SEO Image Optimization is one of the most important On-Page SEO Techniques to drive more website visitors. These days images are present in every web page – whether it’s a landing page, article, or a blog post. High quality SEO Optimized images can not only boost your ranking but also improve user experience, increase conversion rates and grow your business rapidly.
SEO Image Optimization: How to Optimize Images for SEO
1. Image Relevance – Show relevant images
Display images that are relevant to your content. If you show an image of a Samsung phone on a landing page about iPhone, it won’t help. It spoils the user experience as they won’t see your website as a credible source of information. This will increase your page’s bounce rate and automatically google will push you down the rankings. Pages with high bounce rates don’t rank well in Google. Also, google is constantly improving its AI algorithms to identify spammy images.
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2. Image Alt Tag – Describe images correctly
Google is still heavily based on text content, it cannot read images. It understands the content of a page by going through the text on it. So the Alt tag is the most important part of an Image. Google uses it to understand the content of your images. Use a short but descriptive text for Alt tags. For example, if you show an image of a Ferrari car, its alt tag can be alt=”Ferrari 812 Superfast Model Car”.
Ensure you use keywords to make it SEO friendly. You can even use long-tail keyword tools to find the right long-tail keywords for your website and use them in your Alt Tags.
You can also use LSI keywords in your image Alt Tags. Here’s the complete guide to LSI keywords that you can use to find semantic keywords for your main keyword and include them in your content.
Don’t leave the alt tags empty. It’s always better to help Google as much as possible to understand your page better, so that it can rank you better.
Similarly, use a title tag to describe the images. You can keep it same as Alt tag, if you want. When users hover over it, the title tag text is displayed as a tooltip. Use relevant keywords to make it seo friendly. This improves user experience.
Checkout our list of 8 Best Video SEO Tips to optimize your videos for better search engine ranking.
3. Image Size – smaller the better
Image Size is another important factor in SEO. Large image size increases page load time and compels users to leave your website quickly. Also such pages load even more slowly on mobiles. This spoils the user experience and therefore it’s likely that your page rank will fall. So it’s important to compress your images using one of the many Image Compression Tools such as Compressor.io. You can also host images on a CDN.
If your website or blog uses WordPress then you can use the Photon plugin from Jetpack to automatically optimize and cache your images on WordPress.com. Now when your pages load, all images on your website or blog will be loaded from WordPress.com.
Don’t forget to use Mobile SEO Tips & Best Practices to optimize Images for mobile devices.
4. File Name – Keep it descriptive & Keyword rich
Just as it’s important to use keywords in URL, it’s also true for images. Google looks at the file name to determine how relevant it is to your page. So avoid using the default file name such as “DSG3225.jpg”. Use descriptive filenames and separate words using a hyphen “-“. Also include keywords in it. For example, “ferrari-car-outside-my-house.jpg”. You can also use keywords like your city/state name for local SEO of your business.
5. Image Dimensions
These days, almost every piece of content gets shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If the image in your post is not big enough, it won’t be displayed and only the text will be shown. So ensure that the featured images of your blog posts and articles are at least 1200px x 600px so that they appear nice and big on every social media, no matter where you share it.
6. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Although we have suggested to use keywords to optimize Images (in alt tags, file name, anchor text), it’s important to avoid keyword stuffing. Else your site will be perceived as spam and penalized.
7. Use Google PageSpeed Insights
Here’s the most important tip. Google has provided an amazing free tool called PageSpeed Insights that analyzes your webpage and tells you the various optimizations (Image, HTML, CSS, JS) you can do to improve it, both for Mobile & Desktop.
Also, it automatically optimizes & compresses all the Images, CSS, JS files on your page, and provides a nice little zip file that you can download it to use on your web page. It doesn’t get any easier than this. All you have to do is download the zip file and replace your present Images & other files with the optimized ones provided by Google.
Check out list of Free SEO Analysis Tools to analyze your website for free.
These simple steps can help you optimize the images on your website and make them SEO friendly, thereby improving your rankings and boosting your site traffic.
Building backlinks, reducing Bounce Rate, and using Keyword Research Tools to target the right keywords are some of the other ways to improve page rank and conversion rates for your website. You can even optimize videos for SEO. Check out our On-Page SEO Checklist and Off-page SEO Techniques for Tips to improve search engine ranking.
Are you using any of the above Image Optimization Techniques for SEO? Share your experience with us.
If you have any other tips about optimizing images for SEO, do share them with us.