Shimon Sandler

Optimizing Photo Galleries

Having your images or photos appear in the Search Results can mean a lot of incoming visits to your site. Many sites create photo galleries. So, why does one image appear for a site, and no images appear for another site? There are several reasons. Without going into great detail, I’m going to discuss Webpage Elements, Information Architecture, Increasing Page Speed, and Internal Linking.

Webpage Elements:
Let’s start with the basic page structure. Make sure all webpages are optimized. They should have an optimized unique Title tag (or optimized dynamic schema) on every page, optimized URL structure, H1 tag, Alt attributes, and sufficient body text.

Key Factors:
1) URL structure.
2) Title tags.
3) Meta Descriptions.
4) H1 tags.
5) Alt attributes.
6) Inbound links/anchor text.
7) File nomenclature – keywords used in the image filename provide additional relevancy.
8 ) Use Breadcrumb navigation.

Taking care of the basics like the above factors are very important, and especially important for Keyword rankings. Take note of the Alt attributes. Every image should have a Alt Attribute. Each image filename should use descriptive keywords…not some ID number. Use optimized anchor text whenever internal linking to an image.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Breadcrumb navigation. It’s a great way to internally link back to the previous page.

Information Architecture:
Next, make sure your Information Architecture is properly structured. Create content silos.
In a music site this would be a consideration in the: Photo Gallery hub, Artist Gallery page, Artist Aggregation page, Gallery page, photo detail page. Use keyword rich URLs. For example:

Organize your content. Eg: Photo Gallery hub, Artist Gallery page, Artist Aggregation page, Gallery page, photo detail page. Use a schema for the Main photos hub, the Artist Hub, the gallery page, the image page.

Increasing Page Speed:
This is has become an important ranking & usability metric since Google is incorporating page speed in search rankings…(Youtube video).

It is very important to specify the width and the height of your images in your HTML code. Since the text of your page usually loads faster, if you don’t specify the width and the height of your images the browser will have to reposition the text once the pictures load, consuming more time.

Reduce image file sizes. If you cut 40% off the file size of every image you optimize, you have cut almost 40% off the combined size of your entire page for every reader. That’s a lot of extra speed.

Besides just optimizing images, I’d recommend optimizing your entire site for Page Speed using Google’s Web Performance Best Practices.

Internal Linking:
When combined with other on-site optimization tactics, cross linking can help generate top keyword rankings across the major search engines. Choose your landing page wisely, and link consistently & persistently throughout the site.

Use anchor text. For example, a photo of an Artist should use the artistname+”pictures”. Anchor text for links to gallery pages should use the gallery name. Anchor text to individual images should use the image title.

When Thumbnails are too small for adjacent anchor text, incorporate a hover DIV that includes spiderable text links with the appropriate anchor text.

Use cross linking within the body text of the page to allow search engines latent semantic indexing to extract synergies between keyword anchor text and the surrounding copy.

Doing these things will be extremely helpful in getting your images to appear in the Image results, blended universal search, and overall keyword rankings.

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  1. What is the role of Article to back link?

  2. It is also worth creating XML image sitemaps. Specifically designed by Google, they allow you to add additional image information. Although other search engines will parse them, I would recommend keeping them separate to your general URL sitemaps as Google is currently the only company supporting them. In addition the IPTC’s new schema is worth looking at to present embedded image META data.

  3. Hey Shimon!

    Just found your article on google! Thanks for great info! Definitely applying this!! Thanks for sharing my friend!

  4. Should all the images be loaded onto one page or should each image be it’s ‘own’ node. I’m using Drupal so it could be done either way.

    What do you think is best from an SEO perspective?

  5. Binitha says:

    It is a wonderful article, actually i was checking out some article related to optimize my images and this really helped..

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