4 Image SEO Tips to Keep In Mind When Optimizing Your Website
If you are working to enhance your online presence through SEO, ensuring the quality of your written content is likely front of mind. Although having high-value, unique content is an essential part of optimizing your website, it is also important to remember to optimize your images as well. Images are a key element to attracting users to your site, so prioritizing image SEO can be a game-changer for your online presence. Here are a few of our biggest tips for optimizing images on your website!
1. Use the best file type and size
Images on the web are generally one of the three common file types: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Because each file type uses a different method of compression, the file size can vary greatly between types. Large image files can cause a page to load slowly- which is a crucial factor given that page speed is a ranking factor for Google. A simple rule of thumb to follow for selecting the best image file type is that JPEGs are best for photographs, PNGs are best for most other still graphics, and GIFs are best for moving images. Most editing software will give you the option to save images as any of the file types, but there are also online tools that can be used to convert images from one type of file to another.
Again, the larger an image file is, the longer it will take to load on the site page. Aim to keep files under 100kg when possible for optimal site performance. Images can be compressed using a number of different tools, including TinyPNG and WP Smush. Google’s PageSpeed insights tool can give an indication of how greatly images are affecting a page’s load speed.
2. Optimize file names, tags, and image titles
Naming an image file to reflect what is in the image helps Google to properly file and sort the image. Rather than leaving an image titled something like “IMG_843958”, name the file using a few keywords that describe the image. Alt tags should also be used for every image- these allow a browser to display alternative text when an image is not loading on a page. Alt tags should be descriptive and relevant to the image.
The last element of file naming is the title, which is important when it comes to optimizing images for SEO. The image title is what will show when a user hovers over an image, so this should be grammatically correct, coherent, and descriptive of the image. Title and alt text tags help an image rank higher on the SERP, enhancing the relevancy of a page and improving user experience.
3. Use unique images
The problem with stock photos is that more often than not, lots of sites will be using the same images. Just as unique written content is ideal for SEO, unique images are best whenever possible to boost your odds of ranking on relevant searches. More clicks on an image means higher rankings, and users tend to be able to identify stock images and glance over them. A digital designer can create unique images by tailoring existing stock images, or original photos can even be taken by a photographer. Google loves unique images, so the more the better!
4. Add images to the sitemap
A sitemap is a file where information about the pages, videos, images, and other files are mapped out, along with their relationships with one another. Search engines like Google use sitemaps to crawl a site, determining which pages and files are most relevant and what information on each page is valuable. Because they have the ability to tell Google what is important on a site, sitemaps are essential to SEO. Adding images to a sitemap ensures that crawlers notice every image on a site. Image map entries should include the image title, description, caption, URL location, and license information. For sites hosted on WordPress, images are automatically added to the sitemap.
Learn More About Image Optimization and SEO Strategies
Optimizing images on your site can have a significant impact on your SEO performance and your rankings on the SERP. To learn more about how you can grow your online presence with SEO strategies, reach out to our skilled digital marketing specialists at BluShark.