SEO is a term that most marketers are aware of these days. And, getting to the top of Google is a core target for businesses all around. But, many people are unaware of how important it is to optimize the images you use as well as the text. SEO experts could literally spend days explaining the importance of image SEO. But, we have created this short guide that includes the fundamentals to help you get started.
SEO In a Nutshell
To put in simply, SEO is all about getting a website to appear at the top of the search engines, most importantly; Google. By ranking highly on the search engines will means that a website will get more visitors and potentially generate more money. SEO is an on-going process of optimizing the content on a website, generating referral links on external websites and fine-tuning the website’s code. By doing SEO correctly will see a website’s ranking increase and appear in the search engine results pages (otherwise known as SERPS). When a user makes a search query using a keyword or key phrase that matches the keywords built into a website, then it will appear in the SERPS. The ultimate goal for any business is to rank number 1 or even position 0 (otherwise known as the featured snippet).
The Ins and Outs of Image SEO
There is no denying that we are now living in not only a digital world, but also a visual one. With that being said, having attractive imagery on your website can make it look appealing. So, without effectively optimizing this imagery, you are missing out on a valuable asset to improve your overall SEO efforts.
Optimizing your images for SEO means that you can improve your page loading times, create a better user experience for your visitors and create extra search engine ranking opportunities. So, what are the different ways you can optimize your images for SEO? Keep reading to find out!
The images on your website can often be the cause of slow loading page times. If your website is suffering from slow loading times, then try to reduce the size of image files by compressing them. The size of your images does not actually need to be any larger than you need them to be. And, one of the easiest ways you can reduce your image file sizes is by using Photoshop’s Save for Web option.
When it comes to optimizing images for SEO purposes, creating keyword rich file names is an absolute must. Image file names will alert the search engines of the image’s subject matter. For example, if you are using an image that you captured on a phone or tablet yourself then the file name would probably look like IMG_987654 or IMG_1234-6543 or something similar depending on the type of device and operating system. So, change the file name to a keyword that will improve your SEO and help the search engines understand the context of the image better.
Alt-text (otherwise known as alt-tags) is used to describe the context of an image file. Alt-text is extremely important when it comes to SEO because it means that a browser can render the image.
It is also very beneficial to use alt-text when it comes to your on-page SEO. Adding the right alt-text to your images on a website can help it achieve better rankings in the search engine results pages by associating your keywords with the images. It provides search engines with useful information about the context of an image. They basically use this information to help determine what images to return when a user makes a search query.
Create A Sitemap for Your Images
Creating and publishing a sitemap of all your images means that the search engines are more likely to discover your images, which can help increase SEO ranking. It also means that your images are more likely to appear in the image search results.
Don’t Use Open Source Images
It’s important to use original images as this can vastly improve your visitors when they visit your website. It also gives you a better chance of ranking for relevant search queries. It’s crucial to provide your website visitors a snapshot of your business through the use of high-quality imagery that they will respond to. Always try to avoid using open source or stock images as over the past few years these have become extremely popular and the same images as now appearing all over the internet. The key is to keep your visual content as original as possible.
There Must Be a Reason For Your Images
Don’t just use images just for the sake of it. Images should help with telling a story and complement the context of the text. We are living in an ever-increasing visual society, so images have a bigger emotional impact than text. With that being said, don’t force it. The ultimate reason for having images is to break up your text to help your website visitors better under the overall context of the content.
About The Author:
Lloyd Parkinson is a Content Marketing Executive at Revive.Digital. Lloyd has experience writing content for the purpose of marketing on behalf of B2B and B2C organizations ranging from legal services, insurance brokers, financial services, all the way to the music and entertainment industry. He conducts research and writes about an extensive number of topics. Lloyd aims to educate his readers through his creative writing by providing them with informative and valuable content. He seeks to simplify complex topics for general readers as well as writing technical content for the well informed.