Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices
Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.
Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.
Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.
If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.
Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.
Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.
Use original images
Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.
If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.
There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.
Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.
It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.
Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.
Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.
For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868” you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.
Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.
You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.
If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.