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Choosing the right images for your website is an important step in SEO. How do you know if your images are optimised? How do you create them or find them? That’s what we’re talking about today: how to create SEO-optimised images and important points to remember.
What is image SEO?
The goal of image SEO is to make your website’s images easier for search engines to understand and find, resulting in better visibility and rankings in Google and other search engines. Image SEO includes 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 important. In fact, if you aren’t careful, bad image SEO might harm your page’s ability to obtain links, rise in the index and generate organic traffic.
The good news is that you can have a positive impact on your image SEO in just a few steps:
- Compress your images.
- Choose the right format.
- Make your images mobile friendly.
- Create unique images.
- Write SEO-friendly alt text.
- Optimise your images.
- Customise image file names.
- Make your images shareable.
- Try lazy loading for images.
Let’s look at some of these in more detail and talk a bit more about what they mean.
Compress Your Images
Uploading an image that isn’t compressed can slow your website right down.
Images, on average, account for 21% of a completed website.
We strongly advocate compressing your photos before publishing them on your website. This will help it run faster. You may accomplish this in Photoshop or utilize a program like TinyPNG. TingPNG also has a WordPress plugin that you can use.
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.
Choose the Right Format
Before you can add photos to your site, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right file type.
PNG and JPEG are the most frequent image types on the internet.
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.
With JPG you may lose image quality, but you have the option of lowering or raising the degree of visual clarity.
PNG is a Portable Network Graphic, it is a high-quality image file format with lossless compression.
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.
Make Your Images Mobile-Friendly
Poor mobile SEO can result in a high bounce rate and poor conversions. When it works well, it may improve your ranking power and user interaction.
So, how can you optimise your photos for the mobile-first index?
You need to use images that will scale with the site’s size, whether it’s on a PC or mobile device. It adjusts to the device’s size. Or, use a mobile-responsive theme to take care of all of the hard work for you.
Create Unique Images
You want your images to grab attention on your site. Ideally, you want your images to unique. You’ll appear unoriginal if you fill your website with stock pictures, as thousands of other websites will have done the same.
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 or woman with a smile on his face.
While you may have your stock photos properly optimised, they 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.
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 optimising your website. You want to double-check that all other optimisation parameters are in place, but if the picture fails to load for any reason, visitors will see what the image is supposed to show.
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.
Optimise your images
How to create SEO-optimized images is an important topic that deserves some time and attention. You need to ensure your content can be found online, which means you should optimise 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 providing before they click through to learn more about it in detail.
Customise Image File Names
Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is critical when it comes to SEO.
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 help Google?
To help 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.