Optimizing Visual Content Through Strategic Keyword Research

optimize your image with keywords

If you only add images to your site without optimizing for specific keywords, you miss out on important traffic. With some internet users searching for images, you must tap into this traffic.  Besides, there are image-sharing platforms like Pinterest,  Flickr, and Instagram where you need to use the right keywords to be noticed.

With proper keyword research for images, you will rank your images on the search engines, leading to more conversions. Therefore, you shouldn’t let your amazing image content get lost in the large sea of the internet. Use our guide to do keyword research for images and optimize them for better ranking.

Benefits of Keyword Research for Images 

A commonly used feature, Google image search relies on keywords to find images. Keyword research involves finding low-competition phrases people are using to find images in your niche so that you can optimize your images using them.

Image search engines use keywords to understand what images are about. When you optimize your image for the right keywords,  the search engines will produce the image when someone searches for an image using the keyword.

Therefore, you should choose keywords relevant to your image and site when doing image keyword research. When you do so, it will be easier for your images to be found easily, increasing the traffic to your site.

Tips on Effective Image Keyword Research

When doing keyword research for images, there are several steps you need to follow.

Determine Your Niche And Target Audience

First, you will need to determine the keywords relevant to your site. Consider the images used and the phrases you would use to describe them.  You will also want to consider your target audience and understand their search intent during this state.

You must know your target audience and what keywords they use to find images in your niche. You can use different tools like Facebook Audience and Google Analytics to get psychographic data and the demographic of your audience. Tools such as Answer the Public and QWuora cna also help you determine what people are searching for in your niche and the keywords they use to search for images.

Use Google Keyword Planner

After getting the potential keywords, you can find specific data on the keywords, such as the search volume, trends, and competition. Other tools, such as Ahrefs and Semrush, will provide this data. Check other images in your niche to understand what your competitors are ranking for. Pay attention to the tags they use in images. Research also the hashtags they are using in their images

How to Use Keywords to Optimize Images for Seo

Once you have identified keywords, you must optimize your images with them. Unless you are using them, the images will be of no use. Optimizing images requires you to place them strategically in key places. Some of the tips you can use to optimize your ideas are:

Use Keywords in the File Name and Description

Search engines use the file name and description to understand what images are about. Using the keywords in this space makes it easier to rank for that phrase. However, you should ensure that the file naked sense for search engiens and humans too. If you use several keywords in the description, avoid underscores because search engiens will struggle to understand them. 

Add keywords to your image file names.

Use the Keyword in the Alternative Text

While users cna see an image and understand it, search engines may not. Using the target keyword in the alt text will also help search engines to understand your image. A good alt text will help them understand the context. It will also help when the image fails to be loaded, as search engines can still understand it.

The alt text should be written in more detail than the file name. Use 10 to 15 characters to describe the image. For existing images, you cna use our tips to check if an image has alt text.

Quality of Image

A high-quality image can help improve users’ experience and the time spent on your page. This can send the right signal to the search engines that your images meet the search intent.

Use Keywords in Captions

Captions are the words that are located below the image and are a summary of the image. But unlike alt text and file names, captions are visible to the site user. They also help users who are visually impaired or use a screen reader to understand the image. When you include the keyword in the caption, it can help the accessibility of the visuals. Therefore,t may increase the website engagement and other metrics.

While optimizing your images for SEO is good, you should avoid keyword stuffing as this may affect SEO.  Ensure that the text is concise and focuses on describing the image well.

Site Maps

Search engines use sitemaps to crawl and index images. According to Google, a site map is a location where you list the web pages of your site. It helps organic your site, telling yosearhc engines about your web pages and site structures.

 Therefore, you will improve your chances of ranking for images when crawl spiders can find your site. Let them know the location of your images, video thumbnails, memes, infographics and more.

Make the Image Mobile-Friendly

Google and most other image search engines use a mobile-first approach when indexing sites. This means that crawlers will first check the mobile version of a site. To optimize your site for mobile devices, you should ensure the images are optimized for mobile devices. Ensure that you have keyword-rich text that complements your images.

Add keywords in image alt text.


While finding the right keyword for your site can be hard, it’s essential if you will rank your images well. Well-optimized images and marketing text are a combination no one can beat. By including your images in areas in the description, Alt tag and filename, you can improve the discoverability on the search engines. Therefore, you can use these tips to do keyword research for images and optimize them.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.