Image SEO Best Practices for Every Website Owner
Use Google Images to look at content on the web. Results may become more valuable if you add additional information to photos, which might result in better quality traffic to your site. Make sure your pictures and website are optimised for Google Images to assist in the discovery process.
Image SEO is the practice of optimising images for search engine visibility. Just like with any other type of content on your site, if you want your images to be found by Google and other search engines, you need to ensure that they are properly optimised.
This means adding relevant keywords to your image file names and alt text, as well as making sure that your images are the right size and format.
Images are a critical part of any website, but optimising them for search engines can be a little tricky. By following these 12 image SEO best practices, you can make sure that your images are helping you rather than hurting you in terms of search engine visibility and traffic.
Table of Contents
- NWhat is an SEO Specialist?
- NFinding the Right SEO Specialist for Your Type of Business
- NKnowing the Difference Between a Specialist and an Agency
- NAsking the Right Questions Before Hiring an SEO Specialist
- N7 Steps in Hiring an SEO Specialist
- NSigns That it's Time to Hire an SEO Specialist
- NWorking with an SEO Specialist for Digital Marketing Success
Yes, Help My Business Grow Online with SEO
No Need, I Can Manage Without SEO Help!
12 Best Practices for Image SEO Every Online Business Owner Should Know
What is the Value of Images for Your Brand and Website
Images are a powerful form of content that can help your website and brand in many ways. In addition to helping improve the overall look and feel of your site, they can also play an important role in your SEO efforts.
Google has stated that images can be a ranking factor in their search algorithm. This means that optimising your images can help improve your website’s visibility and organic search traffic.
Images are also an excellent way to drive engagement on social media. People are more likely to share images than text-based content, which means that using images as part of your social media marketing strategy can help increase brand awareness and reach.
Additionally, images can be used to create visually appealing email newsletters, infographics, and other marketing materials.
Image Search Engine Optimisation
Image SEO is the process of optimising images for search engines. This includes adding relevant keywords to image file names and alt text, as well as making sure that images are the right size and format. By properly optimising your images, you can improve your website’s visibility and organic search traffic.
Optimising images for SEO is not limited to improving the image quality alone. Images used in websites and landing pages should be responsive images and in a file size and type ideal for search engine crawlers. Uploading images to your web page is far beyond uploading alone.
There are plenty of things to be considered when optimising images for SEO. This includes image formats, alt tags, HTML code, file name, image file name, image file names and many other factors.
The Importance of Unique Images for Your Content
There are several reasons why image optimisation is important. First, as we mentioned above, Google has stated that images can be a ranking factor in their search algorithm. This means that by optimising your images, you can improve your website’s visibility and organic search traffic. Visual search is a valid factor that helps solidify your brand’s position in search engines.
There are numerous advantages to using images in marketing on any platform, including websites, banners, advertisements, magazine posters, and anything else. Businesses have started relying more on visual information in their marketing as a result of the ability to upload high-quality photos.
More feeling is induced by images in advertising. Because of this, visuals in social media are frequently utilised to market items, services, and companies because they appeal more to the emotional side of our brains. This is due to the physiological qualities of our brains, which absorb pictures faster and better than words. More than 90% of all data processed by the brain consists of pictures. When pictures are adjacent to text, the brain can remember and comprehend it better.
Images and photographs are efficient tools for bringing about emotion in users and helping to build a mental picture of the product, while also increasing sales. However, if the images on the site are incorrect, the site’s overall image will suffer. Users have doubts about the quality of the items being offered, as well as their trust in the seller.
It’s critical to utilise high-quality photos for the site. Any effective content generation approach would agree with this. Images should be consistent with the overall concept of the site, match the chosen colour scheme, and reflect the subject.
Image SEO Practices to Optimise Your Website for SERPs
Images, like text, have an impact on your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, merely including any random picture to your website will negate the remainder of your content marketing plan. Finally, you will lose out on a substantial number of potential consumers.
Google noted that you can help improve your ranking in Google Images search results by optimising your images and website. To accomplish this, Google recommended following their guidelines.
