Are you having trouble achieving the ranking position you want in search engines? If so, you might be ignoring the importance of Image SEO.
How you handle the images on your pages is an important factor in how your pages rank. It’s important to make sure your images are fully optimized to be easier for search engines to “read” them and place your content where it should be ranked. There are many factors that go into ensuring you have images that will positively impact your overall SEO ranking when online users are searching for your website.
Don’t Weigh Down Your Searchers
While there’s nothing wrong with uploading images from stock sites and using them in the backend of your website unless you don’t optimize them. When you fail to add proper optimization to your images, you’re weighing down your site and slowing the page load speed that users are looking for. Toss in the fact that you might have forgotten to add the alt text to the image, and you’ve got an image that does nothing more than slow down your page, which lowers your ranking in Google and turns users away from your page.
How Can You Optimize Your Images?
Let’s look at some tips that will help you improve your Image SEO and allow the images that support your text to benefit your page ranking instead of hurting it.
The Right Format Matters
There is a veritable alphabet soup of image names, and each one has a different purpose. For most novices, the difference between them will not be obvious unless it’s shown to them. The two most common formats used are PNG and JPEG. For the most part, you’re going to want to go with PNG for the images that you use on your website. This file time produces better quality images, making it much easier for your users to enjoy the visual appeal of your images.
Alt Text Makes a Huge Difference
The Alt Text of your images describes your images to your users and allows the search engine crawlers to better index your website. This improves the search engine ranking and results in you’ll find when you find where you rank among your competition. If you’re not sure how to use Alt Text, a good rule could be to use the H1 tag as the Alt Text. Many times, the H1 has your keywords included, and that can make a huge impact on where your pages rank.
Image Compression Improves Page Load Speed
A crucial aspect of your Image SEO is how fast the images load for users to view your pages. If you use compressed images, you’re doing things the right way. You don’t want your website to feel bloated or load slowly simply because your image files are too large. There are some tools available to you to help compress your images. You can use Photoshop or TinyPNG to help you get the images down to the size you need for faster page load speeds.
Captions Help the User and the Search Engine
You want to make it extremely clear what your images are supposed to be showing users. Adding captions to your images, especially if you have a visual-heavy website, will help your users understand your message and allow the search engine to index your pages more easily. On pages that use text to introduce the images either before or after the image, you might not need captions for them.
Captions can be helpful, but they aren’t required. This will be one of the tips where you might have to go by feel to figure out what works best for your website.
Avoid Copyright Issues
You need to avoid copyright issues when using images, or you might spend a lot of time taking down images and adding new ones to pages you’ve created long ago. This won’t improve your Image SEO at all. If you use a stock photo provider, you need to ensure you have a license to use the images from that site. Everything costs money, and the right to use an image are one of those things. Ensure you have the right to use an image before adding it to your website.
Use Original Images Whenever Possible
When images are unique and original, you’ll have the chance to rank higher and help your website with page load speeds and content. If you’re creating original content on your website based on your own products, services, or experiences, original images aren’t going to be hard to come by. Whenever possible, take the photos yourself and use editing software to enhance the images and offer an excellent view of what you’re trying to share with your audience through your website.
Give Your Images a Name
You should know that images that have generic names, such as IMG_0883, are not going to assist your website ranking at all. Part of Image SEO is to give your names a name that makes sense. Use relevant keywords to describe the image without making your image title too long. This will increase traffic to your site and help your pages load much faster.
Ensure Your Alt Text is SEO-Friendly
The Alt tags show up when the image you have on the page doesn’t properly load for a user. This is another way that Alt Text is extremely important to your ranking. You want your users to know that the images you’re including will offer them a visual presentation of what they are looking for. Ensure you use descriptive wording for your Alt Text and use this format for every image on your website.
Responsive Images are Critical to Your Ranking
You’ve optimized your website for mobile devices, but as you add more pages and images, are you making certain your images are responsive as well? This will impact the overall SEO ranking of your pages and make it easier or harder for users to find you. More searches are done on mobile devices than in any other format these days. Improve your Image SEO with responsive images.
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