Are SEO-Friendly Image Descriptions Worth Your Time?


As search marketers, we’re always trying to push the limits of optimization and squeeze our clients’ websites for every ounce of performance we can. GCommerce Solutions recently wrote SEO-friendly image descriptions for a client’s gallery pages, and we used the opportunity to learn more about on-page SEO by testing the descriptions’ effect on site performance.

The SEO Image Optimization Test

All performance data for this SEO image optimization test was collected from a single website domain, across three separate gallery pages on the site. Each image on these pages had an existing description, but we updated them with SEO keywords present in the corresponding page’s title and meta description. No other variables were changed.

This test lasted around a month, starting the day after optimized SEO image descriptions were implemented on each page. Impact on performance was measured period-over-period, using data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

SEO Image Optimization Test Results By Page

Percent change, period-over-period.

Page 1 performed the best, with increases across the board. 

Page 2 performed poorly, with a decrease in all metrics.

Page 3 was evenly split, with flat pageviews, increased entrances, and decreased SERP impressions.

Overall SEO Image Optimization Test Results

The test didn’t have a strong impact on total pageviews, but entrances did increase. However, total SERP impressions decreased during this test. 


The results of this test are fairly inconclusive. We’ll continue to experiment with SEO image descriptions, but we’ll need a larger data set over a longer period before we can draw a conclusion on their impact.

Though I wouldn’t say SEO-friendly image descriptions are a priority, they’re still worth a shot. There’s a lot of potential with the right page and smart optimization. If you’ve got a fairly optimized website but want to try something new, I definitely recommend testing SEO image descriptions.
To learn more about SEO or see what we’re currently testing, check out the rest of our digital marketing blog or contact us below.