Top 10 Things to Know About Image SEO

Image SEO

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

May 21, 2022

Learn how to optimize photos to enhance your content and help it rank better in search engines.

The last time you added a picture to your website, take a moment to reflect. That image was probably obtained from a stock photography website, uploaded to your site’s backend, and then put into the page.

Isn’t this a textbook case study in image optimization? No, that’s not exactly right.

Your website’s loading time has been slowed by the equivalent of a huge bowling ball. Search engines won’t index your photographs if they don’t have alt text.

Let’s make a u-turn here.

According to Jumpshot’s 2018 research, Google Images accounts for more than 20% of all U.S. online searches.

Newbies and veterans in the search engine optimization game agree that optimizing your website’s photos is time well spent.

In less than four days, Dan Morgan of WebSpection had one of his photographs ranked #1 in Google Images for “greatest person in Cardiff.”

Adding alt tags to photos, compressing images, and a few other SEO techniques brought in 150,732 more visitors for Robbie Richards’s site.

A vital SEO asset is wasted if you don’t optimize your images properly.

As if search engines were handing out free Oreos and milk. You, on the other hand, merely eat the cookie. Oreos are better when they’re dipped in milk.

Improved user experience, quicker page load times, and increased search engine visibility are just a few of the benefits of optimizing images for the web. It’s also growing more and more critical.

Reddit user Matt Southern pointed out that in a recent Reddit conversation, Google’s Gary Illyes said, “We just know that media search is much too overlooked for what it’s capable of achieving for publishers, so we’re putting more engineers at it and more outreach.”

How can you guarantee that your photographs are easily accessible and not slow down your website?

You need to know these 12 essential picture enhancement strategies.

1.Choosing the right format is the first step.

It’s a little like ordering Taco Bell for the first time when you’re trying to decode all the different picture formats. When adding photographs to your website, it’s important to choose the right file format first.

  • PNG and JPEG are two of the most commonly used image formats on the internet.
  • PNG: This format produces higher-quality pictures, but the file size is greater.

It’s possible to strike a decent balance between picture quality loss and image quality gain using JPEG.

  • WebP: This is the only picture format supported by Chrome and Firefox, allowing you to choose between lossless and lossy compression.

PNG, in my opinion, is an underappreciated champion in the world of image encoding. I like PNG for my everyday work since I can convert it to WebP when I’m done with it.

It’s important to note that Google’s computers cannot index.jpg pictures included in inline SVG formats.

2. Reduce the File Size of Your Photographs

Yes, hell hath no fury like a bloated website after submitting an uncompressed picture.

Google will see your website the same way you would view an enormous vat of Crisco: You can’t possibly be thinking about putting that on your site, can you?

On average, graphics account for 21% of the overall weight of a website, according to the HTTP Archive.

As a result, I urge you to reduce the file size of your photographs before submitting them to your site. Alternatively, you may use a programme like TinyPNG to achieve this.

The TingPNG WordPress plugin is also available.

However, WP Smush is the WordPress plugin I use the most often. It minimizes the file size without sacrificing picture quality.

The photos should be compressed externally on the plugin’s servers, no matter which one you select. Consequently, your own site’s burden is lessened.

Use an image CDN to identify the device and optimize the picture before it is sent. You may want to have a look at Cloudinary and Imgix.

I am compressing photos that resulted in an increase of 33% and a decrease of 2 seconds in page performance, respectively.

Faster website performance when graphics are compressed is simply plain seductive.

When optimizing your site’s load time, I suggest utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

To stand out from the crowd, you must come up with your

You want your images to stand out on your website. If you just use stock images, your website will blend in with the tens of thousands of others that do the same thing.

3.A lot of websites use the same generic stock images.

Imagining a corporate website, a consultancy agency, or a company that values customer service is a good example. Almost all of these websites use the same stock photo of a happy businessman.

The following is an example you’ve probably seen:

However well-optimized your stock photos maybe, they won’t have the same impact or SEO advantages as an original, high-quality image.

User experience and search engine rankings improve due to having more unique photos.

To increase your chances of being listed in Google Discover, use huge photos.

“Large pictures need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview: large option, or by utilizing AMP,” Google advises in its Advanced SEO page.

4.Keep your branding away from the picture.

Remember that any images you want to utilize must be free of copyright issues.

The USPS has agreed to make a 3.5 million dollar payment to settle a copyright claim. Skechers was also sued for $2.5 million.

Without the proper permissions, you run the danger of being sued for the money you’ve spent using a picture that belongs to Getty, Shutterstock, DepositFiles, or another stock photo supplier.

If you have breached any copyright concerns, you may be notified under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). DMCA Takedowns may be issued by the copyright holder of a piece of material if they notice it on your site.

You may discover free photographs on 41 different websites, thanks to Google Images and Mindy Weinstein’s list of reusable images.

5.Customize the names of your image files.

Writing meaningful, keyword-rich file names is a must in the world of search engine optimization.

A blank tortilla is what you get when you don’t personalize the file name of your photograph. It’s a total bummer.

Google and other search engine crawlers are alerted to the image’s subject matter by its file name.

Files with names like “IMG 722019” or similar are common. In this case, it’s like trying to order from an unfamiliar menu. It’s not going to benefit Google in any way.

