Why does tagging photos help with Local SEO?

tagging photos the old way
Writing on the back of a photograph

In the good old days when things were still analogue, photos were usually produced on paper and put into albums. Descriptions would have been written in the albums or on the back of the photos themselves to provide context. The digital equivalent is called tagging photos.

Digital photos have a filename, which is often just a sequential number generated by the camera. This should definitely be changed to something more descriptive to improve SEO results. But in addition, quite a large amount of metadata should be added when tagging photos such as:

  • Title
  • Subject
  • Rating
  • Tags (i.e. Keywords*)
  • Comments (i.e. Description)
  • Date taken
  • Geo (latitude, longitude)
  • etc.

This is essentially “Structured Data” that is understood by search engines. And that is why tagging photos helps with Local SEO.

A best practice is to use a descriptive filename and to use the Structured Data fields to inform the search engines about the image and the business. For best Local Search results the NAP should appear in the comments section when tagging photos.

Tagging photos before using them online provides search engines with more information about a business. Once tagged, these images can be used on multiple social media accounts as well as on websites. The cumulative effect of using tagged images will pay dividends for a business's local ranking over time.

I do not wish to get too deep into image optimisation for websites as it is a big subject in its own right. The main thing for local SEO is to tag images before using them on social posts such as Google Posts. Looking at images through the prism of a website, they should all have an Alt Tag but for local SEO you need more than that.

JPG v PNG for tagging photos

The JPG format provides more possibilities for tagging than PNG and is the recommended format for Local SEO. For organic SEO it is important to have a fast loading website and the image size is important for that. Large images slow down the load speed and are a major cause of slow loading sites. Another technique for speeding up websites is Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). These host your images rather than loading them from your site and thereby speed up website load times.

Tagging applies to more than just photos on websites; there are “title tags”, “heading tags” etc. available to highlight areas of websites or keywords. These should be used to improve SEO.

An example of an image Alt Tag is <img src="house-1.jpg" alt="house for rent in Norwich"/>.


About MyLocal

We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. Also, to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there still needs to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.

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