Have you ever heard the saying, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’?
Well, it’s not just a saying anymore. In today’s digital age, those images can do much more than just look pretty—they can help you get noticed on search engines.
Welcome to the world of Image SEO, where your pictures aren’t just for show; they’re powerful tools for boosting your online presence and attracting visitors.
What is image SEO?
Image SEO refers to optimizing images on a website to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
It involves techniques such as using descriptive filenames, adding relevant alt text, optimizing image size and format for faster loading times, and ensuring images are integrated seamlessly with the overall content and metadata of the webpage.
By implementing effective image SEO practices, websites can enhance user experience, increase organic traffic, and improve their overall search engine rankings.
Benefits of Using Images on a Website
- Enhances Website Style: Images contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your website, making it visually appealing and inviting to visitors.
- Captures User Attention: Compelling images can grab users’ attention immediately, encouraging them to explore your content further.
- Facilitates Easy Information Communication: Images convey information quickly and effectively, breaking up text-heavy content and making it more engaging and understandable for users.
- Drives Traffic from Google Images: Optimizing images with descriptive filenames, alt text, and metadata increases their likelihood of appearing in Google Images search results. This enhances your website’s visibility and attracts organic traffic from users searching for relevant images.
How does Optimizing images help in SEO?
Optimizing images is crucial for SEO, as 60% of a webpage’s weight comprises images.
Mastering image SEO can significantly enhance webpage speed by around 60%.
This improves SEO by aligning with search engine preferences for faster-loading sites and benefits PPC campaigns, where page speed impacts ad performance.
Efficient image optimization ensures a seamless user experience, positively impacting both organic search rankings and the effectiveness of paid advertising efforts.
How do you optimize images like a pro SEO?
Mastering image optimization is essential for maximizing your website’s SEO potential.
By employing advanced techniques and strategies, you can ensure that your images contribute positively to your search engine rankings and online visibility.
Let’s delve into the professional methods of optimizing images for SEO excellence.
Explain pointers –
Optimize the Size of the image
Optimizing the size of images involves more than just reducing their file size in terms of megabytes (MB) or kilobytes (KB).
It also entails resizing images in terms of pixels to match the dimensions required for optimal display on your website.
For instance, if you need an image sized at 500 x 500 pixels, rather than adjusting a 2000 x 2000 pixel image and compressing it via CSS, it’s more effective to resize the original 2000 x 2000 pixel image to 500 x 500 pixels before uploading it to your website.
This approach reduces file size and ensures the image maintains its quality and clarity, improving website performance and loading times faster.
By optimizing image dimensions in addition to file size, you enhance user experience and bolster your website’s overall SEO effectiveness.
Google supports the following image formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG.
These formats offer varying compression levels, quality, and support for features like transparency and animation. By leveraging these supported formats effectively, website owners can enhance their SEO efforts and improve user experience across different platforms and devices.
Google recommends using WebP format for images for SEO purposes. WebP offers superior compression efficiency compared to other formats like JPEG and PNG, resulting in smaller file sizes without compromising image quality.
Interesting fact –
There’s no difference between “jpg” and “jpeg” because of the limitations of older computer systems. Both “jpg” and “jpeg” file extensions represent the same image format: Joint Photographic Experts Group. In the past, some operating systems restricted file extensions to three characters, leading to using “jpg” as a shortened version of “jpeg.” Both extensions became widely accepted and interchangeable as file and operating systems evolved.
Change the Image Name and folder URL
Always change the name of the image when you upload it. This is the most underrated SEO tactic.
The worst thing you can do is to download an image from WhatsApp with the name (WhatsApp Image 2023-12-08 at 21.02.45_dec7ac63) and update it on your website.
Please change the name and Insert the relevant keyword in the name naturally.
Not only the image name but also the URL of the image is essential so that search engine bots will understand your image and rank it at relevant queries.
So, optimize your entire image URL for the target keyword.
Alt Attribute or Alt Text
You may have read so many articles on Alt text or alt attribute so here are my three key insights about it –
- Alt attribute is not an SEO element, it is an accessibility function. The use of alt attribute is to explain an image to the users who has disability.
