Image Optimization SEO – 10 Tips on How to Optimize Images for SEO
People often buy with their eyes. This is why quality images are a must if you run an online store. Filling your website with engaging photos can effectively attract potential customers and convince them to choose your offer. How to SEO optimize images on your website and increase their visibility? Keep reading to learn more!
Table of contents:
- What is Image Optimization in SEO
- Why Should You Optimize Images for SEO?
- 10 SEO Image Optimization Tips You Need to Know
- Image Optimization Tools
- WordPress Plug-ins for SEO Image Optimization
- Image Optimization – The Takeaway
What is Image Optimization in SEO?
SEO image optimization is more than just compressing the size of images on your website.
What is it, then?
In a nutshell, image optimization for SEO is about creating high-quality pictures, images, and infographics that have the right size, format, and resolution.
Images shouldn’t have a negative impact on website loading time. Instead, they should attract users’ attention, help people take in information, and encourage them to stay on the site for longer.
Why Should You Optimize Images for SEO?
Optimizing your images for SEO can help you rank higher.
Apart from making content more accessible and attractive, properly optimized images reduce website loading time which is an important ranking factor.
Images have also a positive impact on user experience. Infographics make it easier to understand certain concepts, whereas product images complement the descriptions.
Images can be used to separate long blocks of text, to give users a break, and keep them on the page for longer. After all, not many people feel like going through a few page long articles without any pictures, or videos.
How to SEO optimize images?
Choose unique graphics, create informative alt descriptions with keywords, and follow the tips mentioned below!
10 SEO Image Optimization Tips You Need to Know
1. Use High-quality Images
If you want to stand out from the crowd and attract users’ attention, you need quality images.
Blurry pictures that are incomprehensible for people won’t bring you any benefits. It’s best to keep your image size under 100 kb. This way, your graphics will have high quality, but they won’t affect the website loading time.
2. Choose the Right File Name
Naming your image files properly will help you rank higher in the image search results.
Once you find high-quality images you want to upload to your website, think about their names. Make them descriptive, ensure that they contain relevant keywords. Separate individual words with hyphens.
Why should you do it?
Adding the correct file names can be one of the easiest tasks when optimizing your website images. Ideally, your image filenames should have carefully chosen keywords that your images can rank for. You can skip articles and prepositions such as “the”, “a”, “an”, “of”, “in”, and so on.
Remember that search engine robots aren’t able to see the words separately, therefore, they won’t understand a file name like “reddressforwedding”. Instead, it should be “red-dress-for-wedding”.
File names are extra tools that can boost your SEO effects.
3. Choose the Right Format
Image size and name aren’t everything. When talking about SEO image optimization tips, we have to mention available formats:
- JPEG is known to be the most SEO-friendly image format because it offers better compression levels. It comes in handy especially if you don’t need images with transparent backgrounds.
- PNG is appreciated because its quality stays the same regardless of the number of times the image is opened and saved. That’s why, if you have high-contrast images with many details, you should go for PNGs.
- SVG is commonly used for computer-generated graphics and other high-resolution images such as logos and banners.
- GIF is used for short and simple animations without wide color scales. Remember that GIFs are limited to 256 colors.
4. Compress your Images
Compressing your images is one of the most important SEO image optimization tips.
It helps to decrease website loading time and has a positive impact on UX. However, to ensure that graphics still serve their purpose, you need to compress them properly.
How to do it?
There is no one clear-cut answer. Unfortunately, to discover the happy medium, you have to experiment with different compression rates to see which one works best for your images.
When it comes to dimensions, meaning the height and width of your images, make sure that your graphics aren’t wider than the largest desktop and laptop screen resolutions (typically 2560 pixels). Otherwise, your images may not be displayed properly.
If you aren’t sure how to compress images, use one of the specially designed tools that will be mentioned in the subsequent part of this article.
5. Use SEO-friendly Alt and Title Tags
SEO-friendly alt and title tags can truly support your campaign. Why? They inform the search engine robots what can be found in the picture. They help them understand and analyze your website. Moreover, alt tags are also useful for visually impaired people.
How to create ideal image alt texts and title tags?
Make sure that these elements include the most important keywords related to a specific image. Avoid keyword stuffing and keep the description natural. At the same time, use it to support your SEO strategy.
6. Use Unique Images
Although using stock images is legal, it won’t help your SEO. Why? Because users can immediately recognize that you didn’t take the picture. Moreover, they have probably seen the same images on other websites.
If possible, take your own product photos and upload them to the page. Make sure that your pictures actually bring value to users and complement your website content.
Unique images can inspire trust in recipients. They show how your products look in real life and may play an important role in the decision-making process.
7. Add Image Structured Data
Adding image structured data is an effective way to boost your SEO visibility. Thanks to it, the search engine can display your graphics as rich snippets. This can have a positive impact on your CTR and conversion.
Structured data helps Google understand your page. Based on it, the search engine can display relevant pieces of information (such as a price, size, or rating) in the search results, next to your product or content.
If you run a food blog, and you implement image structured data, Google may display your image in the search results and show users that it’s a part of a recipe.
8. Use Sitemaps
If you submit an image sitemap to Google Search Console, you’ll help the search engine robots find your website images and index them better.
Why is the sitemap important?
The faster the search engine robots discover your well-optimized images, the faster your photos can be displayed in Google Images and attract traffic to your website.
When creating your sitemap with images, make sure it includes elements such as the description, name, title, URL location, license information, and caption of your graphics.
9. Use Responsive Images
How to optimize images for SEO?
Make them responsive. Ensure that they automatically adapt to the browser window size, and screen resolution. You can check it manually by playing with your browser and checking a few options.
Responsive images have a positive impact on UX. When users see that graphics don’t adapt to their screen, they’re likely to leave your page, thus increasing your bounce rate.
Read more about How to reduce bounce rate
10. Make Your Images Mobile-friendly
We live in a time when more and more users browse the internet on mobile devices. We like scrolling when commuting to work, school, sitting in front of the TV, or waiting in a queue.
That’s why mobile-friendliness is a must if you want to rank high and attract potential customers. This applies also to images.
Make sure that your pictures are displayed properly on smartphones and tablets, keep your design responsive. Check if all the elements of your images or infographics are readable and transparent for users.
Image Optimization Tools
If image optimization SEO still sounds all Greek to you, benefit from special tools that make the task easier and give you valuable insights. The most popular solutions include:
They’ll help you compress, optimize, and resize images to ensure that they support your SEO process.
WordPress Plug-ins for SEO Image Optimization
If your website is based on WordPress CMS, check out the following plug-ins that will help you with image optimization for SEO:
These plug-ins will help you keep an eye on your statistics. With them, you’ll easily bring all the above-mentioned SEO image optimization tips to life.
Image Optimization – The Takeaway
Well-optimized images can boost your visibility in search results. They significantly support the SEO process and make your content more appealing. Following the tips mentioned in our article will help you rank higher and attract the attention of potential buyers.
Although image optimization SEO is only a piece of the puzzle, it can bring you great benefits. If you aren’t sure where to start or you don’t have time to implement all the modifications on your own, consult our specialists. We’ll be more than happy to make your images user and search engine-friendly!
This is an update of an article published in 2019.