Websites are written in hypertext, they consist of electronic content which can be divided into text and images. The text provides you with key information, the images is responsible for making a website more lively and attractive to readers. Since images are part of a website, when optimizing a website for SEO, we also have to optimize its images in addition to the text. Image SEO is an often overlooked but useful on-page SEO strategy. Let’s find out the benefits of optimizing your images, and how to create SEO-friendly images for your pages and posts.
What is Image SEO?
Image SEO refers to the optimization of graphics on a website to make the page more appealing to search engine crawlers. Image SEO provides additional information about a graphic to search engines, which helps them understand the content and can lead to a boost in search rankings and visibility, and it can also lead to an image appearing in Google’s image search.
Image search has become increasingly important in the past year. In February 2018, Google removed the “view image” button in its image search results, which led more people to go to the website to view the image.
With this change, websites started to notice an increase in traffic through content search. Some pages even saw a 37% increase in the number of site visitors.
Image SEO can drive more traffic to your site through image search and help your pages rank. So how do you name images for SEO and optimize your graphics?
Follow these steps to learn how to add SEO-friendly images to your site
1) Add at least one image
As one of the best practice for SEO, always include at least one image or graphic on a page. An image shows search engines that the page is valuable and engaging and will, therefore, be useful to searchers. Plus, images benefit readers as they make content both easier to scan and understand.
2) Use high-quality images
Images will be more engaging and interesting to your audience if they are high quality. If possible, create custom graphics that are unique to your pages to make your site stand out in image search.
Don’t forget: Many users are clicking through images they find in search to view the image on the webpage. So publishing SEO content with unique, optimized images could result in higher website traffic for your site.
If you can’t create custom graphics, include graphics that don’t look like stock photos that have been reproduced on dozens of other sites. Be sure to use images you have purchased and/or have license to use to avoid copyright infringement.
3) Choose the best file type
Image file types can affect the time taken for a graphic to load or appear on a webpage. So when you add a graphic, choose the best file type for the intended use.
- JPGs for photos
- PNG for most custom graphics, screenshots, and logos (PNG files have a transparent background.)
- SVG for custom graphics or logos that will be viewed in many different sizes (SVG files scale to a variety of sizes without losing quality.)
- GIFs for animated or moving graphics
4) Use appropriate image file sizes
Large images can slow down website load times. Slow load times lead to bad user experiences and poor long-term SEO results. So, use image SEO best practices for sizing. Beside display image size, resize image files to the intended display size, and compress large files before you upload them to your site.
5) Add and optimize the image alt tag
Do image alt tags help SEO? The answer is yes. Search crawlers can read and understand words, but they can’t see images. Alt tags, otherwise known as “alt attributes” and “alt descriptions” help them process an image without seeing it by telling the search engine what the graphic is.
In addition to helping with SEO, image alt tags also help Internet users. Some people have image displays turned off, their browsers can’t load graphics because of a weak web connection, or they are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment. In these cases, the image alt tag tells the reader what the graphic is. So, adding image alt tags can improve both user and search crawler experiences.
How to Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text for Your Images
- Include the page’s target keyword in at least one image alt tag.
- Keep your alt text short and concise.
- The alt text on each image on your page should be different.
- Create legible alt text with your readers and search crawlers in mind.
6) Add the target keyword to the image title
Another way to create SEO-friendly images is by incorporating the target keyword in the image title. The image title is another tag that identifies and describes the graphic. It is not as important as the alt tag, but it is still relevant and should be used. Using the same phrasing for your image alt tag and image title is one of the best practices for image SEO.
7) Add the target keyword to the image file name
The file name is another tag or label connected to an image. This is the name of the image file that is uploaded to a website. This label should also include the page’s target keyword and match the format of the image alt tag to help with keyword optimization.
8) Add image-structured data
Structured data, also referred to as schema markup, are another way to add backend details to an image to help search engines understand that there are images in the article. Structured data also increase the chances that an image can show up as a rich result on search engine results pages. Therefore, you should add it to important images.
Optimize Your Image SEO and Improve Search Performance
Image SEO is just a part of on-page SEO. Image SEO, keyword optimization, and other SEO copywriting best practices must work together for optimal performance.
As you write, you can also use an on-page SEO checklist to ensure your pages include all the important elements.
Once you’re confident your on-page and image SEO are in good shape, look at the bigger SEO picture. Be sure your site is optimized for all other types of SEO to achieve the best results from search.