Image optimization for SEO You Just Can’t Ignore
Search engine optimization is becoming increasingly popular. Generating leads through various use of On-Page and Off-Page SEO is making new roads to the digital marketing industry. Lately, image optimization for SEO have become the talk of the town.
After the entry of Hi-res cameras and HD resolution images Search Engine Optimization for images have largely changed. Lately, webmasters were focusing on putting high-res images on their content and websites. But many came to know that it can greatly affect your page speed pushing off your potential visitors.
For beginners, image optimization is a technique webmasters use to rank their images better in search engines.
But Why does image optimization for SEO matter?
The central idea of optimization is getting a better rank in SERPs. Same way images help potential visitors to land on your site. The relevance of the image to the title and content is the key when it comes to image optimization. Here are a few factors you can consider before taking a step ahead to optimize your images.
Never miss the Alt attribute
I never care about this when I started writing. I even use to question its existence. If this is you then know that you can not afford to skip the Alt attribute. Alt attribute defines the search engine as to what your image talks about. For a perfect alt attribute make sure it covers every bit of information that search engine might need.
Take search engine as a blind human. It can not see any image and the only thing he can do is read and decode the information inside Alt attribute. If the description inside matches the context of your content, you have already done your tasks for optimizing your images well for search engines.
In general search engines can’t read or process images or videos. The only thing crawlers can do is read the content and analyze the structure of your site. For search engine images appears as an empty space on your website that can hurt your rankings. When you enter use Alt attributes on images it helps search engine knows that there is an image in this place. This, in turn, helps to increase your ranking.
Add value by using captions to the image
Captions are different from alt attribute. They help users to easily process an image. Besides, the search engine can process more description of an image using captions on your site. When it comes to engagements images do matter! But perhaps choosing the image with the right caption and correct text is what webmasters should look for.
Images with a fine caption help the readers to better engage with your content. Who would be interested to see a picture when it can’t even explain itself? Although, you can skip captions if the images are self-explanatory but still consider giving them a try for the sake of SEO
Reduce the Image file size
When it comes to image optimization for SEO page speed plays a crucial factor. As per surveys if your website does not load within 3 seconds you are likely to lose 35% of your traffic. Heavy image files make your page speed slower which in turn can also increase bounce rate. Since users will close the tab after waiting for a few seconds.
When it comes to image optimization for SEO there are several tools you can use. In addition, you do not need any knowledge regarding backend or any technicalities. Image reduced in size exactly looks the same although it loads faster on the web.
This can be beneficial for you and as well as the user. Although make sure to use the relevant format possible. The most common image type webmaster use is either a JPG or the PNG format. In addition, there are several online tools to help you with this. I usually use TinyPNG.
Do not overuse images
It is true that images play a great role to attract your visitors and bind their interest with content. But if you are using a lot of images in your post without content explaining about them. Then you are likely to hurt your SEO ranking. Besides, Google doesn’t value the page if it is stack with images with thin content. When it comes to image optimization for SEO make sure that the text to image ratio is healthy.
It is also better to display images once the user scrolls down to the post instead of loading all of them at once. This can also serve as a good help when it comes to increasing site performance. If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress than implementing it won’t be that hard.
Ditch the ugly filenames
If you are not paying attention to your image filename then you might be losing a chunk of traffic. When it comes to image optimization for SEO make sure to choose a custom and proper file name. For example, if your content talks about keyword planner tools then upload an image with the filename keywordplanner.png instead of 328u3128asd_231.png.
This can be very harmful when seeing from the SEO perspective. You are risking your chance not to rank in SERP’s relevant to your image. Although it is true that your visitors will never see the file name in the content. but it provides a way for the search engine to decode more information about your page and image and the keywords you associate with it.
Search console such as Google Search console is greatly helping the way webmaster can use image optimization for SEO. Are you really thinking to rank better in search engines with the help your images? Then creating an image sitemap is one of the best options for you.
Perhaps, if you are using a CMS such as WordPress then it would be relatively easy to generate your own image sitemap. With the help of several plugins such as Jetpack you can easily have your own dedicated image sitemap. Although if you are using some custom backend on your website then you need to create an XML sitemap on your own.
Do not be too decorative
When it comes to image optimization and SEO using a lot of eye-catching images is what webmaster look for. But there are colors that usually hurt your user’s eyes. You need to know that not all of your users are of the same age or have the same preference.
When you are using images on your content then avoid the too decorative ones. Avoid having background buttons, images, and borders around your content. Although you can use decorative images having lots of information and data. But you need to make sure they add value to your content or make it more interesting.
Playing around images that can hurt your user’s eyes don’t usually end up well.
Make sure to make them responsive
While talking about image optimization for SEO we need to consider its responsiveness. Most of your user would likely be using a mobile device to browse through your website. I hope you are not willing to show them an ugly look that can hurt your brand image?
In order to make images responsive make sure to have custom CSS rules for your website. Although if you don’t know how to do this than using a CMS would be the way forward. Besides the majority of WordPress themes already comes with this functionality.
The best thing comes in the last. When you are putting efforts to optimize your image for SEO make sure you are hosting them on your domain. Of course, you’re not going to optimize images for your website while linking them to a third party.
If so then it is a fail technique and is likely not to bring any organic traffic for you. Instead, it is likely that the user will end up on the third party website with a little of few interactions with your content.
Thus make sure you to host your images on your own server. Besides what if the website you are hosting the image crash down giving an ugly outlook to your content filled with Alt attributes.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope you have unlocked the secret for getting your images rank higher in SERPs!