Image Name File Name

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Image File Name


Image file name is the least important of the HTML attributes for optimization; however it’s still something to consider when optimizing your site’s SEO. It is parsed and provides some SEO moxie, but the positive correlation is minimal at best. Will the file name you choose for your image ensure you achieve the highest rank on every search engine? No. Should you still care about the name? Yes. It isn’t the most important tool in your SEO toolbox, but it’s there for a reason and is incredibly useful when used properly. When considering what to name an image for your website, consider what the image physically and conceptually represents, and then choose a descriptive name that is both unique and concise. It’s a simple way to get more visitors to your website. Think about what someone would be typing in their search engine to find an image like yours. Choose a relevant file name to make it easier for people to find both the image and your website.

Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name
Image Name File Name

A Picture Isn’t Worth a Thousand Words

Let's imagine you've chosen a lovely rose as an image on your website for your floral business. It is a classic ruby red rose in full bloom on a sunny day in the center of the White House Rose Garden. It is so crisp and clear you can feel the sun on your back as you smell the perfume of your perfect rose blending with that of the hundreds of others surrounding you. You could simply leave this file named IMG_1110.JPG and be done with it. It's easier, right? You've already taken the time to find the perfect image, and a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Yes and no.

Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name Image Name File Name
Image Name File Name

Unique Image

The conventional wisdom is that it is always better to use a unique image when you are able. However, if your ability to generate content greatly outweighs your love of photography, this can be quite challenging. Of course, you should provide your own images whenever possible, even if they are simply edits of compilations of other images you found from another source. However, sometimes you can't or don't have time and so you turn to stock images. Even if you are using a stock image from a creative commons source that millions of other people are using, you can still make the image uniquely yours with the file name you choose.

Image Name File Name Image Name File Name
Image Name File Name

Be Concise

While it is important to be unique when giving an image a file name, it is also incredibly important to be concise. This isn't the place where you want to stuff all of the keywords for your article just to make sure you've covered everything. If the image you chose is of a yellow rose bud in the morning light with drops of dew kissing the petals, you don't want to name the image ‘red-rose-yellow-rose-pink-rose-pollination-best-way-to-attract-bees.JPG'. Instead, look for a way to incorporate one main idea that is also relevant to the image such as ‘yellow-rosebud-dew' or ‘yellow-rose-morning.' What you choose should be unique and descriptive but try to limit the name to a few words and no more than one keyword or concept.

Image Name File Name

Social Media and Image Search Relevancy

Image Name File Name

Search Engine Crawlers and Image File Names

Finding the Right Tool


As mentioned before, image file name creation is only one of the tools in your SEO toolbox. It’s not the hammer or the screwdriver that you are always reaching for; it’s more like the screwdriver that comes with glasses repair kits. You almost never even think about it until your glasses come apart, and you need something small and mostly insignificant to fix your glasses. Use the image file name to your advantage. Use it intentionally with every image you upload to accompany a piece of content to help readers find you. It’s this consistent inclusion of the tiniest piece of information that can make the greatest impact overall.

A Picture Isn’t Worth a Thousand Words

Let’s imagine you’ve chosen a lovely rose as an image on your website for your floral business. It is a classic ruby red rose in full bloom on a sunny day in the center of the White House Rose Garden. It is so crisp and clear you can feel the sun on your back as you smell the perfume of your perfect rose blending with that of the hundreds of others surrounding you. You could simply leave this file named IMG_1110.JPG and be done with it. It’s easier, right? You’ve already taken the time to find the perfect image, and a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Yes and no.

Yes, the image will likely evoke the emotional response you are hoping for in the readers who see it. Of course, they have to see it first which is where the “no” comes in. It’s fine for those visitors who are already familiar with the website and frequently visit because they already know how awesome you are, but is that enough? Most people do want to make their existing customers happy and give them valuable content, but to grow it is necessary to bring new visitors to your website. An image with only the basic file name provided by your camera when you took the shot or the stock directory where you purchased the image will do absolutely nothing for the search engines, which will only see the image file name. You have to paint a picture with your words with the image file name if you want the search engines to find it when someone is looking for a beautiful rose image. The image itself is for the potential customers visiting your site; the image’s file name is to help the search engines lead them to you.

