Optimize your images for SEO. Not only are we becoming increasingly visual, but image search is also becoming more critical than ever.
Do you want your pages and posts optimized? They should have optimized images. Not only are we becoming increasingly visual, but image search is also becoming more critical than ever.
Benefits of having an optimized image in every article you post:
- It will be an image you can use when you post the article on social media
- It will spice up your content
- Added SEO boost from Google’s image search
What makes a good image?
An original image is always better than a stock image.
If you need to use a stock photo, choose one that genuinely fits and always attribute the picture to the original photographer when required. To learn more about using stock photos, read our post on finding free images for your site.[HE1]
Illustrations, infographics, and charts are another great addition to visual content. GIFs are popular but can be distracting, so use them sparingly, if at all.
Format Your Images
The format you use for your images will depend on how you want to use them
JPEG is for larger images. Even with relatively small file sizes, you will still get good color and clarity.
PNG allows you to keep the transparent background of your image for the web. This is perfect for logos.
WebP can give you even smaller file sizes than JPG and PNG with high-quality results.
Provide Context for Your Image
Your site’s content needs to be relevant and related to the images you include on the site. Have written text that supports the pictures and the purpose of the page.
Do some keyword research to find the best keywords for your images. They should be related to the keywords on the page, as well. Place the image near the relevant text, preferably near the top of the page. Use captivating captions when appropriate for the context. Not only does this help people who are scanning the article, but it is also content that is read by text-to-speech software.
Name Your Images
By properly naming your image, you can help Google recognize what the image is without even looking at it. For example, never use a generic name like DSC4328.jpg. Instead, use a descriptive name like oyster-stew.jpg. The photo’s primary subject and the article should be at the beginning of the file name.
Use Alt Text and Title Tags
Alt-text is a descriptive tag used to help the reader know what the image is in situations when the image is unavailable. This could be due to images being turned off, or because the reader is visually impaired. It will improve your accessibility, as required under the ADA, and help search engines understand the image.
Title tags are similar. Many people use the exact text for both the alt and the title tags, and some don’t use title tags. There is an argument for including more supporting information within the article rather than the title tag. That is something you will have to decide for yourself.
Resize to Optimize!
Images are often the most significant contributor to the overall page size. Unfortunately, large images load slowly, which is never good for your user experience or SEO since the load time is a ranking factor for desktop and mobile. The best thing you can do is scale your image down to the size you want it to be displayed. Otherwise, the whole image still needs to be loaded, even if you ask WordPress to show it at smaller pixel size. Once you’ve reduced your image size, you can test the page load speed at Google PageSpeed Insights.
Are Your Images Responsive?
They need to be! By default, WordPress makes all images mobile responsive, but make sure your pictures have the srcset attribute if you are using another platform.
Do You Use Structured Data?
Google supports structured data for products, recipes, and videos.
When you use structured data, your images can be displayed as rich results, often with a badge in the lower-left corner of the image to indicate whether it is a product, recipe, or video.
Are Your Images Sharable?
Create sharable images that include links to your social media, website, and newsletter. Use sharing buttons on the image to encourage social sharing. And while you are at it, add the image to your site’s sitemap, or create an image sitemap. Here are instructions from Google on how to do that.
For Explicit Content
Speaking of sharable images, be sure to optimize your images for SafeSearch. This setting allows users to block explicit content from their search results. For example, if your site uses adult images, group them separately from other photos in a common URL location.
Also add the following metadata to your page: <meta name=”rating” content=”adult” />
Is All This a Bit Overwhelming?
It can be! That’s when you should call the specialists at Iceberg Web Design. We know how to use and optimize images for enhanced SEO and user experience. Contact us today!