Website owners and content creators alike find it challenging to optimize their image galleries for SEO. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of advanced SEO techniques and the technical aspects involved. 

However, while SEO can be difficult to get to grips with, there are a number of steps you can take to optimize your images for SEO before adding them to your image gallery. On top of this, some WordPress gallery plugins, such as FooGallery, have built-in SEO features, making it a lot easier for your galleries to rank.

This article covers both areas while also discussing advanced SEO techniques that you can implement for your image galleries. With all these topics covered, this is your ultimate guide to enhancing your image galleries for SEO!

To ensure that your image galleries are not only visually appealing but also optimized for search engine crawlers, it’s essential to prepare your images correctly before uploading them to your gallery. While you want your images to be of good quality, you don’t want them to be so large that they compromise your site performance. Let’s look at some of your options: 

Image Compression

Image compression can make a significant difference to page load speed. Smaller image file sizes, especially when there are multiple images on a page, reduce the amount of data being loaded by the server. This has a positive impact on SEO, as search engines prefer quicker page speeds. This also reflects on user experience, keeping visitors happier, which in turn improves bounce rates and conversions, as users are less likely to leave the page. 

There are various methods for compressing images in WordPress without losing their quality. For example, Adobe Photoshop’s ‘Save for Web’ feature lets you preview different optimizations for various file formats. Alternatively, there are numerous image optimization plugins for WordPress, like TinyPNG or Shortpixel, that will help compress images as they’re uploaded to the media library. 

short pixel

Choosing the Right Format

As you’ll know, there are different image formats that you can use for your web images. But each is suited to different image content and web requirements.

  • JPEG (or JPG) is best for photographs and images with more complex colors, giving you higher compression ratios with minimal loss in quality, such as for portraits or landscapes.
  • PNG is suitable for images with transparency or sharp edges, like logos, icons, or graphics, ensuring high quality in larger file sizes. 
  • WebP is a newer format designed for the web, offering both lossy and lossless compression, often resulting in smaller file sizes compared to JPEG and PNG without significant loss in quality. This makes it a good option for a wide range of web content, including images on websites, blogs, or online stores.

Using next-gen formats like WebP is preferable, for better compression and quality. This is especially relevant when you consider that choosing the right format can significantly affect SEO given the improved load times and user experience.

Should you need to, you can easily convert your images to different file types There are various online tools and software available. Online converters like Convertio or Online-Convert allow users to upload images and convert them to the desired format quickly and conveniently. Alternatively, image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Pixlr give you the option to save images in different formats. 

Resizing Your Images

As with image format and compression, there is always a need to balance quality and clarity with load times. This is equally important when resizing images for the web

When determining image sizes for web elements like sliders, galleries, or product images, you can look at the dimensions of the container or space where the images will be displayed. For sliders and galleries, choose images with consistent aspect ratios for a more cohesive visual look. For product images, the focus should be on clarity and detail, so as to showcase the product effectively. For these, test different resolutions and monitor performance to find the best image sizes.

TinyImg recommends specific image sizes depending on the purpose of the image. For example, a thumbnail might be 150 x 150 pixels, whereas a hero image would be 1280 x 720 pixels. Take a look at our guide to resizing images which also includes a shortlist of WordPress plugins that can automate this. 

Resize image in Gutenberg editor

Correctly Naming Your Image Files

How you name your files can have an impact on both SEO and user accessibility. Search engines use file names to understand and index content, while users with screen readers can better appreciate the visual content of a page. 

When it comes to image file names, there are a few best practices to bear in mind:

  • Clarity and consistency: Use clear and consistent file names. This makes it easier to organize and find your files.
  • Relevant keywords: Include descriptive keywords that accurately represent the content of the image.
  • Avoid special characters: Steer clear of using spaces or special characters as this could cause compatibility issues. Instead, replace spaces with hyphens or underscores for web-friendliness.
  • Standardized format: Opt for a standard format like lowercase letters, underscores, or hyphens for word separation.

