Are we using the proper image SEO optimization techniques, to achieve maximum results from search engines?
As bloggers, we mostly use images and different types of visuals to keep our audience engaged.
To drive traffic from search engines, we need to optimize the images for SEO.
Mostly we optimize the text content, through some on-page SEO techniques. But sometimes we miss the optimization of image SEO, which helps to bring organic traffic from search engines.
Some bloggers are eliminating the images and other visuals from the blogs, which help to keep your website faster.
If you are using the images in your blogs, then you should provide some value to your blog SEO.
Using the image for the sake of just visual attraction is only not enough.
Just think like it. If you are taking any free stock image from websites and just uploading into your blog.
Are you thinking it is SEO image optimization?
You just added a few kilobytes to your website, which doesn’t have any SEO benefits and also slow down your website.
What is image SEO optimization?
The image SEO is considered as optimizing the images to rank higher for that keyword in image SERP results. The image SEO optimization also helps the search engine to find the purpose of the image.
Normally the image optimization includes both SEO and making your website user-friendly to readers.
Why you should follow Image SEO optimization
Whenever you are writing an article, have you enquired yourself whether I need to include images or not.
If you ask me, mostly I will prefer to include images in my content. It’s because sometimes images give some extra information to the readers.
If you are backing up your plain text with proper images will give you the best writing style.
Image SEO optimization has two primary benefits. The first thing, it helps to keep your audience engaged and helps in the Search engine side (SEO).
Following some best practices of using images and optimizing it for SEO is important.
There are millions of images search happening every day to discover the visual content.
Data from Moz shows that over 26% of all searches happening in the US are images across the top 10 search properties.
It shows the importance of images in blogs. So start learning to optimize your images for SEO to make your blogs stronger.
Guide to Optimizing Images for SEO and readers
Choosing the proper images
Selecting the right image is the first step in the process. There are many types of blog images you can use in your content.
Define the purpose of the image. When using in your blogs, find which type of images assist your content better.
For example – If you are defining any step-by-step process, then screenshots will be better. For writing data-driven blog posts, charts are better.
This is the way you should find the right images for the content.
Mostly try to use original images, which are taken by yourself.
Just taking any random images from google and using it in the blogs will lead to copyright issues.
So avoid that.
There are also many websites to get free stock images. The images from these websites, usually safe to use on your websites.
But whenever you are taking images from other websites, read their conditions for using the images.
But it always appreciated giving attribution to the photographer.
Then another thing is choosing the right image format to use in the content.
There are many types of images available, but PNG and JPEG are the most common image format type to use.
But which type suits better for blogs.
The difference between PNG and JPEG
PNG – it stands for portable network graphics. It is one of the lossless types of format, which makes bloggers use it on websites.
This image format mostly doesn’t lose image quality after compression.
JPG – It is one of the lossy types of image format, but you can maintain the compression ratio to find better quality. JPG produces more colors and details, it can be used for storing high-quality images.
My choice is to go with PNG, which provides a good quality in limited size for the blog post. Sometimes, JPG is also more suitable on some occasions.
Choosing the right image dimension
Usually, image size refers to the dimension of the image, and file size refers to the storage size of the image.
Choosing the right dimension of the image. The images should be chosen based on where we are using it.
Mostly when it comes to blogs, landscape images are better.
The raw images taken from the high-quality camera will have more resolution and higher dimensions.
When you are downloading the images from websites like pexels, you will show up with different dimensions. So that you can choose based on your choice.
Compressing the image file size
After you have chosen the proper image, then it’s time to compress your larger sized images.
If you use the uncompressed images in your blog post, then you are taking a huge risk.
It is one of the important steps in Image SEO optimization. It is the process that reduces the storage size of the image.
Images are the major contributor to the increase in website page size.
If you highly compress your images, then the images look very poor. Alternatively, if you don’t compress it, then the image file size will be high.
Without proper optimization, the images will cause SEO problems.
So it is essential to find the balance between the compression and quality of the images.
You can use websites like compress images. It allows you to upload images and compress and resize the images.
Here you can set the quality of the image you need. For resizing, you will give the input size you need and it will give the output of the image as your need.
You can also use famous image compression websites like tinypng.
If you are using wordpress as your content management software, then you can use plugins.
When choosing the plugins, choose the best. Because some plugins don’t reduce the image sizes more, and it leads to increased storage.
How image optimization helps website loading speed and SEO
You often heard that page loading speed affects the website’s user experience and SEO.
Here is a website, they increased their webpage loading speed by 2 seconds by compressing the images.
Once you have compressed your images, you will see a difference in page loading speed.
If you are not sure where to check your website loading speed, then here are some websites.
Optimizing image SEO – Some best practices
Proper image file name
Don’t upload your images with default names. By default, the name of the images will be anywhere like “IMG_001” and “src001”.
It doesn’t seem fair.
Name the image files related to it. So choosing the right filename is also considered for Image SEO optimization.
To ensure the image file name with relevant keywords, to get some added advantage of the images in SEO.
The relevant name of the images gives some identity to the search engines about the image.
Most of them just upload the images directly, with their default image name.
But it should be avoided.
