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12 Image SEO Tips You Should Know

12 Image SEO Tips You Should Know

Discover which factors are critical for image optimization in order to improve your content and help it rank higher in search results.

Consider the last time you added an image to your website. You probably downloaded it from a stock photography site, uploaded it to your site's backend, and then inserted it into the page.

Isn't this a shining example of image optimization? Not exactly.

You've added a massive bowling ball weight to your website, which is slowing down page speed. Furthermore, without alt text, search engines cannot read your images.

Image optimization provides numerous benefits, including improved user experience, faster page load times, and additional ranking opportunities. It is also becoming an increasingly important role.

But which factors are most important in ensuring that your images are easily found and do not slow down your site?

Here are 12 Crucial Image Optimization Tips You Should be Aware of

1. Select the Appropriate Format

Decoding all of the image formats can feel like your first trip to Subway. But, before you begin adding images to your site, make sure you've selected the best file type.

While there are many image formats to choose from, the most common for the web are PNG and JPEG. WebP is a more recent addition and will become standard as we move ahead.

PNG: Produces higher-quality images but has a larger file size.

JPEG: Image quality may suffer, but the quality level can be adjusted to achieve a good balance.

WebP: The only image format supported by both Chrome and Firefox, this allows you to choose between lossless and lossy compression.

2. Image Compression

Hell hath no fury like a bloated web page after uploading an uncompressed image.

Search engines will treat your website as if it were a large vat of oil: you can't seriously consider putting that on your website, can you?

According to HTTP Archive, images account for 21% of the total weight of a webpage.

That is why I strongly advise compressing your images before uploading them to your website. This can be done in Photoshop or with a tool like TinyPNG.

You can also use TingPNG as a WordPress plugin.

WP Smush, on the other hand, is my preferred WordPress plugin. It shrinks the image file size without sacrificing quality.

Whatever plugin you choose, ensure it compresses images externally on their servers. It lightens the load on your own website.

Alternatively, use an image CDN that detects the device and optimizes the image before delivery. Cloudinary and Imgix are two alternatives to consider.

By compressing images, increased website speed by 33%/2 seconds. Yes seconds count as people are impatient and will move on if it takes more than a couple of seconds to load.

People will be happier and more likely to stay if you have faster page speed with your images compressed.

I recommend using Google's PageSpeed Insights tool if you're not sure how your images are affecting your page speed.

3. Make Your Own Images

You want your photos to stand out on your website. If you use stock imagery on your website, you'll appear unoriginal, just like the thousands of other sites that don't stand out.

There are far too many websites that are cluttered with the same generic stock photos.

Consider a corporate website, a consulting firm, or a company that takes pride in its customer service. All of these websites use the same stock image of a businessman smiling.

While you may have perfectly optimized your stock images, they will not have the same impact or potential SEO benefits as an original, high-quality image.

The more unique your images, the better the user experience and your chances of ranking on relevant searches.

Remember that large images (physical size, not file size)  are more likely to appear in Google Discover.

4. Copyright Caution

Ensure there are no copyright issues with the image files you use.

If Getty Images, Shutterstock, DepositFiles, or another stock photo provider owns an image you use and you don't have a license to use it, you could face a costly lawsuit.

5. Customize Image File Names

When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is critical.

It's like ordering a Sub with no filling. It's just plain awful.

Typically, file names will be something like "IMG_722019" or something similar. That's equivalent to ordering from a menu in another language. It doesn't help Google.

Change the file name from the default to help search engines understand your image and improve your SEO value.

Depending on how large your media library is, this may require some effort, but changing the default image name is always a good idea.

If you violate any copyright issues, you may be issued a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If the owner of a piece of content discovers it on your website, they have the right to issue a DMCA Takedown, which you must honour.

Mindy Weinstein shares 41 different websites where you can find free images, and Google Images allows you to filter results based on those that are available for reuse.

6. Create Search Engine Optimized Alt Text

When a browser is unable to render images properly, alt tags provide a text alternative. The alt attribute, like the title, is used to describe the contents of an image file.

When an image fails to load, you will see an image box with the alt tag in the top left corner. Make sure they complement the image and add to its relevance.

Paying attention to alt tags can also help your overall on-page SEO strategy. You should ensure that all other optimization areas are in place, but if the image fails to load for any reason, users will see what the image should be.

Furthermore, by associating keywords with images, adding appropriate alt tags to your website's images can help your website achieve higher rankings in search engines. Even Google has acknowledged the importance of alt text in images.

It gives Google useful information about the image's subject matter. This information is used to help us determine which image to return in response to a user's query.

The alternate text could be:

<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”chocolate”/>

A better alternative text that describes the image, on the other hand, would be:

<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”dark chocolate coffee flavored bar”/>

The cached text version of the page includes alt text, which benefits both users and search engines. When the image links to a different page on the site, the alt text can act as the anchor text of an internal link for added SEO value.

7. Consider the Image File Structure

Google's Image Guidelines have been updated. One of the major changes they revealed was that they rank images based on the file path and file name.

Again, the file path and file name are actual ranking factors.

For example, if you're an e-commerce brand with multiple products, rather than putting all of your product images in a generic /media/ folder, I'd recommend organizing your subfolders into more category-specific topics like /shorts/ or /denim/.

8. Improve Your Page Title and Description

Google has also revealed that your page's title and description are used in its image search algorithm.

All of your basic on-page SEO factors, such as metadata, header tags, page copy, structured data, and so on, have an impact on how Google ranks your images.

It's like piling all of your favourite toppings on your Sub. It's much better with carrot. So, make sure to include the carrot for better image rankings.

9. Set Your Dimensions

When using AMP or PWAs, you must define your image dimensions in the source code.

If you're not using either, it's still a good idea to define the width and height. It improves the user experience.

Furthermore, it allows browsers to resize the image before the CSS is loaded. This prevents the page from bouncing when it loads.

Image dimension attributes are also important for avoiding Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) issues that can disrupt Core Web Vitals optimization.

It is critical to include width and height attributes for each image and video element.

This instructs the browser on how much space to allot for the resource, preventing the annoying content-shifting that lowers your CLS score.

10. Create Mobile-Friendly Images

Oh, SEO for mobile devices. At worst, it can result in a high bounce rate and low conversion rates. However, at its best, it can provide you with increased ranking power and improved user engagement.

The issue is, how do you optimize your images for mobile-first indexing?

Fortunately, Google provides guidelines on image best practices.

In short, you want to create images that are responsive. This means that the image will scale to fit the size of the site, whether the user is on a desktop or a mobile device. It adapts to the device's size.

11. Include Images in Your Sitemap

You want images in your sitemaps, whether you're adding them to an existing one or creating a new one for them.

Including your images in a sitemap increases the likelihood of search engines crawling and indexing your images. As a result, site traffic increases.

If you're using WordPress, Yoast and RankMath both have a sitemap plugin as does Joomla with RSSEO component.

12. Include Structured Data

Structured data markup your content types to help Google and other search engines deliver more visually appealing results. If you add structured data to your images, Google may serve them as a rich result.

For instance, if you use schema markup on a product page and label an image as a product, Google may associate that image with a price tag. To provide the correct image, search engines bypass the algorithm and rely on the information provided in structured data.

Takeaways on Image Optimization

So, before you begin uploading your image to your site, make sure to perform the above image optimization rituals.

The most important thing is that the image and alternative text are appropriate for the page. Other important takeaways:

  • Select the appropriate file format. PNGs are my preferred format for screenshots.
  • Reduce file size to improve page load speed.
  • Make certain that your on-page SEO elements (metadata, structured data, etc.) complement your image.
  • Create an image sitemap or ensure that your images are featured in your sitemap for crawlability.

Image optimization is no laughing matter. With advancements in voice search technology, media is becoming increasingly important, and the steps outlined above will benefit your entire site.

If you're looking to enhance your website's performance and improve user experience, BizzDesign is your go-to solution for website image optimization. With our cutting-edge tools and expertise in the field, we can assist you in maximizing the potential of your website's visuals.

By optimizing your images, you'll not only accelerate your website's loading speed but also reduce bandwidth usage, making it more accessible to a wider audience. BizzDesign understands the importance of striking a balance between image quality and file size, ensuring that your visuals are visually appealing while maintaining optimal website performance.

Moreover, BizzDesign's image optimization techniques consider various factors such as image format selection, compression algorithms, and responsive design considerations. This comprehensive approach guarantees that your images are tailored to fit different devices and screen sizes, providing a seamless and engaging experience for every visitor.

Whether you're a small business owner, an e-commerce platform, or a content creator, BizzDesign offers tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. By partnering with us, you can unlock the full potential of your website, attract and retain visitors, and ultimately drive conversion rates.

Don't underestimate the power of visually appealing and fast-loading images. With BizzDesign's expertise in website image optimization, you can take your online presence to new heights. Empower your website with captivating visuals and optimized performance – start your journey with BizzDesign today.