I would suggest that the Alt tag include the same keywords used in the image name eg 'Black Labrador Puppy'
Now we have an image called black-labrador-puppy.jpg with an Alt tag of 'Black Labrador Puppy' and if the image is surrounded bay copy discussing black Labrador puppies in a page with a theme which involves black Labrador puppies The Google Image Bot will look on your image very well for inclusion into the database with a high search ranking.
What I have described above should be executed on all images within a website not only to search engine optimize your web site but also to market your brand via image marketing.