Russ K. | 07/08/2024 | Web Development | Website Content | Tips & Advice |

5 Best Practices for Naming Images on Your Website

Aside from making sure every image has good, descriptive alt text and titles, one of the simplest things I have always told my clients they can do to help their SEO is to give their images descriptive and on-topic names. It’s easy to get busy and fall into the img00023.jpg trap, but with a little self-discipline and conscious effort you can break through the tempation to just let the file name ride.

Why should you care? Nobody sees the image name anyway, right? 

Maybe, but consider these statistics:

  • Google Images accounts for 22.6% of all internet searches.
  • Nearly 19% of all search queries on Google return images.
  • Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media.
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
  • Over 62% of millennials say they are more interested in visual search capabilities than any other new technology.

Descriptive and well-thought-out image names can help you take advantage of these statistics and get you found online, which can, in turn, drive more traffic to your site.

Based on my own experience and a little help from ChatAi, I have compiled a list of suggestions to help you make the most of the images on your webpage and make them work harder for you.

1. Use Descriptive and Relevant Names

Ensure that your image names accurately describe the content. This not only helps with SEO but also makes it easier for users and search engines to understand the context of the image.

Example:

  • Instead of: IMG1234.jpg
  • Use: red-apple.jpg

2. Incorporate Keywords Naturally

Include relevant keywords in your image names to improve search engine visibility. Avoid keyword stuffing and ensure that the keywords used are pertinent to the image content.

Example:

  • Instead of: fruit_apple_red_fresh.jpg
  • Use: fresh-red-apple.jpg

3. Use Hyphens to Separate Words

Use hyphens (-) to separate words in image filenames. Hyphens are recognized as spaces by search engines, making it easier for them to read and index your images. Don’t use underscores and spaces, which can cause parsing issues of the URL.

Example:

  • Instead of: fresh_red_apple.jpg or freshredapple.jpg
  • Use: fresh-red-apple.jpg

4. Keep Names Short and Simple

While being descriptive, keep your image names concise and to the point. Long filenames can be unwieldy and may not display fully in search results.

Example:

  • Instead of: a-very-long-descriptive-name-for-a-red-apple-on-a-white-background.jpg
  • Use: red-apple-white-bg.jpg

5. Avoid Special Characters and Capital Letters

Stick to lowercase letters, numbers, and hyphens. Special characters and capital letters can cause issues in URLs and are not always handled well by search engines.

Example:

  • Instead of: Red&Green#Apple.jpg
  • Use: red-green-apple.jpg

Although easy to ignore, properly naming your images is a simple yet effective way to boost your website's SEO and improve user experience. Considering some or all of the suggestions above can help ensure your images are easily searchable, accessible, and well-organized. Take the time to name your images thoughtfully, and you'll see the benefits in your site's performance and user engagement.

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