When selecting an image gallery tool with SEO in mind, FooGallery presents itself as a top contender for WordPress users. FooGallery is a plugin that helps users create advanced WordPress galleries using a range of available templates while offering a fantastic user experience through features such as front-end filtering (available on the PRO Expert plan). 

FooGallery can be flexibly configured and is just the right thing for the large number of images to be presented.


“When looking at how a gallery plugin can help with SEO, it’s important to consider not just its direct SEO features, but also how it gives your visitors a better experience” explains FooPlugins developer Steve Usher. “Features like filtering not only make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for but also show search engines that your site is user-friendly, which can improve your rankings in the long run.”

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.

In addition to all of these features, FooGallery is designed with the best SEO practices in mind. Here’s how FooGallery helps boost your image gallery SEO:

Optimized for Fast Gallery Loading

Using a large number of images on your web page can be detrimental to faster speeds. To assist with this, FooGallery’s Lazy Loading feature optimizes loading times by loading images only as they are needed. Lazy loading prevents all of the images from loading as soon as you land on a page, waiting instead until the user scrolls down to them. 

Additional features, like pagination and filtering in FooGallery PRO Expert, further improve load times. FooGallery’s optimization features therefore positively impact bounce rates and search engine rankings. 

Integrates with SEO Plugins

SEO plugins can help your WordPress website by providing you with further optimizations and improvements. One such example is the creation of sitemaps, which can be submitted to Google Search Console to ensure all of your pages are indexed by search engines. 

For users with image-heavy content, such as photographers, an image sitemap is essential. This ensures that your images are also indexed, helping your website improve in rankings. FooGallery is compatible with a number of popular SEO plugins like Yoast and All-In-One SEO, meaning that your gallery images are added to the sitemaps created with these plugins.

Ensures Images are Responsive Across All Devices

A responsive website design means that the elements on your page, such as your images, automatically adjust to fit the screen on which they are being used. Given the proliferation of mobile device usage, this is an important factor in creating a positive user experience while helping your SEO. 

This is because Google’s mobile-first indexing prioritizes mobile versions of websites for search engine rankings. Responsive image galleries, which adapt to different screen sizes and devices, provide a more seamless user experience. So, by ensuring image galleries are optimized for mobile viewing, user engagement and site performance are improved, positively influencing rankings according to Google’s algorithms.

FooGallery ensures that images automatically adjust to fit screens of all sizes while maintaining quality and load time. All of the FooGallery layouts are responsive, along with the built-in lightbox – ensuring full-size images respond to screen size as well. 

Full size image opened in FooGallery lightbox on mobile

Adds Metadata With the Advanced Media Attachment Modal

Image metadata refers to the information about your image – this might include EXIF data or copyright information. But it can also include descriptive text explaining the content of an image, such as alternative text (or alt tags), titles, and descriptions. It is this data that makes your images searchable and discoverable. This is why it is so important to include this metadata for SEO, remembering that more detailed and accurate metadata can improve discoverability and context for search engines.

You can add this data to your images as you upload them to your WordPress media library. But with FooGallery, you can also use the Advanced Attachment Modal to add or edit this data from within your gallery. It’s simple to open the modal, and from there you can adjust the available fields, and add more detail to your images.

Advanced modal for adding metadata to images

Add Media Tags, Categories, and EXIF Data with PRO Expert

Using media tags and categories allows you to organize your images better, which can make it easier for users to find images when using features like filtering or image search. But as you are adding detail to your images, it will also benefit your SEO. 

Similarly, you can add detail to your images with EXIF metadata. This is data that is stored by the camera when the image is taken, cataloging when and how the image was captured.  

exif data displayed in FooGallery

FooGallery PRO Expert users can leverage these advanced features to boost their gallery SEO. You can include this additional metadata while using the media modal, or with the bulk tagging feature (for tags and categories). While your EXIF data will usually be included with your image when uploaded, you can still add to or edit this in the modal. 

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.

Once basic SEO practices are in place, it’s important to delve into more advanced strategies that can give your image galleries an edge in search engine rankings.

