Most people working in the online marketing branch know that your textual content on your website must be SEO proof. But did you also know that the same applies to the images? In many cases when a website is optimized for SEO, the images are often forgotten. This is a huge missed opportunity, and I am going to explain to you why. Here are 6 tips on how you can optimize all your website images for better SEO.
As always things start with Google, so before I start with my tips please keep the following in mind. On Google these days you increasingly see images, videos and Google Maps among the search results, also known as universal search. This development has made it all the more important to optimize the images in order to attract extra visitors to your page. Optimizing content is part of search engine optimization.
1. Use informative descriptions and use keywords for the images
There are 2 ways to add keywords to your image. The first one is the description of your photo. Make sure that the image name contains a targeted keyword(s). Words that potential customers might search for and that is relevant. Often images have meaningless file names that are generated by the camera, such as IMG_11299.jpg.
Make sure to always give your images informative names.
The second location to add keywords is at the moment you upload your image to for example your WordPress website. Below is an image that shows a good example of keywords and description options that you have for an image.
2. The importance of Alt tag
In addition to the image name and description, the alt tag also has added value. Alt stands for alternative, or the alternative text linked to the image. The search engine cannot directly read what is displayed in some images. By placing a relevant description of the image in the alt tag, it becomes possible for the search engine to read the image. Always try to keep the description limited to a maximum of 10 words.
image source: Southernweb.com
3. Use the image in the right context
Use the right image for the right content/context, sounds logical right? This is important because it can have an effect on the value of optimizing the page where the images are on. The Google search engine might get confused if, for example, you use an image of a cow in your cooking blog about cheese. And finally, if the image is not yours always make sure you check the image for copyrights. Add image sources if needed. The source links might even give you some good backlinks.
4. Choosing the right image format
We can debate for years about the right image format. The truth is that the right format doesn’t exist. For each individual image could be decided how you want to use it which format is most suitable for it.
These are the recommendations for image formats:
1. JPEG is the best when using large photos or illustrations. This because the colors and clarity looks better in a relatively small file size
2. PNG is the best for images with a transparent background. Often used for logos on websites since the transparent background will never interfere with the Webdesign.
3. WebP will produce high-quality images with smaller file sizes. You can use tools like Squoosh to convert your image into WebP.
5. Reduce the file size
If you have too many large images on your website it will cause your website to become slow. This will result in bad search engine results and frustrated visitors. Thankfully there are several useful tools that can reduce the file size of an image without losing quality!
One that is used a lot is called TinyPNG. As a rule of thumb, you can use that there should never be more than 100 kB of illustrations per page.
6. Links to the image
Just like with normal Search Engine Optimization, don’t forget to generate links that lead directly to the image. Just like with link building, the same applies to images; the more links, the better.
Because images are becoming increasingly important in the search results, it is important to keep up with the trend. Not only can images be found better, but search engine optimization can also be improved by these extra keywords on the page.