If you have a website or blog, you cannot ignore the benefits that SEO can offer you.
However, SEO is no longer limited to posting quality content and backlink building. Gone are the days when off-page SEO was enough to drive organic traffic to your blog or website.
On-page SEO is, now, a vital part of SEO and without it, you can forget seeing your site on the top list of search results for particular keywords.
Since on-page optimization assumes equal importance when it comes to SERP results, traffic, and leads, ignoring it would be a total blunder.
And image optimization, being an important part of On-page SEO, requires special attention.
What is image optimization and why is it important?
Just as you optimize your content so that it can be easily found and indexed by search engines, the images on your website or blog need to be optimized too, so that they are easily featured on search engine results.
With the increasing use of image search options provided by different search engines, the importance of ranking on image search results has become equally important.
By optimizing your images, you stand a chance of better influx of visitors from search engines. This can increase organic traffic and help you achieve your internet marketing goals.
Optimizing images for search engines
Since image optimization is important for getting visitors and in turn, leads, it is vital that you know how to do it properly.
In this guide, we will tell you how to optimize all images on a website or blog so that you can get the best juice from search engine results:
Just as it is important that the content on a particular page is relevant to the page itself, so is it important to have relevant images on a page, whether that be a blog page (or post) or a website page.
Posting irrelevant images on a page will not only displease the users, but also be negatively marked by the search engines.
Use of ALT tag This is the most important part of image optimization. This is because most of the commonly used search engines are text-based, which means that they cannot read the media files that you use, including pictures.
That is why, the locations where you post your pictures appear to be empty to the search engines, and that is not good for the SEO score.
That is why, it is important that you add the ALT (alternate) tags to your pictures.
This will not only help the search engine bots understand that a picture is in place, but also help index the picture according to the ALT text given.
This helps the picture to easily rank in image search results. However, remember to keep the ALT text short, but descriptive.
The size of the images that you upload will greatly impact the loading speed of your website or blog. If the images are quite big in size, the loading speed will decrease significantly and this can affect the SEO score.
That is why, it is best to upload images that do not affect the loading speed. In order to ensure that all images that you upload have a optimal size, it is best to resort to the following techniques:
- You should use .jpg images instead of .png images. This, usually, reduces the image size and increases the loading speed.
- If you are looking to retain the background transparency, use of .png files is
- You can also convert the images to .webp format to retain image quality while reducing image size.
- Try to compress the images you are about to upload.
- You can use a CDN network if you have a WordPress website or blog.
Though it is not very clear as to how image hosting affects the image search SEO, yet indications are that image hosting play an important role in image search results.
It is suggested that search engine bots give more value to images that are on the same hosting as the content/text they come with.
That is why, it is suggested that you do not put the images on some free image hosting sites.
Another algorithm that is believed to be used by the search engine bots for image ranking is how they blend with the text that they come with.
Image file name
Another thing that many people tend to forget is adding a relevant name to the image file.
Using generic names like image001, or DSC0001 isn’t going to tell the search engine anything about the image.
That is why, the image name should be such that it gives the search engines an idea what the image is about.
It should be something like ‘best-fruits-for-summer’ which will indicate that the image is about fruits that are good for summers.
This will indicate the image relevancy with the content on the page and assist in better image search rankings.
Use responsive images
While using images on your blog posts or on your website, it must always be remembered that all visitors to your website will not be on a desktop computer or a laptop.
That is why, the images that you use must be responsive. That way, the images that you use can be viewed without any issue on tablets, mobile phones, etc.
If you are using the latest WordPress version for your website or blog, this shouldn’t be a problem for you as the feature is by default set for the latest versions (4.4 or more).
To be responsive, the images must have the ‘srcset’ attribute. Image optimization is very important in the present times, given the high competition to rank on the top of the search results for different keywords.
And the best part is that it is not at all difficult to optimize images for the best results. All that you need is some time to follow a few simple steps while uploading and using the images.