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7 Tips for optimizing your Images for SEO

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What is Image Optimization

Image optimization is the process of ensuring that the images that are integrated on a website does not slow down the page speed, should have appropriate tags, optimal file size, and type. This helps in providing the correct context of an image to the search engine. The main objective of image optimization is:

  • Complementing other on page optimization efforts and help in attaining better ranking for web pages
  • Ensuring the visibility of images in the vertical image search section of Google

One of the key KPI of image optimization is; for the relevant search query, the number of impressions and clicks generated by the pages integrated with images. You can use the search console tool to check these metrics over a period of time. But, also ensure that you change the search type from the web to images.

Why is Image Optimization necessary?

Image optimization helps in improving the page speed, enhancing the user experience. It is one of the on-page seo techniques, which can significantly impact the ranking of a webpage. Also, if the image ranks well in the image search section of Google, there is a possibility to get organic sessions to your website, which can help in increasing the traffic contribution from organic search. 

For a better understanding of how to go about with Image optimization, check out these 7 tips that will help you with image SEO.

  • Image File Type

Image file type impacts the page speed parameters, which makes it essential to choose the correct file type for your image. The three commonly used file types by websites are – JPEG, GIF, and PNG. The differentiating factor between these 3 file types is their size. PNG has the largest size, followed by GIFs and then JPEG images. You might be wondering; which file type should be used? The below flow chart will help you in deciding the file type:

Image File Type Flow Chart

Image Source

Also, wherever possible, ensure that the size of the file does not exceed 100 KB. You can take the help of image compression tools if the initial size of the file is large. Below are a few image compression tools that you can use:

  1. https://tinypng.com/
  2. https://imagecompressor.com/
  3. https://compressor.io/
  • Image Name

Though Google has made great advancements in machine learning, however, it does help Google if we add context to our images using the file name. For example, if the image created is related to biscuits, it is recommended to name the file as ‘biscuits.jpg’ and not an autosave file name which is usually in the form of ‘img324.jpg’.

Note: Name an image using the keyword for which you want the image to rank for. 

  • Image Path or Image URL

It is observed that most of the websites have web pages in the relevant folder, which is not the case with images. Images are usually added in one folder only. Adopting a similar strategy for including images in relevant folders of the website adds more context to the image. For example, if your website is an online grocery store, below image URL structure is recommended:

www.onlinegrocery.com/snacks/chocolates.jpg

www.onlinegrocery.com/dairy/breads.jpg

  • Image Alt Tag

Image alt text or alternative text is another attribute that helps in indicating the context of an image to the search engines. It is used by screen readers that help people with visual impairment to browse the web and also gets displayed when there are issues with rendering of the image. This helps in improving the user experience and is also one of the Google ranking factors. The length of the text should be below 100 characters. 

Note: Site optimization tools or third party crawlers like screaming frog can help in identifying the images which do not have alt text or have alt text with more than 100 characters

<img src=”www.onlinegrocery.com/snacks/chocolates.jpg” alt=”Nestle Chocolates”>

  • Image Title Tag

Image title text provides another opportunity to add relevance to the webpage as well as the image. This text gets displayed when the user hovers over the image. Similar to alt text, you can use image title text to add more context to the image.

<img src=”www.onlinegrocery.com/snacks/chocolates.jpg” alt=”Nestle Chocolates” title=”Different chocolates by Nestle Brand”>

  • Image Sitemap

Having an XML Sitemap is a common point in various Technical SEO Checklists. However, webmasters tend to ignore the absence of an image sitemap. It is recommended to have an image sitemap to increase the likelihood of your website image’s to appear in the vertical image search of Google. Having an image sitemap helps Google to discover images that are served through Javascript code, which it might not find otherwise. You can create a different sitemap to list all the images, or you can add the information in the existing sitemap. Below is an example of a sitemap entry of a page which contains two images: 

Image Sitemap

Image Source

  • Integrating unique and responsive images

Avoid using stock images to stand out and provide a better user experience. The more unique and good quality images that you have on your website, the better are the chances for ranking. Do not forget to test whether your images are responsive to different devices or not. Check how do these images get displayed on mobile, desktop as well as a tablet to ensure good user experience.

Conclusion

The image optimization techniques ensure that the image name, path, alt, and title tag provide the right context about the image to the search engines. Also, select the image file type based on what you want to achieve with the image and do keep a check on the file size.

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1 comment

alexbeglov1989 May 21, 2020 - 5:39 pm

Another very important point on SEO is the optimization and compression of images on the site. Here is an interesting article on this topic: https://optipic.io/en/blog/images-seo-optimization/

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