A picture speaks a thousand words. What fun would it be to simply skim through loads and loads of boring text with no graphics?
Pictures, infographics, gifs, animations are all capable of brightening up your blog posts and add more value. But that’s not all images can do.
They can also help you with boosting your website’s SEO. and performance. Read on to know more about the best ways to optimize your image content for better SEO.
Google and other image search engines are increasingly getting better with image searches and are more than capable of recognizing objects from every image upload. If you lag and fail to focus on the image content on your website, you might lose some valuable points from the search engine results ranking.
Start With Image Optimization
Let’s start with the basics. Never forego an opportunity to use an image where you can use it. Add an image to every post on your website. Make it relevant to the topic discussed, so that they can pop up on search results relating to the post topic.
Search engines like Google Images are optimizing their image search and in the future, you can expect image searches to gain more value in terms of generating traffic to your site. Google has added more filters, metadata, and attribution to image searches increasing the importance of having the right images on your site.
Choosing The Right Image
So how do you go about finding the right images for your site? Click here to get some inspiration.
Here are some tips to improve your image selections
- Try to use original images instead of stock photos. For finding unique photos, you can either click them yourself or use alternative sources like flicker.com. Do remember to credit the original photographer when you do use their images.
- Images should reflect the topic discussed in the post.
- Informational images or illustrative images are better choices than a generic image. Animated gifs are also a popular choice that can also be used effectively.
- Place the images near to the relevant text. Image with relevant text can score better in terms of image SEO.
- Make sure the images and gifs do not distract the reader from the main content but complement the flow of the articles.
- Use best images with the right dimensions that can be matched well with the rest of the content.
How Best To Use Images
While choosing SEO images can involve the aesthetics and relevancy, the way you use them also play an important role in boosting image SEO. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare your images well.
- Use descriptive file names for your images. Use proper keyphrases as image file names so that search engines can know what the image contains before even loading them.
- The recommended image formats are jpg for larger photos, PNG for transparent backgrounds, and SVG for logos and icons.
Your images should load as fast as possible to improve website performance and thereby increase SEO. Large images take longer to load and hence you will have to resize the images and scale them for faster loading.
If you are using WordPress versions 4 and above, you will not have to worry about this part as WordPress makes all images responsive. In other cases, you can use the secret attribute to make your image responsive to different screen sizes and device types.
Optimize the file size. As mentioned earlier, larger files will take longer to load. So try to reduce the image file size. But reducing file size may affect the image quality. So use proper tools like ImageOptim, kraken.io, jpeg.io to reduce image sizes without loss of quality
Additional Tips For Image SEO
- When a person skims through an article, image captions are one of the first things they notice. So, pay attention to your image captions and make them relevant and engaging.
- Use alt text and title text for your images. In case, the image is not available or not viewable by the user, the alt text can give the information is still relayed to the reader.
- Make use of structured data to get better tagging for your images during a Google search.
- Opengraph and Twitter cards allow you to add images that can be viewed when your page link is shared across social media.
- Align your images properly so that it fits well within the rest of the content.
- Include images in your sitemap XML and use Google image extensions for sitemaps to let the search engine crawlers get better access to your images.
Best Image Optimizers Online
As you can see, SEO image optimization involves a lot of tasks that may seem easy but can turn out to be time consuming and exhausting if it were to be done manually. Employing an optimizer plugin to help with image optimization can help you save a lot of time, manual work, and provide you with better results in an efficient manner.
Here are some of the best image optimizer plugins you can use to boost your image SEO with ease.
Yoast SEO ranks high both as an overall SEO plugin bundled with numerous features including image optimization. This plugin is available as free and premium versions. The free version is sufficient as it has almost all the SEO features you will ever need.
Yoast has features like XML sitemap manipulation, identification of duplicate content, meta descriptions, image optimization, and more to make your web pages appealing to the search engine crawlers.
Smush is a popular SEO tool that is used for lossless image compressions. You can optimize unlimited images for free as long as you use it for lossless compression and the image files do not exceed 1 MB in size. To remove this limitation, you can subscribe to the Pro version.
The name may sound weird, but the features of this plugin are indeed wonderful. Ewww optimizes all your jpg, png, and gif files on your site automatically. The optimization takes place faster than similar plugins.
Short pixel has a beautiful easy to use interface that lets you automatically optimize every jpg, PNG, and gif files you upload to your site. It has a bulk optimization tool and offers the choice of choosing between lossy and lossless compression. Free signup allows you to optimize up to 100 images per month.
TinyPNG uses only lossy compression methods and produces good quality images. You can upload up to 500 images per month for free and the cost for uploading extra images beyond the limit starts at $0.009 per image.
The Wrap Up
As you can see, optimizing images for search engines could up your content marketing game, and help you get better results. Simply follow the tips mentioned above and you should be good to go.
What are your views on this? Shout out in the comments below.