The problem, though, is how to create images that are optimised for SEO? How can you make sure to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of other firms in your area? Here are some of the steps that you can follow:
Compress Photos to Reduce File Size
The speed of a website’s loading time is a significant SEO ranking factor. According to studies, eCommerce website acceptability requires 2 seconds. We strive for below a half-second at Google.
But did you know that images comprise a considerable portion of your website’s weight? Large image sizes will slow down the page loading time and frustrate users, who will eventually move on to other web pages. This increases your site’s bounce rate – a prime measure of credibility in Google’s eyes. To avoid this, your website needs to load fast.
To decrease the file size of your image, you must compress it. We’re talking about reducing the weight without lowering quality, appearance, or size by compressing them.
SEO-Rich Alt Text for Images
Alt text attached to pictures relays what the image is about and if it is relevant to any potential Google searches. This also aid those who are visually impaired, as screen readers will read aloud the provided text.
Alt-text is also an opportunity to subtly add keywords and increase your position in Google Image Search results. However, avoid overloading your alt text with too many keywords, as Google will penalise you for this activity. Together with image alt text, alt tags are also necessary details you should be adding to your image files.
Assign Relevant File Names to Images
Another element that search engine algorithms consider when deciding how relevant your page is to a certain keyword is the file name. The best method of doing this is by using the subject’s name for the file name.
This element is frequently overlooked by marketers, who leave the file name set to a default title. However, when your photos have unoriginal names, Google becomes perplexed.
So, in place of using a meaningless name, change the file name to a pertinent term. This will make it simple for Google bots to interpret and understand your file names.
In general, file names should be between 1 and 5 words long. Google also advises that images be named descriptively to facilitate identification.
If you want Google to understand your content better and improve your ranking in Image Search results, then specifying the file name is key.
Always Add High-Quality Images
When it comes to appearance, exceptional quality is required. People like looking at lovely pictures and will click on them if they are interested. Google, too, appreciates good picture quality, and higher ranks are given to websites that have excellent visuals.
However, not every business can afford to invest in photographers for attractive imagery. If that’s the case for you, consider turning to stock photos as a great and budget-friendly option. Multiple sites offer inexpensive stock photos across different niches so that you’re able to find pictures that fit your brand’s needs.
The goal is to use high-quality pictures to provide your customers with a superior user experience. This will assist you in obtaining more clicks and signalling Google’s algorithm about your relevance to the keyword.
Avoid Copyrighted Images
When selecting images for your website, make sure that you have the legal right to use them. It is not uncommon for businesses to face hefty fines for copyright infringement. The last thing you want is to get sued over an image!
There are plenty of sites where you can find high-quality photos with the appropriate usage rights. These include Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay, all of which offer a vast selection of stunning photos that are absolutely free to use.
If your budget permits, you can also invest in premium stock photos from paid sources like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto. These come with a fee but offer greater quality and control.
Create an Image Sitemaps
Putting together an image sitemap helps Google discover all the images on your site. This is beneficial because it allows you to specify image metadata and provide additional information about each image. With this data, Google will be able to index and rank the images on your website better.
If you have a WordPress site, there are multiple plugins that can automatically generate an image sitemap for you. One such plugin is Yoast SEO, which is popular and easy to use.
However, if you want to avoid installing a plugin or are using another type of website builder, you can also create an image sitemap manually. You can find instructions on how to do so here.
Use Responsive and Mobile Ready Images
Today, it is essential to have a mobile-friendly website. This is because more people are now using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet than ever before. In fact, mobile devices account for over half of all web traffic worldwide.
Therefore, if you want your site to be visible in Image Search results, you need to make sure that your images are responsive. This means that they should be able to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions without losing quality.
Optimise your images to improve your website’s Google indexing speed and increase your chances of ranking on the search results page. Image optimisation is key for both SEO and UX, so focus on making sure that users and search engines can easily access and view your photos. Keep the above guidelines in mind to make it easier for people to find your site.
Optimising Images for eCommerce
If you want your online store to be successful, image optimisation is an art you need to master. Image optimisation can help increase web traffic and reduce site load times. Product photography is essential for any online store, so it’s important to learn how to optimise your images correctly.
There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your images are optimised for the web. Here are 12 image SEO best practices every online business owner should know.
