You spend hours crafting meta descriptions, strategically using keywords, and building internal links to improve your rankings. But should you optimize your photos, one of your content's most crucial components?
Ensuring search engines can find and comprehend your photographs is crucial because images make up a significant amount of material on the web. Images receive approximately 3% of all Google search clicks. By optimizing your images, you'll drive more traffic to your site, increase time on page, and boost your search rankings. So, let’s see how you can gain your competitive advantage!
1) Optimize File Names for Search
Use relevant keywords in the file name. Include your target keyword, related terms, and semantic searches. For example, “boost-your-image-optimization-tips.jpg” or “image-seo-ranking-factors.png”.
Keep file names concise while still being descriptive. Aim for 5 to 15 words. Longer file names can negatively impact SEO.
Use hyphens (-) or underscores (_) to separate words, not spaces. Spaces in file names can cause issues with how search engines index and display images in results.
Consider including your brand or website name. For example, “yourbrand-image-seo-guide.jpg”. This associates the image with your site and helps build brand authority. According to HTTP Archive, images makeup on average 21% of a total webpage’s weight.
Use PNG or JPG file formats. Both are fully supported by search engines and provide the best image optimization. Other formats like BMP or TIFF are not recommended.
2) Write Descriptive and Keyword-Rich Alt Text
Write Clear and Concise Alt Text
Alt text should be:
Descriptive yet concise (around 15 words or less)
Focus on the subject and message of the image
Include relevant keywords and phrases for your topic and industry
Avoid vague descriptions like “picture of a group of people”
For example, if you have an image of a marketing analytics dashboard, your alt text could be: “Marketing analytics dashboard showing website traffic metrics and customer engagement data.”
Include Image File Names and Captions
Image file names and captions also provide context for search engines. Use the image alt text as inspiration for the:
Image file name
Name the actual image file descriptively, e.g. “marketing-analytics-dashboard.jpg”
Add a caption below the image on the web page, e.g. “Our marketing analytics dashboard provides key metrics to optimize campaigns.”
3) Add EXIF Metadata to Images
To optimize images for search engines, include EXIF metadata, which includes details like date, time, camera settings, and location. These metadata help search engines understand the content and rank images higher in search results. To add or view EXIF metadata, use a free EXIF reader tool or a free EXIF editor tool.
To add alt text, title text, captions, and metadata to your uploaded photographs on your website, see whether your CMS, theme, or plugin has this feature. Include nation, state/province, city, and any notable landmarks when describing the place. Search engines may rank and show photographs more easily in pertinent search results by optimising them using EXIF metadata.
4) Include Your Target Keywords in Image Titles
To improve image optimization, include your target keywords in the image titles and alt text. The title should be the main keyword or keyphrase, with semantic variations and related terms to cover different search terms. The alt text should be concise and descriptive, capturing the essence of the image. This helps search engines evaluate the content and relevance of your images. When combined with an optimized image file name, it gives context and helps it rank higher in search results. For optimal results, keep the titles and alt text to 1 or 2 short sentences with a maximum of 15 or 20 words.
5) Choose the Right Image Sizes for Faster Loading
To optimize images on your site, upload the largest image size as the "original" image and create resized versions for thumbnails, medium, and large images. 59% of people consider visual information more important than textual information, so get your size right in the first go!
Use a small, condensed size (around 100 pixels) for quick viewing and selection.
Create a mid-range size (around 500 pixels) for image galleries, product listings, and blog posts.
Use a larger size (around 1000 pixels) for product pages and portfolios.
Only use the original full-size image when necessary.
By providing multiple optimized image sizes, visitors can choose the right size for their needs and ensure fast page loading. Smaller sizes require less bandwidth and load faster than high-resolution photos, improving speed and user experience. Both of which can positively impact your search engine rankings and conversion rates.
In today's digital world, images are a key component of content and search engine optimization. Optimizing them will improve your website's visibility and rankings. By following these five pro tips for image optimization, you'll boost your image SEO and drive more organic traffic to your site. With some time and effort, you'll strengthen your image optimization and see the results through increased traffic and conversions. The impact on your business will be well worth the investment!