Do you want to drive traffic to your website, reach more customers and increase sales? If you answered yes, stop what you are doing and optimize your website images now! This will increase your SEO, organically grow your website and improve your bottom-line.
That’s because images create a big part of our user experience on the internet. That’s not all. Google’s algorithm pays close attention to behavior metrics that shows user experience, such as bounce rates and how long visitors stay on a web page.
To move your article to the next level ensure you add relevant images. But, simply adding a nice photo won’t get you better results. For that you must SEO optimize your images. Yup, SEO is not just for keywords and phrases in the actual blog but works for images as well.
Not only do images bring an article to life but they also contribute to your website’s SEO. If this is news to you, we have all the details. This article explains how to fully optimize an image for SEO and gives insights on how to use images to enhance user experience.
What does it mean to optimize images?
You never have to ask if your article needs and image-it always does. However, large (uncompressed) images load slowly creating a less than optimal user experience. So to prevent that optimize your images by compressing them which decreases the file size.
Optimizing your images has to do with three main components. These include ensuring:
- Images look good and vibrant
- Images are compressed to load quickly
- Images are easy to index by search engines
It helps with performance allowing your images to rank well on Google and other search engines. How do search engines know what’s up? Well, as site visitors only view the image itself. However, search engines crawlers see the text behind the image. This text tells is basically what you can fill in to tell the crawler what you want them to see.
So how do you do improve your SEO for images on your website? Glad you asked. Here seven tips to help you improve your image SEO.
5 Tips on Improving Your SEO for Images
By now you should understand the importance of optimizing all the images on your website. To get the best results, follow these tips to optimize your pics for search engines.
1. Using related, high-quality images
The goal is to start with the right material-a relevant, high-quality image. This is crucial in enhancing the user experience side of SEO. Your image should complement your content on your page. If it doesn’t, it will confuse your visitors. A blurry or badly cropped image will have your site looking unprofessional and untrustworthy.
All the images you use must be high quality and have a clear relationship to the content on your page.
In cases where you search for stock-images, ensure you don’t select images that you don’t have the rights to. If you can’t find a suitable non-copyrighted photo, invest in capturing your own.
Commit some time to the success of your website by finding at least one good image to include in all the blog posts you publish.
2. Customizing the filename
This is a simple step, which should come naturally. Ensure that you customize the filename of your relevant, high-quality image before adding it to your website.
However, not just not any name. The filename should also complement the page and include one of your page’s target keywords. If your website is hiking products you sell, you could name the image best-hiking boots.jpg.
This bit of detail is not really for the visitors, as most visitors will never see the filename. It’s a way to give search engines a little more clarity with information about what your page is about and the best keywords to associate with it.
3. Using alt tags
Once again, this is yet another part of what goes on behind the scenes that site visitors won’t see. However, search engine crawlers surely do. So, it’s in your best interest to use alt text for every image you put on your website which will show up in place of your image should a browser have trouble loading it.
This text will let search engines know what your website focuses on.
For persons who use WordPress, you’ll find that an alt text field is already provided and you just have to fill it in. You can also go the HTML route. Simply add alt=”your alt text” to your image tag.
4. Choosing the right file type.
You may have noticed that there are three main types of image files, JPG, PNG and GIF. Understanding the difference between each will help you in choosing the best one for your needs. We’ll help with that.
- JPG: This is one of the most commonly used file type. That’s because it facilitates small file sizes and is widely supported. However, the quality of the image isn’t always as good as PNG files. Another drawback is that this format doesn’t support transparent backgrounds.
- PNG: This file format provides a high image resolution. It also supports text description of the image which is good for SEO. The main weakness of PNG is that it usually requires larger file sizes than GIF and JPG. However, it’s a great choice for complex images and images that include text.
- GIF: Unlike JPNG and PNG, GIF doesn’t support a wide range of colours. However, it’s a good choice for simpler images. It facilities transparent backgrounds and supports small file sizes.
JPG works well for photos. While, GIF and PNG are best for designed graphics, and are more common. For a higher quality version of your image, PNG is the way to go.
5. Hosting images on your site.
Many persons host their website’s images on a third-party website. While this helps to save space, it is quite risky. Whenever the third-part site becomes overloaded with traffic, you may find your images could fail to load. This can confuse customers and cause them to have a bad experience on your website.
This results in your brand looking unprofessional. As such, you should host your images. Simply choose a reliable web hosting provider. That way your images will be visible at all times.
Benefits of optimizing images
Optimizing the images on your website benefits your brand, ranking and traffic. These all result in an increase in your bottom-line.
Image SEO enhances the visibility of your image files in Google’s image search. Your images may also pop up as results to general Google search if they are relevant for a particular search enquiry.
In effect, this will boost your SEO ranking which leads to an indirect increase in traffic on your website. That’s because the URL of your corresponding page will be displayed in search results when clicking on an image.
Finally, image SEO can also improve user experience, for customers by reducing the loading time of your website. This helps with mobile optimization as well.
Optimizing your images plays a vital part in influencing the purchase decision of users. This makes image optimization especially important to e-commerce sites.