A Less Used but Effective Way to Optimize Images

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There are very few websites out there that don’t utilize images. For almost every client whose website I’ve worked on, they will have at least one image (i.e., a logo). Most individuals have read that by implementing the keyword within the image’s alt tag, your webpage’s “SEO-ness” value will increase, enhancing the likelihood for that particular website to keyword on search engines.

But did you know that there is another effective way to utilize your keyword for images?

It’s quite simple, really, but I would say that a very small number of websites that I come across make use of it: naming the image file with a keyword.

You see, I still come across many images that are labeled “img005.jpg” or “john.jpg.” Not only will properly labeling images (while using a keyword) make it easier for you to find and organize images in a folder, but it will offer another aspect to search engines to help them determine what the image is about.

Example of Image File Names

Instead of keeping the default name for your image of your company’s homebuilding crew, such as “img04.jpg,” rename the image file before you upload it to your website with a relevant keyword. For example:


Also, it has been noted on various SEO blogs that it’s best to separate words within the image file with hyphens (similar to URLs), as it helps the search engines separate words (as they read them as spaces).

It should be noted that image file names and alt descriptions should be related to the image. Making a dozen blank images and naming them with keywords is spammy and could result in a penalty. Always make sure that your images are properly labeled.


Although optimizing the image file names primarily helps images rank on image searches, I feel that it can also aid in the website’s rankings in standard searches.

I tried to find a study of the overall benefits in various SEO blogs, but couldn’t find anything that useful. If any of you reading this come across a post which displays an actual analysis of its benefits, please share it in the comments below.


AJ Wilcox

Excellent point! There are so many pieces to page optimizations that we often leave out things as important as the image name itself, or image alt attributes. I haven’t found any blogs touting the benefits of doing these properly individually, but I definitely have seen the effects of doing page optimizations properly around a keyword. Thanks for your post!

Clint Eagar

True, one of my sites gets about 100 visits a month from Google Image Search because of good image names and alt text. It works, it really does!

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