Wednesday 3 September 2014

Give Your Images Descriptive Filenames...

Descriptive Filenames... think about naming images for your blog ~ Threading My Way

Do you think about filenames when adding photos to your blog posts? Giving your photos descriptive filenames could bring extra traffic to your blog. Now, I have no idea how Google ranks pages and websites in searches, but it makes sense that descriptive filenames are likely to rate more highly than meaningless filenames.

When I first began blogging, I didn't think much about how I named my photos, usually using numbers for filenames, such as 01, or vague filenames, such as heading. Somewhere along the line I read that it was important to save photos with descriptive filenames.

Google is my number one referrer, so I must be doing something right. I'm not attributing this solely to how I name my photos, but I'm guessing it plays a part. 

Today I thought I'd show you how I named a few photos from some old posts and what I'd change the filenames to if I were writing the same posts today.

These treasure bags were given the filename 19. Every image in the post has a numerical filename. This was the first tutorial I ever wrote for Threading My Way and I've learnt a few things since then. If I were writing the post now, I'd use filenames such as:
  • treasure_bag
  • treasure_bag_tutorial
  • treaure_bag_how_to

For the wedding dress refashioned into a dress and a bag, I used words for filenames, but they weren't particularly descriptive: bag, pinned, zipper, front. Now, I'd choose terms that mean something to me, BUT words that perhaps others might search for:
  • wedding_dress_refashion
  • wedding_dress_transformed
  • bag_from_wedding_dress

The fabric basket above, I named heading. A much better filename would have been fabric_basket_tutorial or fabric_basket_how_to

All of the images for the Retro Flower Power appliquéd cushion, were given numerical file names. Maybe I should go back and rename them, as for all the posts I'm referring to, but I don't have the time or the inclination. I'd much rather move forward. However, if I were going to change them, it would be to filenames such as:
  • appliquéd_cushion
  • retro_flower_power_cushion
  • machine_stitched_appliqué
  • hand_stitched_appliqué

Now-a-days when I sew something with a pattern, I use the name of the pattern as one of the filenames in the post: a-line_dress_whimsy_couture, instead of a_line_bear. Ha, ha.... what's an a-line bear? Yeah, it meant something to me, but not to anyone else.

In the shirred pillowcase dresses post, I picked a distinguishing feature of the dresses for filenames: ruffles, ric rac, pockets. Not one of the images contained the word shirring. Better filenames would have been:
  • ruffled_shirred_pillowcase_dress
  • shirred_pillowcase_dress
  • appliquéd_pillowcase_dress

I think that's enough photos to show you what I mean. As you save the images, the filenames have to mean something to you, so you can distinguish between the photos, but try to make them descriptive as well

Vary the filenames throughout each post. You don't want them all the same or it might look spammy. Giving your images descriptive filenames is not hard. If you want others to find your post, think what terms they might be using in a search and see if that helps with thinking of a descriptive filename for each photo.

This is the latest post in the Blogging Tips series, here on Threading My Way.

... Pam


  1. You raise a very good point, Pam. Thinking in terms of how I do searches now - image searches on Google, or searches on Pinterest - I've long thought that some, if not most?, of my results had to be driven by the names of the photos on the returned links. It stands to reason that appropriately descriptive filenames would help searches in for JUST the right zipper bag tutorial or a fun new tote bag embellishment :-)

  2. Generally my main post photos is labelled as to what it is, but when I write a tutorial there are so many photos, it would just be too time consuming to rename them all. hopefully the main photo will be enough for Google to find me!! :)

  3. I've read about giving your images a title and and alt title as apparently that's important but my file names tend to be meaningful to me and n-one else! I'll try to do better from now on! Honestly there's a lot to this blogging lark isn't there, what would we do with out tips like this from people who know what they are doing? Thanks

  4. I never thought about that, good idea!

  5. I never knew that! Thanks for sharing, Pam. I'm going to be more deliberate about how I name the photos that I use on my blog. Like Julie, I tend to use descriptions that only mean something to me.

  6. Good point, I always try to name my photos well too. Love your sewing work, that I am not so good at! Popping by from Creative Monday


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