Is getting a first-page Google rank your biggest goal?
You can make it come true by following the core SEO guidelines. From content to image optimization, you need to go through every detail.
Unfortunately, many of us put our prime focus only on content optimization. SEO is much more than that. Today, we have selected one core SEO factor to help you out. It is ‘Image Optimization.’
People often optimize their images only by adding alt text. However, other vital factors like image size, quality, and file name also play a crucial role. Let us dive deep into these details and see how they can help in optimizing the visual files:
1. Add Appropriate Names of your Images
When you make things easier for Google to understand, chances for success are always higher. So, put the proper name of your image. It will assist Google in determining the subject matter of the picture.
Though Google uses machine learning, it is not 100% correct. For instance, an image of a cup tells Google that it is tea. But, in reality, it is coffee.
So, always give your best efforts to help Google comprehend your subject. But never make it descriptive by filling keywords. Your site will sound like a scam. Adding one relevant word is enough to describe what you mean.
2. Go for an Ideal File Type
Generally, we use images in PNG, JPEG, or GIF formats. But, these three types are different and are suitable for different categories. For instance, JPEGs are ideal for photographs as they take the minimum space. If images take a lot of space, the page size will increase, automatically increasing the loading time.
And, when loading time is high, visitors start bouncing back to the competitor’s site. Since Google aims at providing a quick solution to its users, it has made loading time a ranking factor.
On the other hand, PNGs can save some text along with the images to make them more SEO-friendly. But the file size is larger than JPEG. You can also opt for GIFs in case you are using animations.
3. Create SEO Based ALT Text
As the name suggests, “alt text” means a text alternative to the image. When the image does not load, the site presents this text to make the visitor understand what the image is about. Likewise, it helps Google in indexing the content.
Ensure that this text is relevant to the image and the file name. You can add a single keyword to it but avoid using it multiple times. A short, relevant, and informative text is required for an SEO purpose.
For instance, if it is an image of candy, an alt text can be “orange-flavored chewy candy.”
4. Use High-Quality Photos
If images are of poor quality, the bounce rate will increase, and Google will question your credibility.
Therefore, try taking original photos for your content.
However, if you are short of time and budget, you can consider the stock photos. Paid stock photos are usually high in quality compared with the free ones. But, the source of getting these photos also play a key role. Some reliable sites like Stock Photo Secrets, iStock, Shutterstock, Stock Photos, and Adobe Stock can offer you with the best stock images.
No matter which image you are using, make sure to enhance the quality before uploading. Many image editing tools like Adobe Photoshop, Canva, DxO PhotoLab 4, and Corel PaintShop Pro are present today. They can enhance the picture quality, provide editing options, and include supporting tools.
For decreasing the file size, Google recommends using ImageOptim. It is a free tool, and you just need to put your photos; compression will take place automatically. Besides this, you can also adjust the compression settings easily.
5. Submit an Image Sitemap
An image sitemap has all the details regarding the images of your site. You can create a new image sitemap or include images in the existing one. When you submit the sitemap to the search engines, they can index these images, which are otherwise hard to find.
Additionally, add a file name and an alt text with every image. As discussed above, these practices will further improve your SEO result.
You can create a sitemap manually but go through all guidelines. However, if you are looking for an auto sitemap generator, you can find several tools. They include XML-Sitemaps, Screaming Frog, Slick Plan, Write Maps, etc. These tools can save a lot of your time and effort. With just a few clicks, you can create an entire map.
6. Encourage Social Sharing
Your SEO ranking will increase when your site gets more links and visitors. Images can play a huge role in it. All you need is to add a sharing button on each image. It will encourage your visitors to share the image on social media.
Image Sharer is an ideal tool for it. It lets you share the images on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Yummly. You can adjust the icon sets and even go for a Pro version to enjoy add-ons.
7. Use Responsive Images
The size of an image used for a desktop display is not suitable for a mobile version. Since the screen is short, the image will take a lot of time to load, which will increase the bounce rate. Thankfully, we can adjust the image size as per the screen resolution.
To do this, we need to use the srcset HTML code.
Here is an example:
<img src=”image.jpg” srcset=”image-medium.jpg 1000w, image-large.jpg 15000w”>
The above syntax is telling two different sizes of a same image. One is 1000 px wide and the other one is 1500 px wide.
The browser will now pick the most appropriate image size for the screen resolution.
Image optimization can play a substantial role in boosting your SEO ranking. Take some time and go through the Google guidelines to thoroughly understand optimizing your images.
But, essential tips like using high-quality photos, inserting alt text, giving a relevant name, and choosing the right size are important. These core tips will help you prepare for other technical implementations in image optimization.
Images can do wonders for you if optimized in the right direction. So, arm up your SEO strategy with image optimization tactics from today!