Times have changed since the era of dial-up Internet when users had to wait minutes for a single image to load. We can now access the Internet quickly, even on our mobile devices. Be aware; optimizing images for users and search engines is as crucial as ever.
However, did you realise that you’re losing out on a chance if you aren’t optimising your photographs for SEO? Search engines can better grasp your website and content if you use picture SEO. Additionally, you may increase your visibility in picture search results, which helps attract interest in your goods and services.
Keep reading if you want to find out why and how to optimise photos for search engines. Contact us online or visit our website to learn more about how iMarketing’s SEO Malaysia campaign can assist with image SEO optimisation!
What is image optimization?
Image optimisation reduces an image’s file size, format, and dimension without sacrificing image quality. For websites to run better, image optimisation is crucial. Search engines like Google recommend compressing photos wherever possible because doing so helps lower website load times, which is a key ranking factor. Compression is only one step in the image optimisation process, though.
A descriptive picture alt tag, human-readable file names with keywords, and responsive and mobile-friendly image creation are all ways to optimise photos for search engine optimisation. The user experience can be enhanced, and better search results can be promoted with an image caption and social sharing options.
Read More: On-Page SEO Ranking Factors
Why should you optimize images for SEO
Websites must have images since they impact the user experience, site exposure, and Google search engine rankings. You should be aware of the following:
Google’s search result pages show images in about 38% of them, enabling consumers to view text and visual content.
Images are essential in eCommerce for persuading users to make purchases.
Optimization is essential for keeping visitors interested in your website because images can have a favourable or unfavourable impact on their user experience.
Images must be downloaded for browsers to display them to users. A big image file can take up too much bandwidth and cause slow downloads. As a result, the user experience is bad, and the images load slowly.
Google gives web pages that load swiftly more importance. Image SEO aids in web image optimisation so that search engines can easily read and find them. Additionally, it ensures that Google gives your website a high content rating. Image SEO often calls for optimising the image kind, usage, alt text, and keywords in addition to decreasing the image file size.
10 SEO image optimization tips you need to know
Learn how to optimise images for SEO with these ten tips for SEO image optimisation:
1. Identify your keyphrases and keywords
As you would to optimise the rest of your website, make sure to conduct research. Likely, you know the essential keywords people use to locate you online. Excellent if you are familiar with the search terms for which you rank. You already know which keywords to use when optimising your photos for search engines.
It’s time to study if you need clarification on your keywords. To find out what people are looking for concerning your business, use a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. You’re prepared to use SEO for photos effectively after you have the optimal keywords.
2. Adhere to SEO-friendly recommended practices for image naming
We recognise that it can be tempting to label photographs simply with “image2.jpg” or the default title that your camera assigns them. However, this is not ideal because search crawlers examine picture filenames. Your image filenames should appropriately describe the content of the images.
Include the keyword in the file name if it applies to the image. Use more than random keywords to boost your image SEO ranks. Keyword stuffing is never a brilliant idea, even though a search engine might need help to tell straight once that the description is irrelevant.
3. Include images in sitemaps
Search engines cannot index visuals; therefore, you must provide as many hints as possible about what they contain. As a best practice for publishing photographs, Google advises generating image sitemaps.
This indicates that you should abide by its guidelines while posting photographs online. If you do, your pictures will perform better in the search engines than they could.
4. Improve the image alt tags
The human brain is better than search engines at processing images. Instead, they use alt tags to identify the subject matter. Each image on your website should have a distinct alt tag that describes it, many of which should contain pertinent keywords. They also aid users unable to view your graphics in understanding your pages.
As part of your SEO image optimisation, consider adding alt tags to each image on your website. If you have a lot of photographs and didn’t add alt tags when you first uploaded them, it can be a little tiresome, but it’s worth it for the SEO benefits.
Your photographs may be viewed in all browsers. When users hover their mouse over an image, an alt tag should appear if everything is functioning. However, an alt tag is text that appears in place of your image if a browser cannot display it for some reason.
