How to optimize your image SEO for free

Why should you care about optimizing your site's image SEO? Here are a few reasons:

  • Google Images accounts for over 25% of all web searches (source).
  • When image blocks appear at the top of regular Google search results, about 30% of the time an image is clicked rather than the text results below it (source).
  • Over 50% of online shoppers are excited about upcoming visual search technologies: snapping photos to instantly view similar products online (source).

The most important element of image SEO is making sure your images have alt text: meta tags that describe the contents of each image. Alt text helps your product images appear higher up in web searches.

Some clarifications before we start the how-to:

  • Here, we're not talking about image compression (shrinking the file size of images so that pages load faster), though the Premium plan of SEO Optimizer does that as well.
  • SEO Optimizer will not change your image files at all. It will only add alt text to your site's code.
  • You can't see alt text on your site. Like other meta tags, it is code in the background of your pages, like this:

Without that code, your images are virtually invisible to search engines. But the good news is that SEO Optimizer can tag your images with alt text for free! Here's how.

1. Go to Optimize Images in the app

Click Continue
Note: The other menu options that you see in the screenshots below are features of the Pro and Premium plans of the app. The free version has only alt text optimization.

2. Set your alt text template

We recommend using the default template that is already there, but you can customize it if you wish. If you're not sure what those variables in brackets mean, you can find an explanation of them in our full guide to templates. When you're ready, click Save Template.     

3. Click Sync Images

Your images may take a few hours to update, depending on how many images you're syncing and how many other users are in the queue. Also, it takes up to several weeks for Google and other search engines to recrawl your site and update their listings with your new information.

 And that's it! Your image SEO is now improved. 
Note: The app's Free plan has a 250-product limit on image optimization.
Within a few weeks Google will update its listings to include your images in its results:

However… there is a lot more to SEO than images. To see the full power of the app, see the rest of our Getting Started guide.
The Pro and Premium plans of the app have many more features to skyrocket your SEO with minimal effort, including:
  • Keyword optimization of meta tags and content
  • Image compression for faster page loading
  • Broken links automatically fixed and redirected
  • URL optimization
  • Sitemap generation
  • Google Rich Results through a JSON-LD schema for your entire store