How you can optimize your images for better SEO
Those days are long gone when simply putting a bunch of text in your blog was enough for driving substantial amount of traffic to it. People have become smarter and busier, and now it takes more than informative texts to draw attention to your blog.
As a matter of fact, just having pictures in your blog post is not enough. You need to know how to optimize images for SEO as well. Many bloggers see their search engine rankings suffering only because they didn’t understand the importance of image optimization. Today, we are going to share the way to optimize images for SEO in a proper way. Let’s get started!
Choosing the Right Image
First thing’s first, you just can’t use any picture you like: the picture needs to be relevant to the blog post you’ve written. We recommend to use original images, but this can get a bit costly. You might need a good camera, probably a photographer, and you might even have to go to different locations for your photoshoots.
Well, if you are not willing to do this, then there are some good alternatives. You can of course buy pictures from sites like shutterstock, Pixabay, unsplash, and Pexels for exampleetc. These websites have a large pool of free images that you can use, but the free options are quite limited and might not always seem relevant to your topic.
Another good option is to purchase a subscription of Canva.com. You can easily edit pictures in this platform and it has thousands of templates and images for you to choose from. This is also an extremely useful platform if you are doing a lot of social posts.
Preparing the Images
Once you’ve chosen the image you want to place in your blog post, you need to make sure that it is prepared the right way. For image optimization, this preparation process is very important.
The Right Format
Many bloggers think that image formats don’t matter too much as long as the image is visible and looks great. This is not the case by any means. You need to understand the purpose of the image and choose the right file format.
- For larger photos and illustrations, choose the JPEG format as it provides better colors and clarity in a small file size.
- If you need a transparent background, use PNG. This is mostly applicable to logos.
- If you have too many pictures on the same page, then you can also use WebP as it produces high-quality images with smaller file size.
The Right File Name
This is very crucial for image SEO. If you want to appear in Google image search results, then the file name should be spot on. That’s why you should use focus key phrases in image file names. For example, if your image relates to Keto diet foods, the name of the file should be keto-diet-foods.jpg, not something like DSC43289.jpg. Make sure you always save the image already with the right keywords on your computer before uploading it into your website.
Giving your image the right keyword is also beneficial for showing up in Google Search Images. When your image is included with the right keyword, Google will recognize it and show it to people when using Image search.
Scaling and Sizing the Images
While it is completely fine to have great quality images in your blog, it comes with a catch. Better quality photos tend to have bigger file sizes, which is a nightmare for your site speed. That’s why you should identify the right scale for necessary images. If a 2500x1500px image is going to be shown in an area of 250x150px, there is no point in having such a huge picture in the first place. Resize the images according to the size you want it to appear in your site.
In addition, you need to optimize the images in a way sothat the file sizes won’t hurt your site speed. Try to keep every image under 100kb.
You don’t want your site to be visited by people who only use one device, right? Without making your images responsive, you are missing out on cross platform users. But the good news is, if you are using WordPress, this has already been done for you. The images need to have the srcset attribute for responsiveness. This way, you’ll get visitors from all devices and platforms.
Adding the Image to Your Article
Here comes the next step. In this step, you’ll need to add the image to the article by following the right procedure. This is the most crucial part of optimizing images for better SEO, so you should point everything down carefully.
Lots of people don’t even bother putting any caption in the photos of their blog. But did you know that captions are 300% more likely to be read by visitors compared to the body text? You shouldn’t avoid captions altogether. You don’t need to put captions in every single photo you use, but if you see an opportunity to come up with an attractive relevant caption, don’t hesitate. If you can put the targeted keyword in the caption, then it’s even better!
Alt Text and Title Text
<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image description” title=”image tooltip”>
Above you can see how a complete HTML image tag looks like.
When your image is not available to the visitor due to their browser settings or bad internet connection, alt text tells them what the image is about. Therefore, you should add this text to every single image you have in the site. The text should also include the SEO keyword you are targeting if possible. Describe what’s in the image, so that the visitor who can’t see the image still can have some idea about it.
The image title text is a bit different. Someone will see the title when they hover with a mouse over the image. Nowadays webmasters don’t give that much importance to titles, as keyboard and mobile users don’t even get to see those. You still can place titles, if it is possible to put the SEO keywords in it.
Alt text and title text are important for Google search bots as well. Now Google gives better ranks to only those pages that are more relevant to the niche searched for. If the bots see relevant keywords in image alt tags and titles, it is likely that your chances of getting higher ranks will increase.
Now it’s very easy to have image alt texts and title texts in all the pictures of your website with WordPress. If you upload any image in WordPress, you’ll see options to add image title, alt text, image caption etc. It’s very simple.
Image Alignment and Placement
Image alignment is important for a better user experience. The technique of aligning images at the left and surrounded by the texts is very old. Newspapers from the 90s used this structure their pages this way. Now the best way is to have images as the same width as the text column and align them between paragraphs. This way the image is more visible and supports the text better.
Google is getting smarter everyday, and the bots can now recognize relevant images way better than before. You should keep this in mind and try optimizing? the best images in your blog to get good search engine ranks.