Image optimization is absolutely mandatory for modern websites that attempt to climb high in search engine rankings. At the same time though, it is a highly overlooked technical SEO task. This is a shame since it can help you out so much more than you initially think.
In order to make such optimization work well though, it is really important that you know what you are doing. This is why we will offer some great tips you will surely appreciate.
The problem with images that have larger dimensions and higher resolutions is that they will slow down page loading times. These are great for prints but they have to be scaled down without losing quality in order to work well on the internet.
While there are many different things that could be said about resizing in image optimization, the important ones are:
- Picking the correct format – JPEG is recommended for images that have many colors and PNG is recommended for the simpler images.
- Choosing the correct compression rate – You cannot compress images too much since this would lead to a poor quality that would not be appreciated by your visitors.
Optimize File Names
Before you upload an image, name it with descriptive, relevant keywords. This increases SEO power. Make sure to include target keywords right at the beginning. Then, separate multiple keywords with the use of hyphens. Never use underscores since the large search engines do not recognize them.
Remember that you have to choose appropriate file names. Choose something that is good for humans and search engines. For instance, use a name like “man-wearing-shoes-in-the-morning.jpg” instead of “stylishman345.jpg”.
Always Use Alt Tags For Proper Image Optimization
A viewer understands the picture but the search engine cannot. It needs extra clues. This is where alt tags come in to help.
The best alt tag offers context. Also, it helps the visually impaired to understand what they cannot see. In addition, when images do not load because of errors, the search engines read alternative texts. This helps rank pages.
To boost visibility, always include brand-relevant words. At the same time, make sure you avoid keyword stuffing since this will do more bad than good. The basic rule of thumb is to always use alt tags people would naturally use when looking for images like the ones you upload.
At the end of the day, the goal is to include more than what you add with the file name. There is no ideal word count but try to write around 10. This allows you to offer context.
Optimize Image Captions
Image captions are words appearing under images. They do not have a direct SEO impact. However, they are visible. This means that they help to improve the user experience.
Keep in mind that most visitors are drawn to these captions as they help understand the content better. If image captions do not exist, there is a really good possibility bounce rates will increase. Also, you might damage your overall credibility in some cases.
Use Image Structured Data
The last tip we mention is adding structured data. This helps the search engine to display images in the form of rich results. Remember that Google Image Search supports this structured data. This is the case with recipes, videos, and product images.
Always use the official Structured Data Guidelines in order to figure out how this structured data should be added.
Image Optimization Conclusions
There is much more we can say about image optimization. However, everything above will help you improve your site and get higher rankings, which is exactly what you want. Just make sure you do not solely rely on this. Many other things are necessary for high rankings.