Choosing the right images for your website is an important step in SEO. How do you know if your images are optimized? How do you create them or find them? That’s what this post is about: how to create SEO-optimized images and some of the basics to remember when doing it!
What is image SEO?
The goal of image SEO is to make your website’s images easier for search engines to comprehend and locate, resulting in better visibility and rankings in Google and other search engines. Image SEO covers things like picture type, size, and loading time as well as your use and optimization of alt text and keyword tags in image file names.
While image SEO isn’t as well-known as other elements of on-page SEO, it’s still vital. In fact, if you don’t take precautions, bad image SEO might do a lot to harm your page’s ability to obtain links, rise in the index, and ultimately generate organic traffic.
The good news is that you can have a major impact on your image SEO in only a few actions:
- To reduce the file sizes, use a compressor.
- Serve images in the most up-to-date, progressive formats.
- Scale your images to work with your website
- Create original, linkable image assets
- Optimize your image titles, captions, and alt text
- Make your images shareable
- Try lazy loading for images
Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
1. Choose the Right Format
It might be like your first time ordering at Taco Bell when you try to decode all the different picture formats. However, before you can add photos to your site, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right file type.
The PNG and JPEG are the most frequent image types on the internet.
JPEG: JPEG is a high-compression still image format. It can produce high-quality pictures while using little storage space and producing bigger files. TIFF, on the other hand, generates higher-quality pictures with a smaller file size but larger file sizes.
JPG: You may lose image quality, but you have the option of lowering or raising the degree of visual clarity.
Use this to choose lossless or lossy compression for the only image format supported by both Chrome and Firefox.
For me, PNG is the unsung hero of image format. I usually use JPEGs for larger, more visual photos taken by a genuine photographer. However, PNG is the way to go for my daily usage.
2. Compress Your Images
Yep, there’s no fury like a bloated web page when you upload an image that isn’t compressed.
Search engines may evaluate your website much like someone might consider carefully dipping a big vat of Crisco: correct? You can’t seriously be thinking about putting that on your website, can you?
Images, on average, account for 21% of the weight of a complete website.
That’s why I strongly advocate compressing your photos before publishing them on your website. You may accomplish this in Photoshop or utilize a program like TinyPNG. TingPNG also has a WordPress plugin that you can use.
I recommend WP Smush as my WordPress plugin, but I use it for other reasons. It maintains the quality of the picture while decreasing its file size. Make sure you’re using a plugin that compresses images remotely on the internet rather than locally on your server. It reduces the strain on your site by lowering the overall traffic load.
You may use a CDN with caching capabilities like Cloudinary or Imgix to target photos to specific devices and optimize them for delivery. Two alternatives to consider are Cloudinary and Imgix.
Increasing.com’s website speed by 33% / 2 seconds through image compression.
3. Create Unique Images
You want your images to be attention-grabbers on your site. You’ll appear unoriginal if you fill your website with stock pictures, as thousands of other websites don’t stand out.
Too many websites are filled with similar stock pictures.
Consider a company’s website, a consultancy firm, or a firm that places a high value on customer service. All of these websites employ the same stock image of a businessman with a smile on his face.
While you may have your stock photos properly optimized, it won’t have the same effect or potential SEO benefits as an original, high-quality photo.
The more unique pictures you have, the better your chances of ranking on relevant searches.
Keep in mind that large pictures are more likely to appear in Google Discover.
“Large pictures must be at least 1200 pixels wide and enabled by the setting or through AMP,” as stated in Google’s Advanced SEO guide. Please don’t use your logo as a picture.
4. Customize Image File Names
Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is critical when it comes to SEO.
It’s like getting a burrito with no filling. It’s an absolute shame.
The filename of the image is a clue to Google and other search engine crawlers as to the photo’s content.
File names will typically be “IMG_722019” or something similar. It’s like ordering from a menu in a different language. Does it do Google any good?
To help the search engines identify and value your photo, change the file name to something more descriptive.
Changing the default image name is always a good idea, but it might be difficult depending on how big your media library is. Consider this chocolate photo:
I could just call it “chocolate,” but if you have chocolate products for sale on your website, each image may be referred to as “chocolate-1,” “chocolate-2,” and so on.
5. Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text
Unreadable images are sometimes represented as alt tags in place of actual pictures. The alternative text, also known as the alt attribute, is used to describe the content of an image file.
If the picture doesn’t load, you’ll see a box with the alt tag in the upper left corner. Ensure that they are relevant to the image and fit it properly.
It’s also critical to look at alt tags when optimizing your website. You want to double-check that all other optimization parameters are in place, but if the picture fails to load for any reason, visitors will see what the image is supposed to represent.
Add any additional tags to the photos on your website, such as “click here” or descriptive words. It also helps your site rank higher in search engines by linking keywords with images. Even Google has recognized the importance of alt text in images.
This information helps Google understand the subject of the image. We utilize this data to help us choose the best picture to return for a user’s search.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, alt text is required for images that can’t be viewed by those who are unable to do so. A descriptive alt text may assist visitors in determining what they’re seeing. Say you have a photo of chocolate on your site.
The alt text could be: ‘chocolate’
‘Dark Coffee Chocolate,’ on the other hand, is a better alternative.
In general, alt text is not necessary on all sites. However, because it is viewable in the cached version of the page, its usefulness to both users and search engines improves. When an image links to a separate page on the site, the alt text might be used as the anchor text for an internal link.
Make Your Images Mobile-Friendly
Mobile SEO. It can result in a high bounce rate and poor conversions at worst. At its best, it may improve your ranking power and user interaction.
That’s a good question: how can you optimize your photos for the mobile-first index?
You’re up and running in minutes. You make dynamic and responsive images. This implies the image will scale with the site’s size, whether it’s on a PC or mobile device. It adjusts to the device’s size. Alternatively, use a mobile-responsive theme to take care of all of the hard work for you.
Optimize those images
How to create SEO-optimized images is a hot topic that deserves some time and attention. You need to ensure your content can be found by potential customers online, which means you should optimize all of the images on your website for search engine crawlers with appropriate file names, alt text descriptions, and additional tags. This way they’ll know what you’re selling before they click through to learn more about it in detail.