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Proper File Naming

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In the world of photography, your images are your digital portfolio, showcasing your talent and style. But did you know that how you name your image files can significantly impact your website’s SEO and, in turn, your Google search rankings? In this blog post, we’ll check out the art of properly naming your image files and how photographers can leverage this often overlooked aspect of SEO to climb the ranks in Google searches.

The Importance of Proper File Naming in SEO

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s understand why file naming matters for SEO. When search engines crawl your website, they not only analyze the text but also the file names of your images. Properly named image files provide search engines with valuable context about your content, making it easier for them to index and rank your photos. Here’s how to do it right:

Use Descriptive and Relevant Names

The key to effective file naming is to make them descriptive and relevant to the image’s content. Instead of generic names like “IMG_1234.jpg,” opt for descriptive names that convey what the image is about. For example, if you have an image of a sunset over a beach, a suitable file name could be “sunset-over-beach.jpg.”

Incorporate Keywords

Strategically include keywords in your image file names. Think about the keywords that potential clients might use when searching for photography services like yours. If you’re a wedding photographer in New York, consider naming your wedding-related images with keywords like “NYC-wedding-photography-bride-groom.jpg.” We recommend checking out our friends over at Ubersuggest to make keyword research easier.

Use Hyphens or Underscores

When separating words in your image file names, it’s best to use hyphens or underscores instead of spaces. Search engines interpret hyphens and underscores as word separators, ensuring that the entire file name is considered when ranking images. For example, “family-portrait.jpg” is preferable to “family portrait.jpg.”

Avoid Special Characters and Excessive Length

Stay away from special characters, symbols, or spaces in your file names. Stick to alphanumeric characters, hyphens, or underscores. Additionally, keep file names reasonably short and focused. Extremely long file names can be less effective for SEO.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key. Ensure that you maintain a consistent naming convention across your entire website. This makes it easier for search engines to understand your content and improve your website’s overall SEO.


Properly naming your image files might seem like a minor detail, but it can have a substantial impact on your photography website’s SEO and Google search rankings. By using descriptive, keyword-rich names, avoiding special characters, and maintaining consistency, you’ll enhance your website’s visibility and attract more potential clients. So, take the time to optimize your image file names, and watch your photography business shine in the competitive online landscape. Your stunning images deserve nothing less!

Confused by file naming? We’re here to help! Explore our coaching page for a free website review and expert assistance in optimizing your photography website for better Google rankings.

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