Jan 17 2013
How to Optimize Your Real Estate Photos for SEO

How to Optimize Your Real Estate Photos for SEO

Most Real Estate professionals take a lot of time and spend a lot of money optimizing their website for SEO.  But there are surprisingly few who take the time to optimize their real estate photography for SEO.

Image optimizing is a simple task that can open up your site to thousands of extra visitors!

Even if you pay a professional to take your photos, there are still some very simple steps you can take that will make a huge difference in your SEO.

7 Steps to Optimize Photos for SEO

  1. Use spectacular photos: The more beautiful the photo, the more likely it is to go viral. Especially on popular social sites like Pinterest. Beauty stirs emotion, and emotion sells!  Did you know that emotion is two times more important than logic in the buying process?  That’s right.  A potential homebuyer will likely find your listing due to a logical web search. But they are going to schedule a showing because the listing created an emotional response.  Spectacular photos are the best way to create that emotion.
  2. Use web-sized images: Now you don’t want to go too small, but the search engines will give priority to images with fast page load times. So you don’t want to post images to your website or blog that are huge.  Optimal web size is 72dpi.  If you need to re-size high resolution images, try using the amazing Windows Image Resizer! It’s a super easy to use tool that will give you perfectly sized images.
  3. Rename the image file using keywords/phrases: The search engines index the file names of photos.  When you upload your new listing photos, why not use the property address in the file name?  Or the neighborhood name?  You could name the front photo “beautiful Signal Creek golf course home”.  Or the kitchen photo could be “1234 Main Street Denver designer kitchen”. It’s okay if the file names are long, just add keyword phrases and try to include geographic words as well.  The search engines love geographic keyword combinations!
  4. Tag your images: Each image should, whenever and whereever possible, be tagged with appropriate keywords and phrases. You can do this easily on sites like Flickr!
  5. Create keyword rich ALT tags: When adding an image to your website or blog, you are given the option of adding an ALT tag.  Many people quickly skip this step, and are losing out on some great SEO.    ALT tags were originally created so that visually impaired readers using a screen reader would have a description of the image. However the search engines quickly started to index these ALT tags as a description of the image, and it is now an important part of your SEO.
  6. Give your Image a keyword-rich title:  The title of the image is also indexed by the search engines. When adding an image to your blog, website, Facebook, or anywhere else, always give it a keyword-rich title.
  7. Try watermarking your images: I recently had a fun conversation with a friend who is a REALTOR® and a very talented photographer.  She often shares her gorgeous photos on Facebook and Google + where they tend to go viral and are shared and viewed by 1,000s of consumers.  Artistically, this friend of mine dislikes having a watermark on her images. But this past summer, after some convincing from me, she agreed to try watermarking some of her images with her website address.  Within 2 months, she was working with 3 new clients, all due to her watermarked images!

Follow these simple steps and not only will you sell more listings and engage more readers and followers with your gorgeous photos, but you’ll be attracting a lot more traffic to your site through your enhanced SEO!

Marci James is the Director of Social Media and Marketing for Obeo.

For over 15 years, Marci’s passion has been learning new technologies and sharing them with agents that sincerely want to improve their business. She is a blogger, and an expert in all areas of Social Media, SEO, and Marketing. Marci provides Social Media training to real estate professionals across North America. She speaks on topics that range from Facebook and Pinterest to Apps and SEO.

Marci also manages Obeo’s award winning Facebook Business Page that was recently voted as one of the Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages by Social Media Examiner, beating out over 1400 nominated pages!

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  1. The Step to optimize photos for seo is …Tag optimization. It’s the very best technique if we want to optimize images. We should always remember during optimize photos..ALT tag, Keywords Phrases, Title tags etc.

    Thanks for sharing…Keep it up !!

  2. Suggestion #2 is incorrect.

    DPI refers to the number of color dots per inch used by a printer, and impacts only the quality of the color blends in the print.

    If we assume your suggestion refers to Pixels Per Inch (PPI), it still fails to change the size of the image for web use. While most people refer to the input density (PPI) as "Dots per inch" now, we'll go with that for the rest of the explanation.

    If your camera shoots an image that measures 4256 x 2832 pixels, it will be the same 12.1 MP (approx) photo whether you set the file dpi to 72 or 300.

    A marketing department insisting upon 72 dpi files (for web use) without specifying the actual dimensions may get that same 12.1 MP behemoth, a file virtually useless for web use. Conversely, a small file of only 640 x 480 pixels would be just as useless at 300 dpi as it was at 72 dpi if needed for print.

    I always suggest that agents use images that have been resized to no larger than 1000 pixels on the long edge when they upload to websites. Input resolution (PPI) and print resolution (DPI) represent measurements that won't help them at all.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I completely agree with you, and if I were writing this blog post for individuals in the graphic design industry, I would have changed the wording to something like, “Search engines prioritize based on image load speed, so you must size your image to an appropriate size. Upload your image the exact size that you need, using a photo editor like Photoshop. You want to avoid loading a huge image, and when the browser will make the image look smaller; thus defeating the purpose.”

      This issue with this statement is that 95% of Realtors do not own a copy of Photoshop and do not know the exact dimensions needed when uploading an image. Defining the height and width of an image before you upload it, is always going to be the preferred method. But I was simply trying to give the average realtor an easy alternative… Something they can easily do with a couple clicks in any image editing program. Everything you mentioned is absolutely correct, but it is certainly not easy for the average content creator to understand and do.

      What you describe is 100% correct for anyone using a professional platform like Photoshop. However, most simple photo editing programs do not manipulate images like Photoshop does. They take short cuts, offer less customization, are designed to be much easier to use! And most of them use 72dpi to create what the program may call “web sized” images. 72dpi is the setting they use. And no, this is certainly NOT what a graphic professional would do, and is not the best way to optimize an image. But it is an easy and accepted alternative for the average content creator.

  3. "Dpi" by itself is meaningless as far as file size or image resolution goes. Also, dpi stands for dots per inch, which only relates to printing. Pixels per inch, or ppi, is the correct term, but that by itself does not indicate resolution or file size. You should be talking about file size, which, for web use will be affected by the pixel dimensions, that is, height by width in pixels, for example 600 pixels by 800 pixels. You can also apply compression to images to reduce file size, which will affect the image quality, and some images will tolerate more compression than others before this deterioration is noticeable.

  4. thanks for sharing..big help for my website

  5. Hi, very interesting post, thank you!


  1. [...] To read this article on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s blog, “Clean Slate,” visit: http://bhgrealestateblog.com/2013/01/17/how-to-optimize-your-real-estate-photos-for-seo/. [...]

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