Image SEO Tips
Whether we like it or not, we can always encounter images anywhere at any time. They are everywhere, starting from social media pages like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook to news sources.
Pictures also appear in the search engine results page. If you are a blogger, a content writer, or a website manager, you have probably thought of using an image to enrich your article. Images bring your content to life and make it more appealing to the visitors. So, if it helps your web page to rank higher, then you need to know more about how to optimize your images for your webpage.
Optimizing your images for SEO sometimes can be challenging, but it is an essential step to make your website more competitive.
For the beginning let’s see why images are important for SEO
What do you think is better, reading an article without pictures or read one with descriptive, engaging, and appropriate imagery? I am sure you wouldn’t believe the website without images is memorable or even trustworthy, would you?
Let’s speaks facts first, narratives second. According to Poll Everywhere, people are 80% more likely to read articles with images. Moreover, they are 64% more likely to memorize the content.
As we could see, imagery is vital for a better user experience. However, images may harm the website load speed, so you need to be careful with them.
Images have become a popular mobile marketing trend that can boost websites’ SEO ranking. Google and other search engines have algorithms to track the needed information by a relevant image.
If you have use images in your article, here is a step by step instruction on how to optimize them for better user experience.
Understand What Image Optimization is
Decompressed images carry a lot of extra weight and make website users download unnecessary data. Optimizing your pictures decreases the total size of your page. This, in turn, makes your website load faster.
So, optimizing your website’s image is a process of providing high-quality images in the right format and dimension. It directly reduces the file size of your images as much as possible, meantime keeping the quality high.
Image optimization is also about image SEO. This means it is sometimes done to get your product images rank high on Google and other search engines. Basically, image optimization is one of the easiest ways to speed up your site and improve the speed of your webpage with the use of images.
Create Unique Image Content
Original images are necessary to make your page unique and valuable for the user. Creating pages that are valuable for your means having images that help users get the best experience possible from your page.
Eye-catching and visually pleasant images will always gain the attention of the visitors. Your image needs to complement well to your content. You should consider what types of images, infographics, and animations could be added to your content to enrich its messaging.
The uniqueness of your image will have a positive impact on your website’s rankings. The more original pictures you use, the better the user experience will be.
Name Your Images Appropriately
The name of your image is one of the most significant things to make it SEO-friendly. First of all, you should know one thing; Google does not want a lengthy description of your image. They say that file names are better when they are short.
Second, it is essential to realize that you can not just copy and paste one sentence from some webpage. The name of the file has to be relevant and match the content. You can not give your images ridiculous names, or add some random and unnecessary keyword just to get high ranks. You have to name it as relevant and appropriate as possible.
Keep in mind that having an image attached to your site is not always enough. The name is what will bring visitors to your page again and again.
Resize the Images
First of all, it is essential to know that the image size is not the same as the file size. Image size refers to the dimensions of an image, while the file size is the space needed to store the image on the server.
Perhaps in the world of print, high-resolution images are good, but the web environment is a bit different. Imagery with larger size slows down the website’s page speed. This, in turn, hurt user experience and of course, your search engine ranking.
Big images and slow load times especially annoy mobile users. Sometimes you will want to use large images on your website for the background. If you use low-quality images there, they can look fuzzy.
So, how do we choose the right balance between size and quality, then? It is entirely up continuous tests and reviews of the page work. Keep testing the page on different platforms until you see which option works best for your website.
Improperly sized images are often the primary reason for low page load speed. Since page load speed affects SEO, image compression becomes an aspect of image SEO accordingly.
If you have trouble resizing images, use online tools or websites to resize them one at a time quickly.
Choose The Right Type of Image
There are two types of images, vector and raster.
Vectors are composed of lines, points, and polygons. They are best applicable for shapes, icons, flat images. They have no pixelation when you zoom in. Moreover, it is possible to use the same image file on many other platforms (such as responsive website design).
As opposed to vectors, raster graphics contain images that are made of pixels. The images do look real, yet they become vulnerable to the so-called “image degradation.” Raster images become blurry, just like photo images. In other words, when you zoom in, you see the pixels that comprise the image. Hence, be careful while choosing between the two types of images since it is always nice to use high-quality ones.
