Image optimization is often overlooked in the world of SEO. With so much on-page and off-page optimization, it’s easy for image optimization to get lost in the noise. That doesn’t mean that image SEO is any less important. There is still plenty to gain by spending time optimizing the images on your websites.
It’s so important that Google even shares advice on its website about how to optimize images. Still, it can be a hard task to start. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive multi-step guide.
Make sure your images are relevant
We are visual creatures. That means it’s important that you make an immediate connection with your readers through your images. The best way to do this is to use eye-catching and relevant images that encourage your viewers to carry on reading. You can do this through stock images but it’s even better if you can do this by creating your own images. In some cases, such as where you sell your own product, it will be absolutely necessary to use your own images.
Make your images as high quality as possible
Both search engines and readers prefer high-quality images wherever possible. This is even more important now that readers use multiple devices to access your content. If images aren’t high quality, they can look distorted when being viewed on a desktop or mobile devices.
In most cases, this will be a JPEG. But PNGs are also suitable if the image is not huge or complex.
Make images as small as possible
The smaller your images, the quicker they will load. This is incredibly important now that Google is increasingly prioritizing mobile browsing. It even has a mobile-first index now.
Mobiles cannot quickly load images with large file sizes. This can have a negative impact on user experience and will result in people leaving your site. The higher your bounce rate (particularly your bounce rate from Google) the lower your rankings.
By scaling down your images (while still keeping image quality high) you can ensure that your entire page loads quickly when viewed on a mobile device.
Add alt tags
All of the images on your website should have descriptive alt tags that include relevant and related keywords. This helps Google to know what your images about so that it can rank your page accordingly. Don’t keyword stuff in your alt tags, but don’t forget about them.
Give images descriptive titles
As well as alt tags, you should also be saving all of your images with relevant titles that describe the images and include keywords. Google can crawl image titles as well as alt tags and these will also help the search giant to understand what your page is about.
You can change the name of your image before you upload it to your website or most CMS platforms, like WordPress, will let you change the image title after you have uploaded it.
If you need help optimizing your images, reach out to our team today.