You can increase the authority of your website within the search engines by optimizing your photos and other images. The bonus of this is that your photos can then be found by people using specific keywords. They can also become another doorway into your business.
To optimize your images you should be aware of the following:
Image File Name – use a descriptive phrase as the file name rather than a generic number/date etc. The search engine spiders will read the file name. e.g. myrestaurantmenu.jpg
Image Size – the image should load quickly. If not it may negatively affect your photo’s authority and rankings. Convert to a small jpg for best results.
Alt Tag – this tag was developed for the visually impaired and should give a detailed description of the photo. Remember they cannot see the photo but this can help them visualize it. It also gives a description to search engines and adds to the weight of your page.
Page Text – the page content should be relevant to the photo and vice verse. A photo of your menu should be on a page describing your menu.
Site Map – include all of your photos on your site’s sitemap. This will aid the search engine spiders in their indexing of your site and ensure access to all of your images.
Links / Citations – people linking to your photo from other similar sites will add to it’s authority within the search engines. A link from YourTownRestaurants.com to myrestaurantmenu.jpg will be very beneficial. Remember the better the photo, the more chance that people will want to link to it.
The main thing about any type of optimization is to do it to improve the experience of all visitors to your site. Do not do it only for your rankings. The search engines are getting more and more sophisticated and now give penalties for over optimization.