When composing alt tags, try to use as few words as possible to describe your photographs succinctly. Additionally, mention the page’s keywords if the image relates to them. However, you must never “keyword stuff” your pages by using alt tags. Google and other search engines will eventually catch on and it will affect your SEO.
5. Incorporate title tags
When optimising your photos for SEO, you should add titles and alt tags. Although many website owners mistakenly believe that title tags are equivalent to alt tags, title tags do not replace pictures that cannot be shown. Instead, users move their cursor over an image to see them appear.
As a result, you can employ only a few keywords in your title tags. You can utilise them to communicate with users directly. Use these to add more explanations or write them as photo captions.
6. Write body content
Although alt tags are unquestionably crucial, they only give search engines a small quantity of data. You should include body material on your pages to provide them with context.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking, “But I operate a photography website—I’m not a writer!” Many image-heavy website proprietors dislike investing time in writing copy when it’s not their forte. Many photographers and other experts have added blogs to their websites to address this.
Let’s imagine, for illustration, that you recently captured a wedding. Include all the images in a thorough blog article about the day rather than just uploading them to your website.
This will allow you to naturally incorporate your keywords into your content and offer your website a fascinating, unique dimension.
The most crucial thing to remember is how closely your text and graphics relate. If your website solely contains interior design photographs, but you write a lot of text on your love of water skiing, you’ll only waste your time and the search engines.
7. Avoid covering up your text with graphics
Any text hiding is regarded as a black hat SEO technique, and it will result in penalties. You could replace the first-page heading, or H1, with an image, but don’t do it by hiding the header text. Although the thinking is harmless, it should not be used.
If you truly want to utilise a picture as your header rather than text, make sure you name the image correctly to benefit from SEO-friendly images.
8. Consider various image formats
Regarding photos, file types can be used interchangeably. Who gives a damn whether your images are JPEG images, PNG images, or GIFs? In actuality, travellers will. Some of your photographs may need to be compressed if you have a lot of them to maintain site speed. Sometimes doing so necessitates changing to a smaller file type.
JPEG files typically are the best image format because they take up the least amount of space without sacrificing quality. PNG files are another reasonably little choice for picture SEO if you cannot save images to JPEG.
9. Image compression
Page load time is one of the characteristics that search engines use to determine rankings. A page will take longer to load if the image files are huge. Your orders may suffer if your pages load slowly on their own. Additionally, if they take less time, users may become impatient and leave before viewing your material, which might hurt your rankings even more.
Images enhance the visual attractiveness of your website, but use caution when using decorative photos. Your load time may be slowed by an excessive number of them or by huge aesthetic elements. This may lower your page ranking or result in fewer conversions.
With the initiative to compress images to reduce image size, it can ensure faster page loading times. Although there is no hard limit on file size, anything more than a few hundred kilobytes is likely to slow down a website.
To maintain quality, try to resize images as straightforwardly as you can. Avoid making the file size so small that the quality is compromised or changing the file type to one that will result in a marked change in appearance.
Other file kinds also function, but JPGs are typically a safe bet because they provide the best quality at the most miniature file size. Try out your alternatives with various image optimization tools to discover which offers the desired quality with the smallest file size and fastest loading time.
10. Share your photos
Similar to text-heavy pages, image-heavy pages’ rankings are influenced by links. Your chances of ranking highly increase with the number of links from high-authority domains. It’s to your best advantage to ensure that as many people see (and, if possible, connect to) your material.
Having a lot of unique graphic content helps you in this situation. Long text passages are far less appealing to viewers than images, making images more shareable. Share your photos on social media, add links to newsletters and other emails, and nudge your friends and followers to follow suit. You can also encourage site visitors to share your content by adding social sharing buttons on your website and blog.
How do you optimize website images with iMarketing
We hope you’ll think about image SEO when preparing your web material. Although it takes some time, the SEO advantages will help you grow your audience and improve your online reputation.
We’re pleased to assist if you still need help performing SEO for your images or any other part of your website. Get in touch with us to begin bringing in more visitors and leads. You can also read our other comprehensive guide to SEO.