With the bulk of my clientele coming from the photography industry, you can imagine a large part of our conversations revolves around their website images. We all know that great photos are a vital piece of the design puzzle. However, images are more than just a visual aspect of your site. They also play a role in ensuring your website is optimized for search engines. In this post, I’ve put together some helpful tips on How to Name Your Images for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


Google’s Suggestions for Naming Images

To start things off, I turned directly to Google for their input. After all, they are the ultimate search engine! They created a helpful guide called the SEO STARTER GUIDE (highly recommended).

Here are a few of their suggestions of what NOT to do:

  • Avoid using generic names, such as “photo1.jpg” or “clientname.jpg”
  • Do NOT keyword stuff your titles or give your images excessively long names


So, how should images be named for SEO?

The best advice I can give you is to describe the image in a way that is searchable. Create a descriptive filename that is image-specific.

These are a few things to consider when naming your images:

  • What type of environment is the photo taken in? Urban, rustic, nature, industrial, studio…
  • Who/what does the image actually show? Is it from a wedding? A portrait session with a senior, family, children, etc…
  • Where was the image taken specifically in terms of city/state?



This is crucial, as it creates a longtail keyword for Google– which tells them all of these words go together for searchability. Never use empty spaces, no spacing, or underscores.



Ultimately, what you want to avoid is having image names that are forever long and look spammy. Gone are the days of stringing twenty words together into one photo title (thankfully)! What are the main keywords for your business? Mix those keywords in, but don’t limit yourself to only using those words. Get creative and stay specific to the image you are naming. Ideally, you will want to keep it down to 5-6 words per filename. Avoid using anything more.


This also applies to blog post images

While this isn’t the most fun you will ever have with your business, it is something that will likely see results from doing.Yes, it’s tedious, but the extra time you take to ensure your images are all strategically named will help boost your site for SEO. Once you get into the habit, you’ll quickly see that it’s not hard to do.


Name Your Images for SEO, website tips by Holli True Designs


If you apply these tips to your website and/or blog images, we would love to know! Be sure to leave a comment and share your successes with us! Let’s start a conversation! Happy re-naming!


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Website designer, professional photographer, industry educator, and creator of Holli True Designs. Fifteen years of experience as a business owner has taught me about the importance of building an authentic brand and having a strong, definitive online presence. 

Since 2012, I have been helping Photographers and Creatives from all over the world create beautiful, authentic brands and websites that truly standout. My design style is best described as editorial and bold, with an emphasis on typography. If you're ready for a kick ass site that is branded with style and personality, I'm your girl!

My career as a photographer lead me to a passion for Design & Branding

I'm Holli True

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