SEO for Images and Video – Tips on How to Optimise Non-Text Content

seo for images

When it comes to best SEO practices, a simple Google search can bring up a multitude of hints, tips and advice on how to best optimise for text-based content. However as we know Google are all about trying to create an all-round user friendly experience and tend to reward sites that do. As a result, many websites are now beginning to utilise images and video as well as purely text-based content. So can we optimise for these as well and if so…how?

Let’s take a look!

SEO for Images

Choosing the right format

You may be aware that images come in a variety of formats; however one thing you may not know is that Google will not index every image type. Therefore make sure that your image is compatible. If you stick to images that are GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, WebP and SVG you won’t go far wrong.

Naming the image file with a keyword related meaning

When uploading an image file always use a relevant keyword relating to the image. For instance if your picture was of a pink polar bear, then you may want to label it ‘Pink-Polar-Bear.Jpeg’ Google will recognise this and it may be picked up in the SERPS. If on the other hand you forget to label it and the automatic picture coding is ‘img.12754.jpeg’ for example, you’re going to upload a code that has nothing to do with the image, giving it zero chance of being picked up. Always label your images!

Placing helpful text

Try to always keyword the meta-description text also. This is the text that gets noticed if you hover your mouse over the image. Don’t ‘keyword stuff’ it, but a few descriptive choice words will help.

Referencing the image

Help the search engines to pick up your image by making reference to it in your text. By making reference to it within your written content it will give the search engine a better chance of making a connection between the image and your content. Although it sounds simple it really helps image SEO

Tell the Search engines where your image is

Finally just to make doubly sure your image is optimised for the search engine, you need to make it easy for the search engine to find it. To do this you’ll need to submit an image site map to your webmaster. Google site maps for example make it really easy to add an image site map and there’s plenty of information on the internet explaining exactly how to do this.


SEO for Video

Format means everything

Like images, Google can only index certain formats, so make sure that if you upload a video to your site it’s either in MPEG, MPG, M4V, RAM, AVI, RA, ASF, MOV, WMV, FLV, RM or SWF.

Give it a name

Again similarly to images you should be looking to name your video related to your keywords. This is a great way in which the search engines can find and pick up your video content.

Carry this through into title tags and meta-descriptions.

Keyword selection is crucial to the search engines in having an understanding of what your video is about. As such your video title should reflect the keywords that users are searching for. Also the meta description is just as important .YouTube for example has 5000 character spaces for a meta description, however Google only recognise the first 156 before they cut off. So make sure you get relevant keywords in early. Finally use ‘alt’ tags in the description to hammer home the real essence of your video.

Only one video per page

From a search engine perspective it’s a good idea to only host one video per page. If you have for example a whole lot of cake recipes you’d like to share, then it isn’t good practice to cram them all onto one page. Instead it may be better to create a lead video which you can optimise for and then have the remaining videos leading off this page.

Share and share alike

If you want your video to get more exposure then you may want to look at sharing and embedding with specific anchor text. The more people embed and share your video, the better the search engines are going to love you. So as far as SEO is concerned, share and share alike!

Submit video sitemap

By submitting a video site map to the webmaster, it will not only allow the search engine to find it easily, but in many cases, Google will also include a rich snippet in the SERP results.

Turn non-written content into written content

Another tip is to have your video transcribed. Institutions such as YouTube or Wistia provide transcription services for a small fee or in some cases free of charge. So why not make use of it? In addition, you then have written content that you can re-purpose for your blog, newsletter, eBook etc.


So there you have it… If you follow the tips above, you can really make the most of your non-written content in regard to SEO in order to keep you one step ahead of your competition.

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About Author

Declan Clancy

Declan Clancy

Declan Clancy is an enthusiastic, results oriented and creative Digital Marketer with 9 years hands on experience across digital channels. In his last role as Group Digital Marketing Manager for Trigon Hotels, Declan was responsible for the ecommerce strategy and implementation for their 3 hotels. While at Trigon Hotels, Declan won Best use of Twitter for a Large Business at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for his work for Cork International Hotel. Declan holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Cork.

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