There are various means of link building for your website, some good, some not so good. And while many of you will concentrate solely on using written content to create links, images within a site should not be overlooked either. In fact image SEO can be a useful tool for marketing your website and for creating those all important inbound links.
Using the images on your website as a means of link building is probably the last thing you will consider when it comes to increasing traffic or improving your ranking. But as I will explain, there are many benefits to using images to build links:
Benefit 1: Image links help form a natural linking profile. Even if you do not think any of your images are linked, you will find that many of the do turn up as external links. Although this may seem surprising, it is not unusual, and finding a website that doesn’t have a single image link is practically impossible!
Benefit 2: Images will be noticed first. It is natural human behavior to notice images before textual content, which means that images have the potential to generate more traffic than your usual text links.
Benefit 3: Image links do not leak link juice, like text links can.
Benefit 4: Image links can be optimized with keywords. Just as we use anchor text for hyperlinks, an image link can be attributed with alt text which will allow you to optimize your image links using keywords you want to rank for.
Benefit 5: Image links will show up in image search results. Ever used Google images? Imagine having your site’s images appear there. many webmasters have discovered they can drive large amounts of traffic from the likes of Google Images.
Benefit 6: Images hold the potential to go viral. Imagine being able to build even more links by going viral with your images. For instance, a cartoon or funny photograph is likely to circulate around the web very quickly, and if your accompanying text says something funny too, then the image becomes even more interesting. Going viral means your images can have the potential to be linked through thousands of people, especially through the likes of social media.
But before you set about filling your website with hundreds of images of cute kittens in awkward situations, do remember that images should be relevant to the keywords you are aiming to rank for, and to what people are searching for. It is also advisable to keep the number and size of you images to a minimum, as they can take a long time to download, making users more likely to leave your site, never to return, than wait for your images to appear.