Images are a great way to improve engagement on any website. They add value to your content while making it understandable and relevant. But did you know that images enhance the ranking and performance of your web pages?
Image optimization is a great way to improve your website’s SEO and organic performance. It also helps your images rank higher on Google Image Search. However, it takes more than just ALT tags to generate long-lasting results. Let’s discuss the most valuable ways to optimize images on your website and help them rank better with a little bit of work.
1) Use the Most Suitable Images
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is picking the right images that go well with your content. The images you choose to display on your webpage should naturally tie in with the context of your words. Furthermore, always choose pictures that are interesting, captivating, and eye-catching. Doing so will help keep the reader hooked till the end.
You can opt for stock photos or take your own pictures. There are plenty of free and paid platforms for you to choose from. You can take high-quality images from your phone or design them using suitable software.
2) Choose Proper Names for Images
Whether you take your own images or download them from a stock photo website, exporting or downloading them might result in generic filenames. These names are a combination of numbers and letters. One of the best practices to help Google understand your image is using a descriptive title. Give it a filename using a few words that explains what that picture represents.
Take the below image for example:
Using filenames like a dog, labrador, and golden-retriever is more beneficial for your website than choosing a random name such as IMG66799.jpg. Even in the first three choices, using “golden-retriever” as the filename describes the photograph most closely.
Try to keep the image’s filename around 3 to 8 words. Separate them with a dash instead of the underscore. Although there is a minor difference between the SEO results obtained in both situations, Google employees have given preference to dashes/hyphens over underscores when optimizing images for SEO. Other than this, there is no point in using stop words in the filename.
Take the below image for example:
- Poor Image File Name: a-man-walking-a-dog-outside-the-home
- Good Image File Name: man-walking-dog-outside-home
Some people also like to use the primary keyword in almost all their pictures. However, this is not helpful if your picture does not match your target keyword.
3) Resize Images to an Appropriate Size
Local SEO Agencies suggest that one of the most important things you must consider when optimizing images for SEO is resizing them to fill the section depending on the layout of your page.
For instance, the dimension of a slideshow on a website is usually around 1200 x 500-800 px (width and height). Still, header images are around 1048 x 250 px. It is essential to resize your images using a suitable image resizer to overcome the difference. It would help yield better-looking web pages.
You should scale images according to the CSS, so they interact well with all kinds of gadgets. Images with a higher resolution need to be adequately compressed. Otherwise, your page load time will increase, resulting in a higher bounce rate. There are plenty of image compressors available for free or at minimal cost.
- Original Image: 6000 x 3894 px
- Resized Image: 1680 x 840 px
4) Make Separate Sitemaps for Images
If you are interested in getting maximum exposure for your website images, creating a sitemap is necessary. It helps rank your images consistently on Google Image Search.
Add URLs of all the images and consistently update them as you grow your blog. You can also go another mile by creating a dedicated sitemap for each search engine. Although time-consuming, this is an -recommended step by Google.
5) Optimize Image Alt Tags
Alt tags are also called Alt descriptions. They are designed to describe the image correctly. Moreover, Alt text is intended to assist crawlers in interpreting the image. It helps to check its relevance with the headings in your content and then rank it accordingly.
Alt-text is also readable with the help of a screen reader. People with visual impairment and reading disabilities can better understand the image with Alt text.
Experts recommend that your Alt text should not be more than 125 characters. Furthermore, avoid using long paragraphs or descriptions.
Let’s consider an example:
In this image, you can see a family having fun outdoors.
- Poor Alt Text: Family enjoying
This text is quite vague because there are plenty of ways families enjoy and spend time together.
- Good Alt Text: Black family enjoying summer in the backyard
The latter is a better description of the text. It allows the reader to visualize what’s happening in the picture without actually looking at it.
Other than this, when someone searches by using similar words on the search engine, your image is likely to pop up.
Images are a great way to increase engagement on your website.Always opt for relevant images with the correct Alt text and filename. Additionally, a sitemap helps you get your entire website recognized on the search engine. Resizing the image to match the layout of your page also makes your site more responsive on all kinds of devices.
You have the privilege to use stock photos or opt for your own pictures. However, you need to go a step further to optimize your images for SEO. So, before you upload images with your content, we recommend using the tips mentioned above in your image optimization process. They will help yield a better ranking on SERPs.