One of my favorite clients was sitting down to write her second blog post ever today when she stopped to call me with a question.
"Hey Steve, when I'm uploading images for my blog, are the file names of those images important?"
And I'm glad she called, because strategically naming your image files in a way that supports your SEO plan is a very important opportunity.
To date, Google isn't very good at interpreting images. They're working on it, and one day Google won't need our help to know what a particular image is. In the meantime, file names are text that Google can and does read. If your image file name is a perfect match to your focus keyword phrase, it counts as a valid repetition. As always, don't stuff keywords, don't overdo keyword repetition, but get in the habit of exploiting image file names as opportunities to repeat your focus keyword phrase OR related keyword phrases.
In my experience, a large percentage of even seasoned SEO jocks often forget about leveraging SEO friendly file names. Performing consistently on this opportunity gives you a real shot to climb the rankings.
For more information on the Best Way to Name Images for SEO, check out this article from Delante.
P.S. While you're being smart and using SEO-friendly file names for your images, don't forget to put just as much time and effort into ALT text for those images. Here's a great primer on ALT text and how to write it.