When you evaluate the sites layout and link framework there is an understated yet highly effective way to make those images more SEO friendly, aside from using the usual approach involving ALT tags. This approach will improve the site’s performance in terms of search engine results while at the same time allowing you to integrate your strategic marketing message or messages. This may seem complicated so here’s a concrete example:
In a fictional situation where you are the owner of a used car site and you want make sure that a particular page is optimized for the term “Chevy Blazer”. You also want to make sure that you attract more customers by using a marketing message like “Now selling at below dealer cost”. The first tagline does not contain a description but it is an attractive proposition for consumers. To make it even more effective you might place this tagline in an image and use the key phrase (Chevy Blazer) in the header tag. This has the effect of emphasizing the term, but ups the marketing effectiveness with affecting the keyword constancy.
The long and short of it is that images provide an excellent opportunity for the placement of marketing messages that don’t have the required keywords and phrases. Making use of this approach will make sure that the descriptions are indexed and marketing phrases have an opportunity to shine. As a strategy this is highly effective – it allows rich content with keywords and great messaging to both contribute to the strategic intent of the site.