Improve your image’s SEO value by renaming it anything other than the image’s default file name.

Depending on the size of your media collection, this may need some effort, but it’s usually a good idea to change the default picture name.

For example, let’s say you have a picture of chocolate in your mind.

If you’re selling chocolate on your website, every picture may as well be titled “chocolate-1,” “chocolate-2,” and so on.

I titled it ” dark-chocolate-coffee ” to make it easier for people and search engines to identify the picture; I titled it “dark-chocolate-coffee”.

6. SEO-Friendly alt text should be included in all of your images.

When an image can’t be shown correctly in a browser, an alt tag replaces text. The alt property is used to describe the content of an image file in the same way as the title.

When a picture doesn’t load, you’ll see an image box with the alt tag in the upper left corner. Check whether they fit in with the image and are related to it.

Alt tags should also be considered while developing an on-page SEO strategy. While checking all the other optimization areas is important, consumers will still see the placeholder picture if the original fails to load.

Additionally, by connecting keywords with pictures in your website’s alt tags, you may improve your search engine rankings. Even Google has acknowledged the importance of using alt text for photos in search results.

It’s a great way for Google to learn more about the picture’s subject matter. We utilize this information to help us find the most relevant picture for a user’s search.

The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates the use of alternative text for those who cannot see pictures. A well-chosen alt text may help readers understand what is in the image. For example, let’s imagine your website has a photo of chocolates.

Instead of using “chocolate,” use “chocolate-1.jpg” as the image’s src or “chocolate.”

Instead of reading: img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”dark chocolate coffee flavoured bar,”/> a better alternative text might read:

Alt text may be seen in the cached text version of the page, which helps both users and search engines profit from its inclusion. When an image is used as a link to another page on the site, the alt text might serve as the anchor text for an internal link.

7. Consider the Image File Organization

The Google Image Guidelines have been modified. One of the most significant announcements said that they now rank photographs based on the file location and file name.

Repeat: The location of the file and the name are ranked factors.

For example, instead of putting all your product photographs in a general /media/ folder for your eCommerce company, I would consider organizing your subfolders into more category-specific subjects like /shorts/ or /denim.

8.Make Your Page’s Title and Description More Attractive

Google has stated that your page title and description are taken from your page’s title and description for its image search algorithm.

All of your on-page SEO elements, such as metadata, header tags, content on the page and structured data, have an impact on the way Google ranks photos.

As though you were assembling a burrito and adding on all of the garnishes of your choosing. Guacamole enhances the flavour. Make sure to include the guacamole to boost your picture ranks.

9. Decide on the Size of Your Project

When utilizing AMP or PWAs, you must specify the size of your images in source code before deploying them.

However, even if you don’t use either, it’s still a good idea to specify the width and height. It enhances the user’s overall experience.

As an added benefit, it enables browsers to resize images without waiting for CSS to be loaded. So the page does not hop around as it is loading.

An essential aspect of avoiding Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) difficulties is ensuring that all of your images have the correct dimensions.

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding images and videos.

To avoid content shifting, this notifies the browser of how much space to provide for the resource. Find out more here.

10. Optimize Your Images for Mobile Use

Oh, mobile search engine optimization. Bounce rates and conversion rates may suffer as a result. However, when used to its full potential, it may boost your search engine rankings and increase user engagement.

So how can you make your photographs more mobile-friendly?

Fortunately, Google provides advice on effectively using photographs on its site.

It’s all about creating graphics that fit on a variety of devices. This implies that no matter whether a user is on a desktop or a mobile device, the picture will adapt to the size of the site. It’s flexible and can be made to fit any gadget.

Using Mozilla’s srcset and sizes properties, the browser can show the same picture content adjusted to fit the device it is being used on.

Each line of the property value should be formatted differently, as seen in this example from their resource:

Image srcset: 480w, 800w, sizes: ((max-width: 600px)480px, 800px) Elva the Fairy

src=”elva-fairy-800w.jpg” alt=”Elva dressed as a fairy”>

Using srcset for responsive images may be found here.

11.Images should be included in your sitemap.

When it comes to sitemaps, whether you’re adding pictures to an existing sitemap or developing a new one for photos, you want images to be included someplace.

Images on a sitemap have a far better chance of being crawled and indexed by search engines. As a consequence, more people visit the website.

Yoast and RankMath both provide plugins for WordPress that include sitemap generation.

12.Structured Data Should Be Added

Give Google and search engines better visual results by using structured data markup in your content types. If you add structured data to your photographs, Google may offer them up as a rich result.

A price tag might be associated with an image if you use schema markup on a product page and name it as a product. Instead of using an algorithm, search engines rely on structured data to provide the most relevant results.

What you need to know about image optimization

Be careful to do the following picture optimization procedures before uploading your image to your site.

Ensuring the picture and alternative text are relevant to the page is of primary importance. Key takeaways include:

  • Make sure the file format is correct. For screenshots, PNGs are my go-to format.
  • Make sure your on-page SEO components (metadata, structured data, etc.)
  • match your picture to reduce file size and speed up page load time.
  • To make your sitemap crawlable, construct an image sitemap or include your photos in the sitemap.

Image optimization is no laughing matter. Your whole website will benefit from implementing the measures outlined above as voice search technology advances.

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