When you work on search engine optimization, you have to pay special attention towards the images that you include in your web pages. They are in a position to contribute a lot towards the rankings that you will be able to get on search engines.
What is Image Optimization?
Image optimization can simply be defined as the process, where you optimize an image on your website, so that you make it more “Search Engine Friendly”. This is similar to optimizing a website to get indexed on the search engine results.
In fact, the efforts that you take for image optimization can contribute a lot towards the specific rank that your website will be able to get in the search engines. Therefore, it can be considered as an excellent investment that you can do towards improving the visibility of your website in the long run.
How To Optimize Your Images?
A variety of methods are available for you to optimize the images on your website. Here is a list of some of the most effective methods out of them.
1. Use unique images, which are relevant to your website
Just like using unique content on your web pages, you will also need to use unique images. These SEO images should not be found anywhere else on the internet. The human beings tend to pay more attention towards the images when browsing through your website. Therefore, you need to make sure that you add an appealing image, which matches with the content that you have on your website.
Then you will be able to inspire the visitors who come to your site. Search engines are willing to give priority towards such websites, which can deliver an improved experience to the users. Therefore, you need to keep it in your mind as one of the most prominent image optimization SEO techniques.
2. Get the most out of alt text
When you are uploading an image to the website, you will need to pay attention towards the alt text as well. This is something that you shouldn’t ignore. In fact, you need to understand to how to write SEO friendly alt text for your images.
The alt text can be considered as the description of the image. It explains what your image is all about. Google treats the alt text very seriously and with alt tag only, Google is able to grasp that what the picture is all about.
Your visitors are not going to go to the source-code of your web page and read the text embedded in the alt tag of any photo. The visitors are only interested in the normal text that you have written on your page. The human beings can see the pictures and can judge that what the picture is all about as human beings have eyes and senses.
But what about search engines?
How the search engines will be able to recognize the pictures as neither they have eyes and nor they have senses?
Remember Google has both eyes and senses too and infact, it has ears and nose also because it is very smart and it will degrade your ranking if it did not like your content and images :).
Actually, if we think practically then any search engine is a spider bot or a web crawler. It is implemented by the coding and algorithms and it works as per the algorithms. You can treat Google and Bing as Robots. So, these spider bots cannot see the text or pictures but they can read it as per their algorithms.
The bots can read the normal text but when it comes to the pictures embedded in any article then in order to read it, they use the alt tag and according to the wordings mentioned in the alt tag.
You can refer below for Image alt tags SEO best practices:
• You should mention a meaningful name in the alt tag.
• The alt tag name should be actually related to the picture name and to the article subject.
• Prefer to use keywords in the alt tag.
• Do not add too many keywords in the alt. I would recommend that you use only single keyword. It can be a combination of 2-3 words or a single keyword surrounding with 2-3 local words.
• Do not add too many words in alt. You should add just 3-4 words and within those 3-4 words, use your keyword once.
• Remember that when you use the keyword then it should look a perfect readable sentence.
Consider your keyword is ‘Blogging’ then below are few of the 2 variants that people have used in the alt tag of their images.
• Blogging tactics
• Blogging tactics Blogging quits
What do you think that which SEO friendly alt text Google will love?
Certainly, Google will prefer the first sentence as it is the perfect example of image optimization. In second sentence, you have hooked your keyword and that is not an example of image optimization.
The search engine crawlers always go through the alt text. That’s why it is important for you to write SEO friendly alt text. You can always refer to the image alt tags SEO best practices that I described above and can gain the useful inputs on image optimization.
When you focus on Google image SEO guidelines, it is also important to think about including a concise caption along it. These captions would be crawled by the search engines. Therefore, it is better to integrate your keyword to the caption.
I have seen many bloggers ignore the caption at all. Even many serious bloggers and who have spent 2-3 years in search engine optimization, ignore the importance of caption. Many do not include the caption at all while others give it a useless name and they do not think of optimizing it.
Although the caption in photos do not play so much role as alt does but then also its not wise decision to ignore this tag. Having a good caption can help you in overall image optimization.
How to Write Good Captions for Photos?
• Just make sure that you wisely mention the caption. It should clearly depict about the photo that what it is all about.
• Do not flood caption name with keywords.
• Caption is different from alt as your users can easily see the captions while alt tag is hidden from them. Only if they are technically sound then they can check the alt in the source code of your browser. But that’s not hindering our any of the image optimization seo techniques; let them see the source code.
Coming back to captions, it is something that is visible on the photo and most of the users will read it. So instead of trying to place your keyword there, add the name of the photo.
If you can add your keyword inside the caption then it is good but if the keyword does not fit there then do not try to forcibly insert. Keywords you can use in your text and alt. If optimized in the content and in the alt then they are enough to bring good quality of traffic to you.
Obviously to get the traffic, you have to follow some off-page seo techniques too and you should also try ways to reduce bounce rate.
Coming back to the same point, always add relevant name of the picture in the caption so that your users do not get confuse while looking at that picture.
• If required, you can use dashes or underscores when writing the caption. This can provide you with an excellent assistance to define the keywords and you can get a perfectly optimized picture.
Using proper captions can prove helpful in boosting your search engine rankings.
4. Organize more than one image
When you are engaged in the process of developing a website, you will have multiple pictures. In such a situation, you need to think about organizing them in an appropriate manner. You should do this with the objective of receiving an optimum viewing experience at the end of the day.
When you use multiple images on your webpage, you should also make sure that every picture is different and you are not embedding the same picture with different names into the same page.
For example, if you are doing image optimization for your business website, you can take multiple photos. Some can depict your meeting rooms while others can show the conference halls, sitting cabins etc. Also, you can take the photos from different angles.
2-3 pictures on a single article are enough. But if you are writing a tutorial then you might have to include lots of screenshots depicting various steps in performing that task.
For example: If your article is about “How to reset WordPress Dashboard?” then you might have to include various screenshots so that users can easily understand the process.
You need to keep in mind that images are in a position to communicate a lot of things, which text cannot communicate. Leading search engines are aware of this fact. Therefore, you need to use appropriate SEO images when you are engaged with the process of developing your website.
5. Reduce the size of the images
Last but not the least, the size of the images plays an important role in SEO. Google prefers the pages that load quickly and if your webpage takes too much time in loading then be ready to get a slap from google.
Embedding photos on the pages increases the overall size of your webpage because pictures are heavy and infact, too much heavy as compared to text and html code. So you should try the best possible ways for reducing the size of your pictures so that overall size of webpage can be reduced.
Reducing the size of pictures will in turn lower the webpage size and your pages will load faster and you can expect good rankings on search-engines. That’s the reason that why you should focus a lot on the size of the images. You can use any third party tool such as Ewww Image Optimizer for reducing the size of your pictures.
You need to keep in mind that mobile responsiveness of your website is one of the most critical factors, which determine its search engine rankings. Therefore, you are encouraged to reduce the size of your pictures, without compromising the quality. This will also help you to reduce your bounce rates by a great extent.