- Alt attribute help users in slow area network
- Helps google understand the image – focus on describing the image. For more info read this moz blog on alt text.
Make Images Responsive
Responsive images adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, ensuring optimal viewing experience across devices. Using responsive design techniques such as CSS media queries or HTML attributes like srcset and sizes allows images to scale appropriately, improving usability and SEO. Optimize your webpage for core web vitals and it will help the images in appearing in google search better.
Add images in Sitemap
Including images in your XML sitemap helps search engines discover and index them more efficiently. This ensures that your images are properly crawled and appear in relevant search results, enhancing your website’s visibility and SEO performance.
Add Structure Data for Images
Structured data markup, such as Schema.org markup, provides search engines with additional context about your images. By including structured data specific to images, such as image object markup or image property markup, you help search engines understand the content and context of your images better, potentially leading to enhanced visibility in search results.
Make Your Page Crawlable and Indexable
Ensuring that your web pages are crawlable and indexable is crucial for image SEO. This involves optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and headers to include relevant keywords related to your images. Search engines use this information to understand the content of your page and its associated images better, which can positively impact rankings.
Place Images Where Text is Related:
Placing images close to relevant text helps search engines understand the context of the images better. When text on the page relates to the images nearby, it reinforces the relevance of the images to the content, which can improve the page’s overall SEO. Additionally, users find it more intuitive and engaging when images complement and enhance the textual content they are reading.
4 Expert Tips About Image SEO
Image SEO Tip from Ryan Scanlon
Any web designer or SEO must practice the optimization of imagery and graphics that appear on a given website. When I add photos to a website, I use Photoshop export settings to shrink the details of a JPEG. PNG files are a bit bigger for more quality, & photoshop provides a smaller PNG export that degrades the quality a bit.
The important thing is to find a happy medium between the quality of the photo and the size. I’ve seen photos under 100 kilobytes are normally of lower quality, and photos approaching 1mb should be avoided. This is quite difficult with video. there are hundreds /thousands of frames in something as short as a 5-10 second video, weighing several megabytes (heavy). A sweet spot for optimizing pictures on a website is between 300-500kb.
This is a relatively small file that does not sacrifice too much detail. Any higher page load speeds begin to slow down, and any lower ones cause the quality of the photo to greatly diminish.
Image SEO Tip from Gianluca Ferruggia of Design Rush
Structured Data: Implementing structured information helps your images appear on visual search results and boosts overall site ranking.
Image SEO: It is not just about optimization but also about how images complement your content and enhance user experience; always consider this as well.
Pavel Naydenov, Head оf Marketing at Businessmap
Compress your images before uploading on to your site. A compressed image is reduced in size and loads faster. You can use numerous tools to help you with this without losing quality.
Jennifer Rogala From SEO Driver Share Image SEO Tips
Various aspects of an image can move the needle for website traffic and rank. These include the image filename, ALT text, image size, and image quality. Search engines consider filename and alt text when matching a search phrase. So, if you’re trying to rank for ‘keratin treatment’ at your hair salon in Boston, MA, then the image’s file name should include the keyword ‘keratin treatment’ plus the location. The image name might be Keratin-Treatment-Boston-MA.png; use hyphens.
The ALT text of the image should also contain the same keyword. Alt text might be ‘keratin treatment being applied at a hair salon in Boston, MA.
Milad Hashemi, Co-Founder, Pineapple SEO Inc on Image SEO
I have experimented with this and seen improved rankings when about 20-30% of the image alt tags on the page contain the desired keyword for the page or its synonym.
The second part of this is ensuring the images that appear on a page are unique. This gives the image a chance to rank in the “Image Search” of Google and other search engines. Specific keywords have massive amounts of traffic for image searches. This means that if you can rank in that section, you can get more traffic to your website.
In conclusion, mastering image SEO is essential for enhancing your website’s visibility and performance in search engine results. By implementing best practices such as optimizing image size, choosing the appropriate image format, and incorporating structured data, you can improve your website’s ranking and attract more organic traffic