For example – look at the below sample image
It was a stock image that has a birthday girl and cake in it.
I have named here the image as “birthday girl and cake”.
This gives google some idea about what the image is.
Everyday SEO is getting more competitive, So very small mistakes can also cost you more.
So when it comes to SEO, be alert in every tiny thing.
Image ALT Tag for SEO
ALT tags are alternative text used by the search engines, to find the proper usage of the image.
Don’t try to give any non-relevant ALT text to the images for cheating the search engines.
Sometimes your alt text will be shown to the readers.
When the reader’s browser doesn’t load the images, instead of an image this alternative text is shown to the readers.
It is also helpful for users who use screen readers for reading the content. In this situation, instead of image you, your alternative text is dictated. It helps the users to well understand the purpose of the image.
So make sure your ALT tag is more relevant and well describe the images.
Whenever you look for image SEO optimization, Image ALT text is the important thing insisted by everyone.
Image ALT text is a major contributor to the SEO side.
Placing proper keywords in the Alternative(ALT) text will boost up your blog post as well.
It shows Google that you are using some relevant information sources through images.
The search engines will get complete knowledge of the images through this image ALT text.
Google says that it uses alt text with some computer vision algorithm and connects it with page contents to completely understand the subject and purpose of that image.
So you can’t accurately say which influences your ranking of the images for those keywords.
The alt text in images will act as an anchor text when you are using any link in the images. So use the alt text that any provides any value to the content.
Look at the below video that Matt Cutts explains about ALT attributes.
Whenever giving any alt text to the images, give useful information to the content that uses keywords.
Using relevant keywords to the content improves the quality of the image.
Don’t stuff more keywords in the alternative text which will lead to spam and reduce user experience.
For example, look at the below example from google, using the proper alt text for better Image SEO optimization.
Use enough words in the alternative text to perfectly describe the image.
Use captions in images
The captions in the images are a text which is shown below the images. Captions give some complement to the images.
Usually, image cations don’t have any SEO purposes?
Then why should you consider image SEO optimization? It is because captions drive readers’ attention more.
Look at the data from Neil Patel says that captions under the images are read on an average 300% more than the body content.
If you are not using the images, then you will miss out on some potential readers.
Sometimes, the readers only scan your content. In those types of situations, the image caption attracts the people to engage with your captions.
It probably doesn’t mean that you need to add captions to every image. Every image has its purposes. So use it wherever it is necessary.
Using image title and descriptions
When it comes to search engine algorithms, the title and descriptions are also included.
Google says that they automatically extract the information of the image from the content of the page. This information includes both captions and image titles.
They extract the images and generate the information of the images based on the user query to meet user needs.
Follow image structured data
By adding structured data to your pages, helps google to show your images in the rich results.
Rich results give the users more relative and particular information about the image.
Structured data is not much associated with page ranking, but it helps to more visible the images in search engines.
By adding structured data to your images gives you a badge on an image. This badge helps for driving better-targeted traffic to the site.
Google supports structured data for products, videos, recipes.
Read to know more about adding structured data from google.
Add image sitemap
Adding the images to the sitemap helps Google to easily identify the images. Normally, a sitemap contains a group of URLs.
Make sure that you are adding your image URL to the sitemap.
If you are using wordpress, then using the Yoast SEO plugin creates an XML image sitemaps to your latest posts.
Look at the instructions for using the XML image sites to get the most out of it.
Here are some types of tags to provide more information and a good user experience.
- Read – Some best practices of using images in the content.
- Read – benefits of using infographics in content marketing
A quick checklist to follow through image SEO optimization
- Choose relevant images for your blogs.
- Choose the right dimension of images suit your blog layout to make it visible.
- Take a suitable image format for use in the blogs. PNG and JPEG are famous image formats to be used.
- Compress the images, it helps to reduce the file size and helps faster loading of webpages.
- Change the default image file name to some relevant image name that describes the image more.
- Add image alt text to your images. This alt text should focus your primary keywords and help the audience who uses screen recording.
- Using captions will help to engage the readers.
- Using image structured data helps Google to show your images in the rich snippet.
- Add your images to the sitemap. Submitting to the site helps the search engines to quickly find your images and index them.
Questions related to optimizing Image SEO
Normally google image supported formats are BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG. These are all the common image formats to be used. But mostly for images, PNG and JPEG could be better.
Images are also important to SEO. Image SEO also helps search engines to understand more about the content. It helps in image search engines and if people like your content, then search engines will rank your blog content.
It doesn’t guarantee that, if you are optimized images for SEO then can drive more traffic. Some people only click on visually appealing images. If your image is not visually appealing, then people don’t click it.
Normally when it comes to image SEO optimization, we mostly only focus on compressing the images and adding the alternative text.
Add your most relevant keywords that connect your content and images.
These are the initial main things to focus on.
But if you want some extra benefits from image SEO, then you should focus on all the things mentioned above.
Once you start practicing the image SEO optimization, it will become easier.
Images are important things that help the user experience and insist on people taking action.
Many new bloggers are not focusing much on optimizing the image on SEO, but it should be focused.
Use image SEO optimization techniques and make your images visible in search engines.
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Have I missed any Image SEO techniques to make it better? Comment below.