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How to name images for SEO?

How to name images for SEO?

How to name images for SEO?

SEO isn’t just about text. Your images play a crucial role too. But how often do we overlook the naming of our images? Let’s dive into the art of naming images for SEO and see how it can make a significant difference to your website’s visibility.

Why Image Names Matter in SEO

First things first, why bother with image names? Well, search engines like Google can’t ‘see’ images the way we do. They rely on text – the image file name, alt text, and surrounding content – to understand and index them. Properly named images can boost your SEO efforts, improve your site’s accessibility, and even increase engagement and conversion rates.

Understanding the Basics of Image SEO

Before we delve into naming, let’s touch on the basics of image SEO:

  • Relevance: Your images should be relevant to the content they accompany.
  • Quality: High-quality images appeal more to users and can reduce bounce rates.
  • Format and Size: Opt for web-friendly formats like JPEG or PNG and keep file sizes low for faster loading times.

The Dos of Naming Images for SEO

  1. Be Descriptive and Concise: Use clear, descriptive language that reflects the image content. Avoid vague names like ‘image1.jpg’ and go for specific, keyword-rich names like ‘homemade-chocolate-chip-cookies.jpg’.
  2. Use Keywords Wisely: Incorporate relevant keywords that align with your content strategy. However, avoid keyword stuffing as it can negatively impact SEO.
  3. Keep It Simple and Readable: Use simple language and avoid over-complicating names. Think about how someone might search for your image.
  4. Use Hyphens to Separate Words: Instead of underscores or spaces, use hyphens to separate words in your image file names. For example, ‘fresh-summer-salad.jpg’ is more SEO-friendly than ‘fresh_summer_salad.jpg’.
  5. Be Consistent: Adopt a consistent naming convention across your website. This helps with organisation and improves user experience.

The Don’ts of Naming Images for SEO

  1. Don’t Use Non-Alphanumeric Characters: Avoid using characters like &, %, $, which can cause issues with browsers and search engines.
  2. Avoid Overly Long Names: While descriptive, don’t go overboard. Keep your file names reasonably short.
  3. Don’t Mislead With Your Names: Ensure the name accurately reflects the image. Misleading names can harm user trust and your site’s credibility.

Best Practices Beyond Naming

  • Alt Text: Always include alt text. It’s essential for accessibility and provides context to search engines.
  • Context Matters: The content surrounding your image should be relevant. This context helps search engines understand the image better.
  • Image Sitemaps: Consider creating an image sitemap. It can help search engines discover images they might not find through crawling.

How to Rename Existing Images for SEO

If you have a website with many images, it’s worth taking the time to rename them. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Identify Images That Need Renaming: Look for non-descriptive file names or those not following your chosen convention.
  2. Rename Carefully: Update the names following the best practices outlined above.
  3. Update Image References: Don’t forget to update the image references in your website’s HTML or CMS to match the new names.
  4. Redirect if Necessary: If your images are linked externally or have significant traffic, consider implementing redirects from the old file names to the new ones.


Naming images for SEO is a simple yet effective way to enhance your website’s SEO strategy. By thoughtfully naming each image, you not only boost your site’s visibility but also enhance user experience and accessibility. Remember, every element on your website, including images, plays a part in your overall SEO performance. So, next time you upload an image, give its name the attention it deserves! Want to know more about SEO? Click here to contact us today!

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