1. Use descriptive filenames
When saving your images, be sure to use descriptive and keyword rich filenames. This will help search engines understand what the image is about and index it properly. For example, if you have an image of a white gold ring, save the file as “white-gold-ring.jpg” instead of something like “DSC4567.jpg.”
2. Choose the right file format
There are many image file formats, but not all of them are suitable for the web. The two most common formats for web images are JPEG and PNG. JPEGs are best for photos, while PNGs are better for graphics with fewer colours.
3. Compress your images
Images should be compressed before they’re added to your website. This will help reduce page load times and improve site performance. There are many free image compression tools available online, such as TinyPNG or ImageOptim.
4. Use alt text
Alt text is a brief description of an image that’s displayed if the image can’t be loaded. It’s also used by screen readers to describe images to visually impaired users. Be sure to add alt text to all of your images, including product photos, infographics, and illustrations.
5. Create image sitemaps
An image sitemap is a special type of XML sitemap that contains information about the images on your website. Image sitemaps can help search engines index your images properly and improve your site’s SEO. You can create an image sitemap using a free online tool like GSiteCrawler.
6. Add structured data to your images
Structured data is code that’s added to your website to provide additional information about your content. Adding structured data to your images can help search engines understand them better and display them in search results. The most common type of structured data for images is schema.org markup.
7. Use responsive images
Responsive images are images that automatically resize to fit the width of the screen. This is important because mobile devices have different screen sizes than desktop computers. Using responsive images can help improve your site’s load time and SEO.
8. Optimise your thumbnails
Thumbnails are small versions of images that are used in galleries or search results. When creating thumbnails, be sure to compress the images and use descriptive filenames. You should also make sure the thumbnail dimensions match the size of the image when it’s displayed on the page.
9. Avoid using image placeholders
Image placeholders are empty boxes that are used to hold space for images that haven’t been loaded yet. Using image placeholders can increase page load times and reduce your site’s SEO. If you need to use placeholders, be sure to add alt text, so search engines can understand what the image is supposed to be.
10. Make sure your images are accessible
Accessible images are images that can be accessed by people with disabilities. This includes people who are blind, have low vision, or are colourblind. When creating images, be sure to include text descriptions and alt text. You should also use contrasting colours, so the image is visible to as many people as possible.
11. Use CSS sprites
CSS sprites are a way of combining multiple images into one file. This can help reduce page load times and improve your site’s SEO. When using CSS sprites, be sure to use descriptive filenames and alt text.
12. Monitor your image traffic
You can use Google Analytics to track how much traffic your images are getting. This information can help you improve your image SEO. To set up image tracking in Google Analytics, go to the Admin section and click on Tracking Info > Track Images.
By following these twelve image SEO best practices, you can improve your website’s performance and ranking in search results. Implementing even just a few of these tips can make a big difference for your business.
Automating Your Image SEO Optimisation
If you want to take your image SEO to the next level, consider using an image optimisation tool. These tools can help you automate the optimisation process and ensure that all of your images are properly optimised.
One of the best image optimisation tools is WP Smush. This plugin automatically compresses images as they’re added to your website. It also provides bulk compression for all the images on your site. WP Smush is available as a free plugin for WordPress sites.
Another great option is Kraken Image Optimiser. This tool allows you to optimise your images in bulk and provides lossy and lossless compression options. Kraken Image Optimiser has a free plan that includes 500 MB of free data per month.
What is Alt Text, and Why Does it Matter?
If you want your images to rank higher in search engines, you need to understand and utilise alt text. Also called “alt tags” or “alt attributes,” alt text is the written content that appears in place of an image on a web page if that image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text serves multiple purposes: it helps users who are vision-impaired understand what an image is conveying and it gives search engine crawlers more information about the topic of your page.
Including keywords related to your business and product in your alt text is one way to ensure that your images show up in relevant searches. For example, if you own a bakery, some of the alt text for the pictures on your website might include “birthday cake,” “wedding cake,” or “chocolate cupcake.”
It’s important to note that you should never use alt text as a way to stuff keywords onto your page or trick search engines. Not only will this not help your ranking, but it could result in penalties from Google. Instead, focus on creating accurate, informative, and keyword-rich alt text that accurately describes the images on your website.
