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Image Naming Strategy Enhances Search Engine Optimization

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Image naming make an important contribution to search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO.

Image file names help SEO for two important reasons:

  1. They signal to search engines something useful about the content on the page.
  2. Search engines will index the images in an image database. It may offer another source of traffic to a website from image database searchers.

An image naming convention begins with an understanding that the image file name doesn’t have to mimic the dominant keyword of the article where the image appears. Instead, the opportunity exists for making the image file name a synonym that may capture yet another niche keyword audience.

In reality, the image file name is one of three opportunities to explore synonyms that enhance search engine optimization and at the same time avoid keyword stuffing. They are:

  1. File names.
  2. Alt tags, which describe the content of the image for the visually impaired. But search engines also use Alt tags to understand the content of the image and index it accordingly.
  3. Captions, which add verbal context to the image.

Anyone who uses the exact same words for the file name, the alt tag and the caption is not only losing an opportunity for more effective SEO but also running the risk of overloading the same keyword.

Image File Naming Convention

The first priority is the file name because presumably the image exists prior to creating the alt tag or the caption.

Long tail keywords are especially important in search engine optimization because they have high appeal for narrow targeting of niche audiences. In general most experts believe that long tail keywords are phrases with at least three words in them.

Anyone who has tried to name an image file with four or more words may find right away that the file name looks clunky and awkward. So three words is a good target for an image file name.

Once the image has a file name of three words, it is easier to target four words in the alt tag and even more so in the caption. Captions in particular have plenty of room for more text.

As a result, it means anyone who uses a strategy of image naming for SEO can accomplish multiple objectives and multiple keyword phrases beginning with the name of the file itself.

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