When discussing the optimization of your webpage to be more friendly to search engines, one area that often gets overlooked is image optimization. Search engines like Google acknowledge the importance of image optimization for your website with their guidelines for image publishing. Here are five tips to help you optimize your images.
1. Use images that are relevant to your page.
It’s much more likely that viewers will react to images before words when they visit your page. So you want the image to connect to what you are saying. Search engines prefer websites with a positive user experience, and one way to ensure that everyone has a positive experience is to make sure that everything on your page is relevant.
You also want your images to be engaging and connect to page visitors on an emotional level. While this is subjective and won’t necessarily help your SEO, it will help you to create more compelling content, which will keep visitors on your page longer.
2. Use high-quality images.
Search engines prefer quality. This means sites with high-resolution images tend to do better in the search engine results than sites with images that have a lower resolution. If you have images that aren’t formatted correctly, they may also appear distorted on mobile or tablet screens. Here are a couple of tips to help you with formatting images:
- JPEGs are usually the best option for most websites. They offer high quality and a small file size.
- Don’t use GIFs for product images that are large. Only use GIFs for decorative images or thumbnails. Otherwise, the file size will be too large, and there’s not a good way to reduce it.
3. Use alt text.
The alternative text field gives you a place to describe what your image is about. This is often neglected, but it tells the search engines what your image is. These descriptions can reiterate the relevance of your images as well.
Using the alternative text field also makes your website more accessible so that they can be accessed by the blind, health care attendants, and others who either deal with physical challenges or are serving those who do.
4. Include a brief caption with your image.
Captions are a great place to insert relevant keywords but only if they make sense for the image that is seen. Captions can also be crawled by search engines so anyone who is searching for images with those keywords may come across your image in the search results.
You don’t want to give your images misleading captions, though. This will only increase the bounce rate and give users a more negative user experience. This will send poor signals to the search engines about the content on your site.
5. Reduce the size of the image file
Google wants to make sure that users are having a positive experience no matter what format they are viewing a website on. Search engines prefer sites that have faster page speeds, and one of the best ways to make a page faster is to reduce the image sizes.
There are a number of tools that you can use to optimize your images including:
It can be difficult to get to the top of the search results, but it’s much easier if your page is optimized. This means optimizing your images as well as any text or other content on your website. If nothing else, the user experience is bound to be better on your website if your images are optimized.
It’s often easier to hire a marketing agency than try to do all this yourself. If you want to learn more about our SEO services, contact us today.