Best Image Sizes and Resolutions for My Content
Uploading pictures for the internet has long been a mystery to many. Uploading photos that are large (original image size is 5000 pixels wide, optimised images) will not only create difficulties for your site’s user experience, but it will also hurt your SEO efforts.
Depending on the area of your website, you will want to use various image sizes. The section below explains common areas and provides sizing options for each one. It is significant to consider that the majority of users view websites on a mobile device or an average-sized monitor (between 13-15 inches). If you make changes with the 27-inch monitor in mind, it might not improve conversions because this isn’t a size commonly used by potential clients.
On the website, there might be times when you’ll need to use images that expand across the whole screen – these areas could include hero images, slideshows, or banners. To make sure these full width images look presentable on any device size, it is recommended that they’re 1800 by 900 pixels.
It is essential to maintain consistency with your featured images if you want them to be successful. If you are using only portraits, make sure they are the same size; if utilising landscapes or hero shots, follow the same principle. Sizing becomes less relevant when employing a masonry grid, though it is still crucial that images be at least 1000px wide in this instance.
Because of the way your website is structured, it’s conceivable that the sizes recommended above won’t work for you. If you’re not sure what image dimensions are appropriate, there are a few techniques to check your website images and find out which size is required for each component on your site.
It’s important to note that the image pixel density must be increased by a factor of two for retina displays. That means you’ll need pictures twice the size for retina devices to look good and sharp. So, after you’ve determined the appropriate image sizes for each area on your site, you should double them and only then export and upload them to your site.
Hosting Images for My Branding and Website Needs
As an online business owner, it’s indispensable to make sure that my images are hosted on a reliable and secure platform. I need to ensure that my images are available when potential customers visit my website or social media platforms. In addition, I also want to avoid any legal issues that could arise from copyright infringement or misuse of my images.
There are many image hosting platforms available. It is best to look for one that offers a variety of features that are ideal for businesses, including unlimited storage space, simple image sharing, and robust privacy controls.
Other Useful Image SEO Tips
As we’ve seen, there are several things you can do to ensure your images are optimised for search engines. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Use descriptive file names: When you save your images, be sure to use file names that accurately describe the image. For example, “puppy-cute.jpg” is a much better file name than “IMG_1234.jpg.”
- Use keyword-rich alt text: Whenever you upload an image, be sure to include keywords in the alt text field. This will help search engines understand what the image is about and index it accordingly.
- Make use of image sitemaps: An image sitemap is an XML file that contains information about the images on your website. This file can be submitted to search engines, which can then use it to index your images more effectively.
- Optimise your thumbnails: Small images, such as thumbnails, can often be overlooked by search engines. As such, it’s important to ensure that your thumbnails are also optimised with descriptive file names and alt text.
- Avoid using excessive keywords: It’s important to include keywords in your image file names and alt text, but you should avoid going overboard. Using too many keywords (i.e., “keyword stuffing”) will not only hurt your SEO efforts, but could also get you penalised by search engines.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your images are properly optimised for search engines and that they appear in the search results when people are looking for relevant keywords.
Which image type is best for SEO
In general, JPEG images are the best choice for most websites, as they provide a good2. PNG: PNG is a newer image format that was created as an alternative to GIF. PNGs are lossless, meaning that they don’t lose any data when compressed. PNGs also support transparency, making them a good choice for images with large areas of solid colour, such as logos. However, PNGs tend to be larger in file size than JPEGs and GIFs, so they can slow down your website if you use too many of them.
Do images increase SEO?
Yes, images can help increase your SEO efforts. However, it’s important to make sure that your images are properly optimised with descriptive file names and alt text. Additionally, you should use a variety of image types to ensure that all of your images are effectively indexed by search engines.
Will optimising images slow down my website?
No, optimising your images will not slow down your website. In fact, properly optimising your images can actually help to improve your website’s performance by reducing the file size of your images. Additionally, using a CDN can further improve your website’s speed by distributing your images across multiple servers.
Invest Time and Resources on Image SEO Best Practices
While image SEO might seem like a lot of work, it’s important to invest the time and resources necessary to ensure that your images are properly optimised. By following the tips in this article, you can help improve your website’s visibility in search results and attract more traffic from potential customers.