While some of us might consider this quote a cliche but it doesn’t make it any less the truth, especially in the case of the online world today.
As we know, the consumption of content is shifting towards the picturesque side of things consistently and continuously. Visual images are consumed 60,000 times faster than text. Which is why marketers cannot ignore the importance of images any longer.
Now that we know how important images are in the world wide web the question that comes to mind is how to make the best possible use of it? This is where image SEO comes into the game, it is a special niche in SEO dedicated to providing a seamless experience with the images associated with your online presence.
When search engines index your web content they might not be able to understand the images but they do understand the text around it. Image SEO is all about optimizing the images so that web crawlers can easily understand the images and rank them higher in the search results.
This can be achieved in several ways such as image file size reduction, contextual ALT tags and more. In this article, we are going to discuss all the things you can do to optimize your images.
So let’s get Started With Image SEO tips, shall we!!
1) Use Original & Beautiful Images
Why would anyone engage with an unimpressive image they’ve seen a million times? You should never post images for the sake of it instead, they should complement and support your textual content.
Your images should tell a story and leave a long-lasting impact upon the users. This is why creating beautiful branded images form the foundation of any image SEO strategy.
Although Google doesn’t frown upon the copied images still you should get your image made by your graphic designer. A truly unique and contextual image would enhance your user experience.
You can also find beautifully curated images from resources such as Pixabay, Unsplash, Flickr, etc.
2) Use Optimisable File Size
Having high-quality images is it great, however a lot of times these come with a large file size that negatively impacts your webpage load time.
You can reduce the file size while ensuring quality does not get affected by using online tools like Adobe Photoshop. Make sure all your images are within 500kb to ensure optimal loading speed.
Not only that, the file format (GIF, PNG, JPEG) is crucial while maintaining the file size and image quality balance. Since these file formats have a different compression rate and affect the quality differently, therefore, it’s file format should be per the image type.
Mostly JPEGs are the best for photographs, PNG’s for line drawings & texts and GIFs should be used for moving images.
3) Consider Accurate Image Name
As we mentioned before search engine crawlers scan the text associated with the image to understand what the image is about. This is why establishing a well-defined image nomenclature is an important image SEO activity.
To name your images effectively the name should contain the main keywords and should also be short as well as relevant. The easier it is for search engine crawlers to scan your image, the more are the chance of the image to rank higher in search results.
Ranking higher in the search engine’s results is the best way to ensure the images readily reach your target audience. You can use the insights from your website analytics to find out how your target audience is searching for your product or services to name your images.
4) Apply Vector Graphics
The use of vector graphics is ideally for images like icons, logos, text, etc. all the simple geometric designs. Vector graphic implementation resulting in sharp results even in high resolution and varying screen sizes.
One of the most widely used vector graphics is the SVGs (Scalable Vector Graphics) due to its high adaptability in varying devices. Don’t forget to minify the SVG file during optimization and compress it with GZIP.
5) Use Effective Image Captions
Users first come in contact with your images from a webpage which is where image captions come in. image captions not only describe the image, but they also help the search engines understand the image as well.
To create an impressive website caption, you should use them as image headlines. Keep the caption descriptive but short, and it should always be in the present tense.
Yes, image captions are helpful but overusing them also make the webpage all cluttered up. If you think your image is self-explanatory then let it be without captions.
6) Implement Best Image SEO Practices For ALT Text
Alt text like image name and caption are used to describe the image and help the search engines understand the image better and index them. Not only that ALT tags help users interpret the image on devices that are unable to process the images.
A well-optimized image ALT text short but descriptive and must contain the image SEO determined key words. And do not even think about keyword stuffing.
7) Don’t Forget About Image Sitemaps
In case there are a lot of webpages the search engine crawlers sometimes fail to index all the webpages and images. To prevent this, sitemaps are implemented to help the search engines discover the images without a hitch.
There is no need to add individual sitemap specifically for images you can add the image information in the existing sitemap. In case you are implementing WordPress or Yoast SEO in your website then images are added automatically in your sitemaps
8) The contextual Image Data Structure
By adding structured data property in your images the search engines can display them as snippets. Giving your images a richer listing in the search results.
Just make sure the image and text are aligned with one another and the URL are crawlable.
9) Optimize According to The Traffic Received from Image Search
The best way to determine your image SEO strategies are working or not is to analyze the image search traffic. You can either use Google Analytics or Google Search Console to achieve your objective.
Based on your insights you can improve upon the images that failing to attract the right traffic and replicate the elements that are doing well.
10) Consider Lazy Loading
Lazy loading loads images when they need to be shown on the screen i.e. scrolling. It can speed up your web page speed quite a bit as the images are loaded in sequence and only if they are needed to be shown.