Can you remember the last time you uploaded a picture on your website?
What was it like? The chances are you might have searched a stock photo, uploaded it on the backhand of the website and inserted it to a page.
An exemplary case of image optimization, right? No!
What you did was uploaded a giant bowling ball to your website which will horrendously impact its speed. Moreover, the search engines will ignore your image because there was no alt tag with it.
SEO professionals know that image optimization for your website is worth your time.
Optimizing images has many advantages, such as improved user experience, faster page load times, and increased ranking possibilities. Additionally, it adds value to your website that helps in ranking the website better in search results.
Let’s dive-in to the methods that will make your images famous on Google search results.
Choose the right format
You might feel like you are ordering a taco for the first time when decoding all the different image formats. You want to choose the best file type for your site before adding images.
Web images are usually submitted in PNG, JPEG or GIF format.
PNG: Produces higher-quality images, but it has a larger file size. The format is ideal for logos and simple illustrations.
JPEG: It has a smaller file size as compared to PNG. Image quality may be lost, but it can be adjusted to find a good compromise. The format is ideal for photographs but doesn’t support transparent backgrounds.
GIF: The GIF format supports fewer colors compared to JPEG and PNG. Its ideal for low resolution clips and short animations
When an image is not compressed, uploading it to a page will increase its load time. In addition to the other optimization areas, making sure the image loads quickly is important.
With an attention span of 8 seconds, users find it challenging to wait for the whole website to load. This normally happens due to heavy images on the website.
High-resolution images that you place on your website must be compressed before uploading. You can use software like Photoshop to reduce file sizes.
You can also compress images using various easy to use online tools such as TinyPNG and Resizing.app.
Customize File Names
When it comes to SEO for images, writing keyword-rich file names is as important as creating other content on the website.
It’s like getting a burrito without any food in it if you don’t customize its name.
The image file name informs Google and other search engines what the image is about.
A typical file name goes like “IMG_2345”. That’s the same as ordering a dish from a menu in a different language. It won’t help Google at all.
Always change the file name to something search engines can easily understand.
Consider this image of a dark chocolate:
You can name this image “425, “choc123”, IMG-432” or anything with no significance. But when you name it “dark-chocolate-bars”, it gives meaning to the image and Google understands where to place it in their directory.
Don’t Ignore SEO-friendly tags
If a browser cannot display images properly, alt tags offer text alternatives. Alt attributes provide descriptions of images, similar to the title attribute.
Whenever an image cannot be loaded, you’ll see an image box with an alt tag.
By associating keywords with images on your website, adding appropriate alt tags can help your images achieve better rankings in search engines. Alt text in images has been recommended by even Google. It helps Google learn more about the picture’s subject matter.
The American Disabilities Act requires that alt text be provided to individuals who cannot see images. It makes it easier for users to instantly perceive certain aspects of its content. For instance, you have a chocolate image on the website.
A poor image name and alt text would be
<img src=”image-45.jpg” alt=”chocolate”/>
It would be better to describe the image with the following alternative text:
<img src=”dark-chocolate-bars.jpg” alt=”dark chocolate bar split into two”/>
When the page is cached in text form, alt text is visible to both users and search engines. As an anchor text for an internal link, the image’s alt text can link to a page within the site.
Image SEO is not a choice anymore. With the tough competition out there, the only way to stand out is to use all the SEO tactics that you can, even if it means optimizing your images. Good Luck!