Choose The Right File Format
Choosing the right format of the file is also an essential part of image optimization. There are some types of files that you can use, such as PNG, JPEG, GIF, and so on. Let’s get a little more detailed into what each one is.
- PNG is known for producing high-quality images. Thus, it has a large file size. It can be both lossy and lossless.
- GIF is the best choice for animated images. It only uses lossless compression.
- JPEG usually uses both lossy and lossless optimization. You can adjust the file quality level and size.
To conclude, the best options for website imagery are JPEG or JPG. They have much more freedom as far as the color patterns are concerned. For more simple images, you may use PNG.
Pay Attention to Load Time For Image SEO
Loading time is actually about the time a visitor has to wait until your page is completely loaded. Remember, users have so much time before they run out of patience and leave your website.
The loading time is essential for SEO because page speed also impacts your website ranking. The faster the site, the easier it is to visit the page and have an excellent experience.
Make sure you don’t use too large images. Pick the right host that will go with your business and avoid having too many ads on your webpage. Put the most effort in, so that your website visitors don’t leave your page because for waiting too long. Don’t forget that too long can even be two-three seconds.
Organize Multiple Images for Optimal Interface
I have to tell you that organizing images is as important as choosing them. How do you do that?
- Organize your images in a way that makes sense for the user
- Make sure there are no gaps in your imagery
- Test the effectiveness of the number of images that you have used per page
- Reduce or add the number of pictures and find the right balance
Use Alt Text, Title and Caption For The Image Properly
Alt text is an HTML attribute that is added to the image tag to display images on the webpage. It describes the image in plain text. The primary purpose of the alternate text is to improve accessibility for the website.
Alt text is also essential for image SEO. It helps search engines understand the context of the image. Make sure to add it to all the images you use.
What about the title? It is the only attachment detail that is required by WordPress. Titles define the permalink for the attachment post. It is also possible to use the title to search for images in the archive.
The caption is the text under the image (though the exact placement can vary depending on your theme). The caption is not linked to your attachment post. It is where you choose to place the image in a post. That means if you use the same image in some different posts or some unusual places, you may have individual captions for each.
These are critical fields for every website. Combining these fields can be a powerful feature. It can be used to create a better and more communicative experience for your page visitors. It will also bring new visitors to your website.
Incorporate the Target Keyword To The Image Title
The keyword is a significant part of Search Engine, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing.
One excellent way to create SEO-friendly images is by adding the target keyword in the photo title. It is not as crucial as the alt tag, but it is still relevant and should be used.
Keywords are words that are used to describe your image and its elements. So the primary goal of keywording photos is to attach the words to your image that describe your content accurately.
The keywords will help the image searcher find the one that is yours. But you should take into account that adding too many descriptive keywords is not a good idea.
Have an Image Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that lists all important pages of your website so that search engine crawlers can easily find. In some cases, images are included in your sitemap automatically. If not, you should add an image sitemap manually.
To provide Google with information about images on your website, you have to add some details to the standard sitemap. This will include the type of image, subject matter, caption, title, location, etc. The process allows site owners to identify which images on each page are most relevant.
XML sitemaps are a convenient way to share your website’s information with search engines such as Google. Submitting a sitemap is a good search engine optimization practice and will help you rank higher.
Use Image Caching
One of the most efficient optimization methods is image caching. It is the process of storing image files within a user’s browser cache. Caching is a way of temporarily storing the images of a web page. It helps deliver a faster and much more satisfying user experience. It is one of the most popular web performance optimization techniques.
You need image caching for fast and easy access. Image caching will reduce your application requests and the page’s download size. Caching provides a quick and reliable user experience and is considered one of the best mobile marketing trends.
Add Structured Image Data
Structured data is data that has been made into a formatted repository. Its elements can be addressable for more effective processing and analysis.
Structured data is another great way to add backend details to your image. Add structured data to your pages, and it will help search engines display your images as rich results. Structured data also increases the chances of a picture to show up as a rich result on SERPs. Consequently, you can add it to your important images. Due to the structured data, you will have higher rankings and better results.
So we do realize that image SEO is not so easy. We got acquainted with factors that are important to make sure your images are findable and do not slow down your site. So follow these steps to have an efficient image optimization tactic.