How to Name Images for SEO

How to Name Images for SEO

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, standing out can be challenging. Did you know that something as simple as how you name your images can dramatically impact your website’s search engine ranking? Yes, it’s true! By implementing strategic image naming practices, you can enhance your site’s SEO and attract more visitors.

Imagine doubling your website traffic just by renaming your image files. It sounds almost too good to be true, but countless businesses have seen significant improvements by adopting these easy-to-apply techniques. In this guide, we will uncover the secrets behind effectively naming your images to boost your SEO.

Why Image Naming Matters for SEO

Search engines like Google rely on text data to understand and index the content of web pages. Since search engines cannot “see” images, they depend on the text associated with images to comprehend their context. Properly naming your images helps search engines index them accurately, improving your site’s visibility and potentially driving more traffic to your site.

Best Practices for Naming Images for SEO

Use Descriptive, Relevant Keywords

  • When naming your images, use clear and descriptive filenames that reflect the image content. Incorporate relevant keywords that align with your overall SEO strategy.
  • Example: Instead of naming an image “IMG001.jpg,” a more descriptive name would be “chocolate-cake-recipe.jpg.” This not only helps search engines understand what the image is about but also improves the chances of appearing in image search results.

Keep It Concise and Informative

  • While it’s essential to be descriptive, it’s equally important to keep filenames concise. Aim for a balance between descriptiveness and brevity.
  • Example: A filename like “delicious-homemade-chocolate-cake-recipe.jpg” is informative but a bit lengthy. A more concise alternative would be “homemade-chocolate-cake.jpg.

Use Hyphens to Separate Word

  • Search engines read hyphens as spaces, which helps in understanding the content of the image. Avoid using underscores, as search engines do not interpret them as word separators.
  • Example: “red-velvet-cupcake.jpg” is preferable over “red_velvet_cupcake.jpg.”

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

  • While incorporating keywords is beneficial, overloading your filenames with too many keywords (keyword stuffing) can be counterproductive and may be seen as spammy by search engines. Stick to a natural, readable format that accurately describes the image without overdoing it.
  • Example: Instead of “delicious-chocolate-cake-recipe-best-chocolate-cake.jpg,” use “delicious-chocolate-cake.jpg.”

Be Specific

  • General filenames like “image1.jpg” or “photo.jpg” do little to help with SEO. Being specific not only aids in better indexing but also provides a clearer context for users.
  • Example: If you have an image of a beach sunset in Bali, “beach-sunset-in-bali.jpg” is more descriptive than just “sunset.jpg.”

Additional Tips for Image SEO

Use Alt Text Wisely

  • Alt text (alternative text) is used within the HTML of a webpage to describe the appearance and function of an image. It is crucial for accessibility and also for SEO. Ensure your alt text is descriptive and includes relevant keywords but, like filenames, avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Example: For an image named “beach-sunset-in-bali.jpg,” the alt text could be “A beautiful sunset over the beach in Bali.”

Optimise Image Size and Format

  • Large images can slow down your website, affecting user experience and SEO. Compress images to reduce file size without compromising quality. Use appropriate formats such as JPEG for photographs and PNG for graphics with transparent backgrounds.
  • Example: Compress an image from 5MB to 500KB while maintaining its quality, and save a photograph as “holiday-photo.jpg” in JPEG format for better performance.

Implement Structured Data

  • Using schema markup to add structured data to your images can enhance their visibility in search results. Structured data provides additional context to search engines, making it easier for them to understand your content.
  • Example: Use to add metadata about an image, such as its caption, license, and creator.


Naming images for SEO is a simple yet powerful practice that can significantly enhance your site’s search engine performance. By following these best practices—using descriptive and relevant keywords, keeping filenames concise, using hyphens, avoiding keyword stuffing, and being specific—you can improve the visibility of your images and, consequently, your website.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires attention to detail in every aspect of your site, including how you name your images. Implement these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a more SEO-friendly website.

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