The Best Guide to Image Link Building for Higher Rankings

Image link building is a powerful strategy for earning high-quality backlinks to your website. It utilizes visual content like infographics, videos, photos, and others. You can secure links from other authoritative websites and sites by creating and promoting these visual assets. These links can help boost your search engine rankings.

In this guide, we’ll cover how-to guides and everything you need to know to build links using visual content successfully.

What is Image Link Building?

Image link building is a broken link building and learning strategy that utilizes visual assets to secure backlinks. Traditional tactics like guest posts or posts that place text anchor links. Image link building incorporates links in the following:

ways Image Link building incorporates links
Ways Image Link Building Incorporates Links

When other websites host or embed your images on their pages, they provide attribution links back by linking their web page to your site linking page. This results in earned links and referral traffic from authoritative domains.

Image assets like photos, infographics, and videos provide linking opportunities that offer benefits beyond standard text links. Because of these varied benefits, incorporating visual assets into your link-building process significantly improves your results.

Why Image Links are Effective for SEO

There are several vital reasons why image links should be part of your overall link-building strategies.

While image links can be beneficial, it’s essential to use them judiciously and ensure they enhance the user experience rather than hinder it. Additionally, continuously optimize images for speed and ensure that they are properly compressed to avoid slowing down your website, as page load speed is crucial for SEO.

It’s a Natural Form of Linking

Links within image credits feel organic, as citing sources for any assets used is standard practice. Website visitors expect to see attribution so they know where to go to find out more. 

While image link building can be a natural and effective strategy, it’s crucial to maintain a balance and ensure that your images provide real value to your audience. 

Overly aggressive or manipulative link building tactics include spamming images with irrelevant content or misleading alt text. This can be counterproductive and may harm your website’s reputation in the long run. As with any link building strategy, the emphasis should always be on creating high-quality, valuable and helpful content that naturally attracts links.

Images Boost Click-Through Rates

Visual content gives visitors something eye-catching to click on. Images result in higher CTRs compared to plain text links.

It’s important to choose images that are visually appealing and relevant to the content and the audience’s interests. Additionally, ensure that the images are properly optimized for web performance to avoid slow loading times, as slow-loading pages with high-quality images can negatively impact user experience and CTRs.

You Can Include Keywords in ALT Tags

The alt attribute (alternative text) is an HTML attribute applied to image tags. This provides a text description of the image’s URL content. Search engines use alt text to understand the content and context of images, and it plays a role in SEO.

ALT text for images allows you to incorporate relevant keywords and phrases as anchor text links. This helps with rankings for specific search queries. Including keywords in alt tags is a best practice for image optimization and contributes to both SEO and accessibility. It’s a simple yet effective way to enhance the visibility of your images in search results and improve the overall user experience.

Unique Keyword Possibilities

A diverse range of keywords and phrases can be associated with the images on your website. Leveraging unique keywords in image optimization can enhance your SEO efforts and increase the visibility of your content. 

You can tap into unique keyword possibilities associated with your images by strategically incorporating various keywords in the alt text, filenames, and surrounding content. This not only improves your images’ SEO but also enhances your whole website’s ranking and overall relevance and visibility in search engine results.

Creating Linkworthy Visual Assets

The first step to image link building is creating compelling visual content that sites will want to use and link to. The key to creating link-worthy visual assets lies in delivering value to your audience, being creative, and presenting information in a visually appealing and easily digestible format. 

The more valuable and shareable your visual content is, the more likely it is to attract links from other websites. Here are some top types of visuals that tend to attract more traffic and high-quality links:


Infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge, typically presented in a format that is easy to understand and visually appealing. The importance of infographics lies in their ability to convey complex information quickly and effectively.

Infographics that incorporate interesting stats and data tend to go viral across both social media platforms and news sites. Create infographics on topics relevant to your industry or location.

Custom Photos

Custom product photos can play a crucial role in digital marketing trends in establishing a solid online presence and fostering positive connections with your target audience. Unique and exclusive product photos and images related to your niche are in demand. Provide pictures that sites won’t find elsewhere for free use.

Animated GIFs

When incorporating GIFs creating images into your image link-building strategy, it’s essential to ensure that they are relevant, high-quality, and add value to your content. Short, animated gifs can capture attention. Adding motion to standard images makes them more enticing to publishers.


Curated videos and original footage also present opportunities for attribution links. Reach out to gain links to sites that embed videos. Your visual assets should give site visitors value, interest, or entertainment. Make sure they are eye-catching and appealing to your target audience.

Optimizing Your Images for Link Building

Optimizing your images for link building involves strategically preparing and presenting your visual content to encourage others to link to it. Systematically optimizing your images with these strategies enhances their discoverability, shareability, and overall link-building potential. 

The goal is to create a visual presence that enriches your content and attracts organic links from other websites in your niche or industry. 

Descriptive File Names

Descriptive image file names are essential for optimizing your images to be easily discoverable by major search engines here. This provides clear context about the content of the image. Use targeted keywords in your image filenames where possible. For example,


ALT Text

Alt text, or alternative text, is crucial to image link building. It serves as a descriptive text displayed when an image cannot be loaded and is used by screen readers to provide accessibility to visually impaired users. 

