Images are an integral part of a website, especially with Search Engine Optimization. Image optimization for SEO on your website cannot be stressed enough to ensure the SEs see and rank them highly.
There are several ways to go about optimizing images for SE ranking. You know “one size does not fit all,” so what will work best is up to you. Photos must have the right file size and alt tags. SE optimized images should be an integral part of your website buildout.
Images are key to the success of websites for ranking and drawing leads who are interested in what you have to offer. These images, videos, and graphics catch searchers’ attention, making them more interested in reading content. Before readers get to your content, SEs must point them in your direction. Image optimization for SEO is just one of the many aspects of ranking on the 1st page.
Here are nine image optimization tips for SEO:
1. Alt Tags or Alt Text
Having an image title is not enough for SEs to associate the image with the uploaded content. You also want to add the HTML attribute to the image tag, for example, <img src= “stunning-downtown-san-diego-penthouse.jpeg” width=”1200” height=”800” alt=”Stunning Downtown San Diego Penthouse”>. From the example, you see the image source, which is described as stunning-downtown-san-diego-penthouse.jpeg, the size of the picture, and the alt text. The right tag will help SEs like Google associate the picture with the content in the search algorithm.
2. Image size and compression
Image sizing and compression are key to keeping the loading speed of your website fast. A highly efficient and functional website is SEO friendly. Having the right image size and compression is important because SEs like Google discourage slow loading times to the point of penalizing sites that do not comply. The first thing to do is look for the right solution for size optimization and compressed images. If you don’t comply with the right sizing, Google ranks you further from the first page.
3. Relevant Images
Always upload images that are high quality and relevant to your specific content because SEs require them for ranking. As algorithms develop, search engines emphasize the quality of searches and ranking. Unlike before, Google, Bing, and Yahoo have made it a point to really bring users the kind of information they need and want.
4. Avoid too many stock photos
Many websites rely on stock images. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing stock images, but other sites also use these. The right mix of original and stock photos is encouraged to avoid confusion with other sites using the same stock photos. Search engines encourage originality, seeing content with fresh perspectives, including images. Your images represent your brand. You want to stand out from the rest of the “herd”.
5. Check image copyrights
If you are using stock photos, make sure they’re free to use or they have the appropriate licensing. Using images you don’t have the right to use will affect you legally, and negatively impact your optimization on SEs. Copyright infringement is a serious crime. To be sure, research and read DMCA or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If original images aren’t in your budget, find quality and royalty-free pictures.
6. Include images on the sitemap
A sitemap is a file of all the information about the website — pages, pictures, videos, graphics, and other files found on the site. Establishing SEO requires you to submit a sitemap to SEs, so crawlers know and acknowledge what your site is about, image descriptions included. The more crawlers understand the images, the better for ranking. The sitemap is a fundamental optimization support tool in making images SEO ready.
7. Remove the attachment file or page for the picture or graphic
Sometimes, attachments are overlooked, and when users click the image, it leads to a blank page or is irrelevant to the image’s purpose of the site content. Clean up attachment links from images because any glitches or irrelevance will hurt your ranking.
8. Customize the filename of images
Before uploading images to the website, customize the filename by changing it relative to the purpose of the image to make it SEO-ready. For example, a picture of an area where you have real estate listings could be modern-award-winning-estate-rancho-santa-fe-california.jpg. Many website owners miss this step. It’s simple but can really make a difference in ranking.
9. Use a CDN
The vast majority of websites serve all their files (including images) from a single server. If your web server is located in Los Angeles, then your images won’t have to travel far when someone in Los Angeles visits your website. But your New York visitors will have a different experience. The images must travel much farther to reach them. As a result, your website will load slower. The CDN (Content Delivery Network) & caching plugins like Nitropack resolve this issue by caching your files across a global network of servers. Whenever someone visits your website, the images are loaded from the server closest to them.
Correct File Types for Image Optimization For SEO
There are various file types for images, pictures, and graphics. It is important to choose the right one for SEO readiness. The most popular file types for images are JPEG and PNG. These are the most recognized in terms of quality, even after downsizing and compression. So, what’s the difference between the two?
- JPEG is the best format for photographs. So, if you want to upload pictures, choose the ones with the JPEG file type. These high-definition pictures are crisp and clear even after downsizing and compression.
- PNG is best suited for graphics such as logos, icons, text, etc… Many design or online solutions can optimize PNG images. These tools will enhance the quality of the icon or logo and prepare it for SEO.
The following tips are doable even without a programming background. So, let’s run down the tips in a step-by-step process for you to make sure the images are optimized for SEO:
- Curate your images relative to the content you are uploading. Make sure these have the right file type.
- Make sure they are the appropriate size. If not, then resize and compress the images. Customize the file with the proper name as you resize it according to its related content. Check if the pictures, graphics, logos, or icons have unwanted attachments.
- Upload the image to your site. When you upload, do not forget the title of the image and the alt text.
- When you submit your sitemap, make sure descriptions of images are included.
- Test your image on the page, the loading speed, and once clicked through.
There you have it, easy and fast image SEO optimization.