Google Images plays a huge role in your brand’s visibility and higher quality traffic on your site.
Since images provide crucial information to your existing and potential customers, you need to make sure you optimize them not only for your customers but also for search engines. But to be able to do that, you first need to understand what image optimization is.
Image optimization is the process of creating and delivering high-quality images that have the ideal format, size, and resolution to boost engagement.
On top of this, images need to be properly labeled so that search crawlers can understand the context behind them and read them.
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Why is SEO for images crucial?
You may think that SEO applies only to headers, tags, and body content. But the truth is that search engines can only process and understand images through SEO.
So, optimizing your images is another important step toward improving your position in search engine results, and here are a few important stats to support this:
- More than one billion queries are made each day in Google Images
- According to Crazy Egg, Tweets with images gain 150 percent more retweets
- Buffer reports that content with optimized images increases user engagement by 90%
The bottom line is that the optimization of your images will not only help you boost your website traffic but also increase sales.
So, if you still haven’t done anything about it, we bring you a few useful tips on how to optimize your images for search engines and get your brand’s visibility to new heights.
Focus on keywords
Make sure you do your keyword research and use the best keywords to optimize not only your website but your images as well.
If you are not sure how to do it, you can use one of the many SEO tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to discover what kind of content people are looking for. This should provide you with enough insights to start using those keywords to optimize your images.
You can also reach out to a new york web design company to help you find the keywords you need to focus on so that you can invest your time into other things that matter.
Compress your images the right way
If you compress images too much, they will have poor quality. However, if you use a low compression rate, you may maintain and even increase the quality of the photo, but the file size will be too large.
To be able to choose the right image size, you need to experiment with file types and compression rates and see what works or not.
Most image-editing tools allow you to save the image after editing for the web — this automatically reduces the size of the image and optimizes its quality.
Here are some of the tools you may want to experiment with to get the best quality and size of your images:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Affinity Photo
If you want to optimize your images for speed, you can use one of the following tools:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Write SEO-Friendly ALT Text
Alt tags allow search engines to render the images properly. It also describes the content of an image file.
For instance, when an image does not load, you will get the image box with the text that describes what the image represents.
Finally, adding alt text to your images will improve your overall on-page SEO and help you achieve better rankings in search engines if you associate keywords with images. This information is also used to determine the best image results to return to users’ queries.
Write body content
While alt-text plays an important role in SEO, it does not bring much value if it is not supported by context. This is why you need to create body content around your images.
For instance, if you have photographed a wedding, try creating a blog post and incorporate images in your article. This way, you will be able to use your keywords naturally and will add a personal touch to your site.
Take into account that images and the content you create are closely related — they support each other. So, make sure that your images are aligned with the content you create because, otherwise, you may confuse your readers.
For the best results, it’s a good idea to reach out to a digital marketing company that will help you with these efforts.
Use site maps
Google explains that a site map is “a file where you can list all of your web pages on your site to provide Google with an insight into all the content you create on your website.”
Simply put, it is a file that serves as a map of all of your site’s content.
To make sure that search crawlers notice all the images on your site, including infographics, video thumbnails, photos and why not memes, don’t forget to include them all in your site map.
When doing so, don’t forget to include the URL, title, description, license information for your images and title, description, raw video file URL, thumbnail URL for your videos.
Read Also: Does Your Website Need SEO Experts?
If you are using WordPress, you can use tools like Yoast SEO, which will automatically add your visual content to your site map.
Use sensible filenames
Keep in mind that image SEO begins even before you upload those images to your website, as Google cannot read the things pictured in images yet.
So when you name your images, think about what a person would search for and then name your filename accordingly. So, use your file to describe exactly what the image portrays.
Also, think about what kind of role this image plays on your site. For instance, if it is used in a blog, you may want to describe your image by using the title of the article.
Here are a few more important tips on how to name image files:
- Do not write all the words together or include any spaces
- Use hyphens as best separators
- While it is imperative to use keywords, make sure you do not overuse them
Choose the right file type
There are three different types of images you can use. And we’ll help you understand the difference between all three.
JPG — this format is the most common, but it sometimes does not offer the quality PNG files do, and it sometimes does not support transparent backgrounds; these are the cases when JPG does not work.
PNG — this format provides a high resolution, and it can support a text description of the image, which works perfectly for SEO. The biggest drawback of this format is that it generates larger file sizes than GIF and JPG. PNG is generally an ideal format for complex images and those that include text
GIF — GIF is an ideal choice for simple images. It supports transparent backgrounds and smaller sizes. They’re also a common choice for animations.
The bottom line is that if you are using photos, JPG works pretty well. On the other hand, if you are planning to design your graphics, you should opt for PNG or GIFs, as these are more common.
Start optimizing your images today
Optimizing your images may take much of your time and effort, but it will definitely pay off in the end. You just need to follow the steps listed above to make sure your images are well-optimized, as this will boost your user experience in the long run.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.