When we say SEO we mainly mean text and keywords, and we often neglect image optimization for SEO. This is an important step to make your website more competitive in search engines.
Why are images essential for search engine marketing?
Images are a big part of the user experience. Many websites attract the most visitors through them. Images attract customers and maintain their interest. They affect their recollection in ways that make it harder for them to forget and help them understand the content. Then the content becomes much more relevant and users find it easier to rely on it.
There are things you need to know when using an image for SEO and tips to follow.
1. Use appropriate size and quality images
Images taken by a non-professional camera are often the cause of slow page loading. With higher resolution and larger images, you need to reduce the file size without losing too much quality to work well on the web.
Image size and file size are not the same. Image size refers to the dimensions of the image (for example, 1024 x 680 pixels). File size is the amount of space required to store on the server (e.g. 350 kilobytes).
Do not allow images on your site to be blurry or poorly cropped. This will give the impression of unprofessionalism and you will lose the trust of your user.
2. Adjust the file name.
Before adding an image to a website, change its name. It’s so easy, but most people don’t follow this step.
Name the image so that the name refers to its content, and include in the title one keyword from your target keywords for the page. For example, if there is a product for sale on your website, the image could be called something like brand name-product.jpg.
This way, you give more information to search engines about what is on the page and which keywords should be associated with it. For visitors, this is not important at all, but it is for your ranking on the first Google page.
3. Use alt tags
In order for search engine spiders to understand what your text is about, you need to use tags. Alternate text helps to accurately index the content of the image. In case the image does not load, search engines can read the alt text and rank the page even in case of an error.
Include brand-relevant words here, however keep away from key phrases. This will increase your visibility. You can specify more details than you specified in the file name. As there is no ideal number of words. Try to convey something about the picture in 10 to 15 words.
4. Optimize the image title
Image titles are much less vital for search engine marketing, however can offer extra context to alt textual content. Image captions are more useful for calling the user to an action, such as “buy now” or “download today”.
You can take the title of the image from the file name, but if you do not use WordPress or the title does not explain the image, rename it with the appropriate keywords in the same way as the file names.
5. Include titles
Image captions are words just below the images and they are visible to users on the website, but do not have a direct impact on SEO. Unlike file names and alt text, they’ve simplest extra person experience.
6. Use original and unique images
Do not use images that are not related to the content of your site. It will confuse users and turn them away from your site. Make sure the image is related to the theme of the text and looks harmonious on the site page.
You may not use other people’s images to which you are not entitled. There are numerous sources where you can find images that can be used freely. This is not so recommended, because other sites use also the same images. Better idea is to create an original image using sites that create graphics. They are fast and easy to use. You don’t have to be a professional designer.
7. Make sure your text complements the images
Pay interest to whether or not SERP can decide the relevance of your pictures. If there is not enough information to explain the image, add more relevant text and describe the image better if possible.
8. Add image-structured data
Google Images likes structured product image data. Add structured data to your pages and help search engines display your images as rich results.
For example, if you have recipes on your site and add structured information to your images, Google may add a badge to your image that indicates it belongs in the recipe.
9. Add images to your site map.
This is a file that contains a map of your site’s content. Site maps are an important part of SEO. They tell search engines about all the pages on your site. If you want browser enumerators to notice all infographics of images, photos, video thumbnails, etc. – Include them in the Sitemap.
Google encourages website owners to provide them with a sitemap to help them better index your pages and add them to the index.
Giving Google clear information about the images on your site will increase the likelihood that they will appear in Google Image Search. This increases the overall uptime of your site.
Keep in mind…
Keep these image optimization techniques for SEO in mind, because in addition to the effort and work you put in, you also need to produce results.
It is easy to take and insert an image on the site, but when you pay attention to the content and keywords, do not forget about the images. They are also important and contribute a lot to the ranking on Google search engine.