Unique Image

The conventional wisdom is that it is always better to use a unique image when you are able. However, if your ability to generate content greatly outweighs your love of photography, this can be quite challenging. Of course, you should provide your own images whenever possible, even if they are simply edits of compilations of other images you found from another source. However, sometimes you can’t or don’t have time and so you turn to stock images. Even if you are using a stock image from a creative commons source that millions of other people are using, you can still make the image uniquely yours with the file name you choose. If the terms of use require that you give credit and link to the image source you can still do that. Simply change the name of the file before you upload it to your site to something that will draw readers to the article it is illustrating.

Imagine still that you’re in the floral business, and you’re posting a blog about the pollination of roses. While you’re probably more than capable of taking a stunning image of one of your rose arrangements, it could become quite tedious trying to capture an image of a bee pollinating a perfect rose. This is where stock images can be incredibly useful. You search through your favorite photo source and select a stunning image that is perfect for your content. You could leave that image titled as you found it or you could make it unique to your content. If the stock photo source named the image ‘bee_and_rose’ you could rename it ‘bee_pollinates_rose,’ ‘pollination_of_rose,’ or some other description that accurately describes the image and is relevant to your blog article. Just because the image wasn’t unique doesn’t mean you are stuck with the file name it was given. Use your creativity to make it unique and speak for your content.

Be Concise

While it is important to be unique when giving an image a file name, it is also incredibly important to be concise. This isn’t the place where you want to stuff all of the keywords for your article just to make sure you’ve covered everything. If the image you chose is of a yellow rose bud in the morning light with drops of dew kissing the petals, you don’t want to name the image ‘red-rose-yellow-rose-pink-rose-pollination-best-way-to-attract-bees.JPG’. Instead, look for a way to incorporate one main idea that is also relevant to the image such as ‘yellow-rosebud-dew’ or ‘yellow-rose-morning.’ What you choose should be unique and descriptive but try to limit the name to a few words and no more than one keyword or concept.

Just as you don’t want to see spam in your inbox, people and search engines don’t want to see spam in file names. Your goal is to deliver the content you want to share and people want to read in a way that is easy to find. You can make sure your concepts are all illustrated by choosing additional images that are applicable to each of the keywords instead of trying to fit them all into one image file name.

Social Media and Image Search Relevancy

The image search function used by many search engines has become a popular way for readers to find new content. Social media platforms like Pinterest rely on images to help people organize the content they love and want to reference and share with their friends. People who process and organize visually will search this way and be drawn to the images that seem to represent what they are looking for well before they will notice the title of that content. In order to grab this demographic, you need an accurate file name that accurately describes both the image and content. This makes the image more searchable both within the platform and on traditional search engines. Ignoring this practice is essentially the same as saying Pinterest isn’t a viable and valuable tool for generating interest in your content. As anyone who has spent an entire afternoon on Pinterest can tell you, it’s a good way to find new ideas on virtually any topic which means it is a great way for people to find you.

Search Engine Crawlers and Image File Names

Ultimately, everything you publish online has to be written for both interested readers and the search engine crawlers. It isn’t one or the other anymore; it is both. You can’t just write content stuffed with keywords and expect search engines to find you; they’ve evolved too much for that. Search engines will rank pages filled to the brim with keywords very low, and your website will suffer for it.

Search engine crawlers seek relevant, well-written content that is optimized for the Web and mobile devices. Websites that follow these rules will always rank the highest. Experts designed search engine crawlers to sift through the mountains of content, created by people all over the world. Content that is published on billions of websites and blogs. Image file names are one thing that these search engine crawlers search for when considering how and where to rank a web page. Every piece of the puzzle is important. Always give your image files relevant names. Think about what people will be searching for when seeking an image like the one you are uploading to your website. How will they find it? Get more hits with a good image file name.

The primary goal when uploading an image to accompany your content is to give your text a little boost. To give visitors who read it something to bring it to life, to illustrate a point or to help them make a connection. Images are also a good way to break up the text to make it easier for people to read. Studies tell us that website visitors love to scan. Uploading an image to your web page or blog helps give the reader something else to look at, thus giving their eyes a moment to scan. This is why we teach children to read with books that are mostly pictures at first because images are what draw people in and make reading fun. It helps children learn the words in the book. However, the only way to bring those readers to your website to see the image is to make sure the search engine crawlers hunting through the Internet can find it and deliver it to the audience most likely to want to see it, and the content it goes with. Using relevant image file names will help you do just that.

Many website owners do not use file names for their images, making it that much more valuable when you do. You can boost your web traffic, bring in more hits and ultimately get higher rankings on search engines with well thought out image file names.

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