In your image link building for higher ranking, optimizing alt text is essential for search engine optimization (SEO). It can influence how other websites discover and link your images. Include descriptive alt text on images with your focus keyword phrases.

Easy Embedding

This refers to making your images readily shareable and embeddable by others on their websites or platforms. When images are easily embeddable, it increases the likelihood of other websites using your images and a link back to your site. This can be a valuable strategy for building backlinks and increasing the visibility of your content across the web. 

Ensure your images allow for simple embedding via code snippets. Many sites want plug-and-play assets to embed code in.

Visual Appeal

Visual appeal plays a crucial role in an image-sharing website’s link building, influencing how users perceive and engage with your visual content. Images that are visually appealing are more likely to be shared, linked to, and integrated into other websites. Images should be visually engaging and high resolution. Pay for professional designers if needed.

Finding Link Placement Opportunities

The best image links come from active and strategic outreach. It would help if you found other prominent websites interested in featuring your visual content. It has to be helpful for them. Here are the top ways to identify promising link placement opportunities:

  • Identify top blogs/sites in your space
  • Use SEO tools to see who ranks for your target keywords. Reach out to those who embed imagery.
  • Look for relevant but broken image links to replace
  • Find 404 image errors on sites through SEMrush and Pitchbox. Offer your images as replacements. 
  • Monitor competitors earning image links
  • Use Ahrefs to see what links competitors are getting with visual content. Reach out to the same publishers.

Find where your audience already frequents online and intersect that with sites that commonly use imagery. Outreach to those sites first.

Outreach Tips for Earning Image Links

Once you identify sites relevant pages that seem like a good fit, structured outreach can help convert them into links:

  • Personalized pitches to site owners/editors
  • Address them by name and publication. Demonstrate familiarity with their content.
  • Highlight the benefits of using your images
  • Explain why your visuals would appeal to their readers and add value.
  • Offer an exclusive or early release
  • Provide time-sensitive content sites can’t get elsewhere.
  • Follow up promptly and politely
  • If there is no response after a week, follow up once more. Respect any declines.

Savvy and professional outreach gives your imagery the best chance of getting featured. Avoid spammy, untargeted pitches.

Measuring Image Link Building Results

Once your visual assets start earning links, be sure to monitor your progress:

  • Track website referrals and Google Image Search rankings
  • Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor clicks. Check image SERP rankings.
  • Monitor rankings for target keywords
  • See if rankings have improved, especially for keywords used in ALT text.
  • Check ALT text anchor links indexing correctly
  • Confirm your anchor text links are passing equity as intended.

Continue creating images of new link-worthy visual content and reach to further build links to more high-quality image links over time.

Image Link Building Tools and Case Studies

Here is just a bit of brief overview of some top tools and successful examples to support your image link-building campaigns:

CanvaDesign tool for creating pro images and graphics
PitchboxFinds broken image links for outreach
BuzzstreamStreamlines email outreach
AhrefsProvides link data on competitors
SiteCampaign OverviewLinks Earned
Digital AgencyPublished local area infographics112
Home services companySent custom photos for embed67
B2B startupCreated interactive calculators39


Incorporating image link building into your website traffic overall SEO strategy can yield significant benefits. High-quality links from reputable publishers are precious. They help boost domain authority, referral traffic, and search engine rankings.

With the right data visualizations, assets, optimization, outreach, and tracking, image link building can take your results to the next level. Use this comprehensive guide to earn powerful image links pointing back to your site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best image formats for link building?

The best image formats for link building are JPG, PNG, and GIF. JPG is great for photos, and PNGs preserve transparency. GIFs allow animation to capture attention. Avoid using BMP images building links, as they have large file sizes.

What are the best image formats for link building?

The best image formats for link building are JPG, PNG, and GIF. JPG is great for photos, and PNGs preserve transparency. GIFs allow animation to capture attention. Avoid using BMP images building links, as they have large file sizes.

How do you create alt text for SEO link building? 

For SEO and link building, the alt text should include your target keyword(s) as anchor text. Keep alt descriptions concise, under 125 characters. But include key phrases, keywords, and enough context.

How do I add links to image names?

To add links to image names and filenames, rename your image files to include anchor text keywords. For example, your image backlinks to-guide.jpg – just be sure to keep filenames under 60 characters.

How do I add links to image names?

To add links to image names and filenames, rename your image files to include anchor text keywords. For example, your image backlinks to-guide.jpg – just be sure to keep filenames under 60 characters.

What sites should I contact for image backlinks?

Good sites to contact for reverse image search backlinks include the following search engines:

  • Industry blogs
  • Niche sites
  • Web 2.0s like Slideshare
  • Local Directories
  • Wikis
  • Forums relevant to your keywords
  • Build a targeted outreach list.

How do I pitch sites to earn image links?

Effective image link pitching must highlight the following:

  • Benefits
  • Offers exclusivity
  • Personalizes the email
  • Follows up politely
  • Shows familiarity with their content needs.
  • It’s important to stay up to date to avoid spammy or overly promotional pitches.

How do I track my image link-building results? 

Use Google Analytics to monitor clicks and traffic from earned image links. Check Google Search Console for indexed links. Use Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to monitor rankings and link numbers per linked page.

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