Submit an Image Sitemap With your Gallery Images Included

Submitting an image sitemap is important for faster and more thorough indexing of gallery images by search engines. You can submit your image sitemap to Google Search Console and/or Bing Webmaster Tools by following a few simple steps. 

  • First, generate an image sitemap using a WordPress plugin like Yoast, RankMath, or AIOSEO. 
  • Once generated, submit the sitemap to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. 

FooGallery further simplifies the process by automatically including images from your galleries in your image sitemap. As it seamlessly integrates with these popular SEO plugins, it allows for easy inclusion of image sitemaps into your overall SEO strategy. 

To maintain and update the image sitemap, you should regularly revisit your SEO plugin to regenerate the sitemap whenever new galleries are added or existing ones are updated. You should also check that any changes to image URLs are reflected in the sitemap – this can help maintain accuracy and optimize indexing by search engines.

Schema Markup and its Impact on Image SEO

Schema markup is structured data that can be added to your website to help search engines better understand the content of web pages. It provides additional context about the information presented, improving relevance and enhancing the appearance of search results. 

For image-rich content, schema markup is particularly important as it allows search engines to display rich results in SERPs, such as image carousels or galleries. Understandably, this can significantly increase visibility and click-through rates. Best practices for using schema markup with image galleries include applying appropriate schema types like ImageGallery for collections and ImageObject for individual images. 

URL Optimization

URL structure plays a crucial role in both SEO and user experience, especially for image gallery paths. Here are some helpful tips for optimizing gallery URLS:

  • When crafting URLs for galleries, it’s essential to keep them concise, relevant, and keyword-rich for clarity and SEO benefits. 
  • Opt for descriptive but concise URLs that accurately reflect the content of the gallery, including relevant keywords when appropriate. 
  • Avoid common mistakes like lengthy URLs, unnecessary parameters, or dynamic URLs, as these can confuse both users and search engines.

By adhering to best practices and optimizing gallery URLs effectively, you’ll enhance your site’s SEO performance and make for a better user experience, making it easier for visitors to navigate and for search engines to understand your content.

Finally, there are several additional best practices that can bolster your gallery’s visibility and effectiveness in search engine results.

Captions and In-linking

It’s important that you use captions for each image, as they provide context, enhance user engagement, and contribute to SEO. When it comes to crafting keyword-rich captions, your strategy should be to keep them both informative and search-engine friendly.

It is also good practice to use in-linking (internal linking) within gallery captions. This can help promote deeper site exploration and enhance SEO through increased page authority and relevance. FooGallery PRO Expert and PRO Commerce include a number of features that can assist you with adding links to captions, such as custom captions or through the use of buttons. With these, you can easily add or edit links in the gallery thumbnails, directing users to related content, additional information, or similar products (for ecommerce sites).

Supplement your Gallery Pages with High-Value Content

While we’ve mainly focused on image SEO, high-value written content can also be a significant help, giving search engines even more context for indexing. Try to surround your galleries with relevant contextual information. Types of content that work best include detailed descriptions and stories behind the images or related articles.

This practice not only aids SEO but also improves user experience by providing additional information and understanding, potentially leading to longer dwell times on the page. You can also integrate keywords naturally within this supplementary content to further support SEO efforts – but be careful to avoid keyword stuffing.

As you can see, having a decent understanding of how to enhance your image galleries for SEO is essential. Our aim in this guide was to provide you with the knowledge you need to optimize your images before adding them to your galleries. 

While you can see how an SEO-friendly image gallery plugin does a lot of the work for you, having an understanding of the advanced strategies that can be employed, can help you improve your SEO strategy even further. But of course, there are plugins that can assist with this as well.

For image-heavy sites, utilizing an SEO-friendly gallery plugin is vital. This is why FooGallery is a solid choice based on the factors we’ve discussed. There are a range of features available in the different FooGallery plans to help you with your image SEO, so find the plan that works for you and boost your visibility in search results now.

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.