Continuing with our 'back to basics' series, today we will look at Image Sitemaps.
"A picture is worth a thousand words". This exact phrase was first used in a 1918 newspaper advertisement for the San Antonio Light. Since then, many variations of this term have been used. In today's digital world, a place where pictures, infographics and social media rule, the use of images has become more important than ever to engage with the audience. Instead of writing a huge article (guilty!), it makes life easier to just make an infographic instead!
So, what is an image sitemap?
An image sitemap is an aggregation of all images on your website, with image-specific meta data for easy crawling.
Why do you need this?
- Creating an image sitemap is a good practice.
- Also, it gives you the opportunity to rank on Google Image Search (Please note that the creation of an image sitemap does NOT guarantee the that Google will use all your images)
- And last but not the least, ranking on image search will also drive traffic to your website (absolute win-win situation!)
So, how do you go about it?
It is very similar to a regular XML sitemap, all you need to do is use image specific tags.
The following are the required tags -
This tag encloses all information about a single image. (Only a 1000 tags allowed in each
This tag specifies the URL of the image. (If you are pulling images from another domain to display them on your site, please ensure that the other domain is added and verified in the same Google Webmaster Account OR you can use robots.txt to submit your sitemap)
Optional (but Recommended) Tags
The caption of the image.
If the image is associated with a specific geography, you can specify that using this tag.
The title of the image.
A URL to the license of the image.
Points to remember -
- Once you have submitted you sitemap, wait for upto 5 days to ensure the bots get enough time to index it.
- Your maximum limit is 1000 images. You can always make a Sitemap Index, if you have more images present on your site.
And that's it! ☺