The workings of search engines are the agenda when considering what you have to take into account regarding SEO for adding pictures to your site. Search engines attempt to catalogue every piece of content on a page to make sound judgments in relation to user searches. Images you place on a webpage require alignment with the topic of discussion on that webpage in order for search engines to make informed assumptions.
Text is the order of the day. Search engines do not interpret images as a stand alone (they cannot read an image) but rather they refer to the text around the images. You can assist the search engines by making sure your content, topic and image-related text form cohesiveness on the page, boosting your ranking.
Applying a solid foundation of SEO principles gives you a head start. You will leverage keywords to refer to your images, for example:
However, the naming of the image is just the beginning.
As mentioned before, search engines take into account all content around an image to ascertain the contextual make-up of a page. This information comes directly from the associated text. One cannot stress enough the importance of cohesiveness when relating to content, topic and images.
The text attached to the image serves as important, but not nearly as critical as content around the image. This is not to say that search engines do not account for HTML optimization regarding images, but rather they focus most of their attention on content around the images to draw logical conclusions.
This makes writing a summary of the images along side or beneath them a good habit and a tool for increasing rankings. Just as important, you should refrain from overloading your ALT and title tags for images with keywords. The ALT and title tags for images have a primary function in the service of humans rather than the search engines.
So why include the ALT and title tags at all, if search engines do not emphasis them when they crawl your page? Accessibility is the main reason to include them. If a web surfer chooses to browse the web with images turned off, that web surfer will still be able to read about your image. By leveraging appropriate descriptions and good summaries, you will increase you web page rankings, while earning credibility with your readers. The reason for this relates to creating that all-important cohesiveness of content, topic and images.
It is important to keep in mind as well, that over time web developers diligently devised deceptive strategies trying to outsmart search engines by stuffing keywords into ALT and title tags of images. Search engines though have countered in full force, despising such strategies, uncovering them and labeling them as spam. This leveled the playing field and relegated the practice back to the original intention of alt and title tags related to images.
Just keep in mind that if you try to take a shortcut and fill your ALT tags will nonsensical keywords, the eventuality of finding your page marked as spam and potentially banned from the search engine are distinct possibilities.
It is also important to understand when optimizing images for SEO that a photograph of yourself does not imply you write your job title. Best practice would be to work your name and job title together and that is if and only if the page talks about you and your job. The picture you select in this case should be one that shows you carrying out your duties, not say a wedding photograph.
Keep these points in mind regarding SEO when adding pictures to your site: