By now you know that there are a lot of complicated moving parts to Search Engine Optimization. One of those parts is image optimization, aka "image SEO." Unfortunately, many specialists tend to overlook image SEO. Today, I'll teach you how to optimize images and get your website to the front of Google and other search engines.
According to Bluelist.co,
This number proves your web page must include highly optimized images to increase visibility!
Image SEO has become an integral part of every single blog, article, or web page I publish online since I started in 2017. As a digital marketing specialist myself, I make sure that my team and I always optimize images for SEO. We understand its value.
In the next section of this article, I'll tell you why blogs and articles need images. Let's jump right to it!
The internet is a crowded place. There are over 2.9 million blogs written daily!
That number is astonishing, and it makes me wonder: how does someone attract a large audience in a space this crowded? Well, the answer is to include highly optimized images in blogs and articles. It's the only way to go.
With that said, here are compelling reasons why you need to include images in your blogs and articles:
Adding an image to a blog or article is the best way to build a great first impression. When your posts lack visual appeal, visitors will leave your page in a heartbeat.
Visually attractive blogs or articles have higher chances to build an emotional connection with online readers. They also look friendlier and more inviting to take further action.
It’s so much easier to break down text into easy to comprehend parts when you use images in a blog or article.
Images serve as an intro to the story or a separate section. I love using infographics in my blog posts. It not only makes my blog understandable and readable but also minimizes the reading time.
Aside from keywords, on-page SEO, link building, and online reviews, images could also help boost search ranking.
Blog or articles with relevant images perform better in search engines like Google. Sites on the first page are often ones with presentations, images, or videos.
SEO specialists usually add titles, tags, and descriptions to their blog images to boost search engine ranking.
Not everyone understands technical terms, but images help break down complex ideas. Readers find it much easier to understand concepts, like error messages, if they see a visual representation like screenshots.
Images serve as an educational aid to help readers understand what you are writing about.
Another aspect that I love about images is that they make readers feel things. They also help readers understand the context of the article.
In other words, images make a whole story coherent by providing firm support to other elements on the page.
Truly, blogs and articles need images because they improve the readability and flow of your content for your reader, and they also can help with SEO ranking.
Now let’s talk about how to optimize images for SEO.
First of all, there are plenty of images you can choose from. Some examples are:
Choose the right one that will convey the message of your blog or article the best way.
So, let’s begin this list with...
Using a proper file name is the first step in image SEO. Google looks at your filename for SEO, so your filename should be your keyword or focus keyphrase.
For example, if your image shows a vital email marketing statistics of 2019, use email-marketing-statistics-2019.png instead of DSC3901.png.
The main keyphrase would be email marketing statistics because it is the main topic of the image, which is why it’s at the start of the file name.
Another way to optimize images for SEO is to add Alt Text and Captions in images.
Alt Text is what shows up in place of the image if the image fails to load and should describe the image. It’s what browsers display to users with screen readers, as well as when users hover over the image.
Here’s a sample:
This code describes the appearance and function of an image on a blog, article, or page.
Follow these simple tips and tricks in writing your image alt text:
Captions, on the other hand, are visible to users, usually beneath the image. Search engines like Google use both for search data.
Here’s a sample:
Make sure to write relevant captions with your image to improve SEO ranking.
But Tim, “Do I need to add captions to every image in my blog?” Well, NO!
Sometimes using images serve other purposes. You should only use captions, where it would make sense. Always think about the readers first, and don’t add a caption just for the sake of image SEO.
According to Google,
In other words, you can create an image sitemap with a standard sitemap to show Google where to find the images on your page and to make them appear in searches more efficiently.
Use this syntax outline that Google provided:
Also, web building sites like WordPress have a lot of image sitemap plugins that you could choose from.
Choosing the right image format is another vital step in optimizing images for SEO. GIF, PNG, or JPEG are usually your choices.
Here’s what you need to know about popular image formats:
Always remember that for images, there’s no right format. It depends on the type of illustration and how you intend to use it.
If only internet users used the same screen size and resolution, then image SEO wouldn’t be a big problem for specialists like me.
But, we use different resolutions and screen sizes.
The best solution? The srcset image attribute.
It means the images adjust in size based on the user’s screen size. Some content management systems, like WordPress, enable this functionality automatically.
This article from HTLM.com will tell you more about the srcset attribute.
Oh yes! Copyright is an essential issue in the digital world.
If you don’t own a photo and it’s not free for use, you could receive a notice under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), which will require you to take down your photo. In some cases, you will also be hit with fines for the unauthorized use.
Stock photos sites like pexels.com and stockunlimited.com are an excellent place for royalty-free images.
And that's a wrap! Those are the ways on how to optimize images for SEO.
Remember these things when adding an image to a blog or article:
With these things in mind, you are sure that your images are highly optimized for search engines like Google.
Want to know more about image SEO? Check out the recommended resources below. Also, you are always welcome to TALK TO US if you need more help.
Image SEO: 12 Actionable Tips (for More Organic Traffic)
Beginner’s Guide to Image SEO – Optimize Images for Search Engines
How to Optimize Images for Better Search Engine Rankings
What do you think about this article? Are you ready to optimize images for SEO?
Leave a comment below and let’s discuss.
Also, it would be a great honor if you think this article is worth SHARING with your friends and family.
Header image courtesy of Stockunlimited.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help small businesses & entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. All you need is a plan.