Are images good for SEO?
Well, yes, they are, especially when it comes to Image SEO 2020.
Image optimization plays an important role in making the content of your website to reach more people. Images make your content more attractive and engaging for users but they have their significance in SEO as well. Image optimization is the method of creating and delivering high-quality images in the correct and best format, size, and resolution to increase your brand visibility.
SEO images increase user engagement and search engine rankings. To optimize the images on the site, you should have its basic idea and understand how you can use Google image SEO.
Here are 10 important image optimization tips for bringing organic traffic to your website:
Edit the Size of your Image
Image size means the dimensions of an image. Images with higher resolution and large dimensions take more time to load the page. However, too much wait can easily irritate anyone and you may end up losing tons of visitors. It might also increase the bounce rate. Thus, you need to resize the image without losing too much quality.
You are advised to create responsive images and scale them to an appropriate size so it loads faster. Responsive images simply adjust to the size of the device as such images scale with the size of the site whether the user is using it on desktop or mobile.
The right file format is crucial
PNG, JPEG, and GIF are the most common formats used on the web. Each one of them uses a different compression method. When it comes to PNG, it produces better quality but comes with larger file sizes. JPEG balances this by losing image quality.
JPEG is recommended for images with lots of colors while PNG is recommended for simple images and GIF is used for moving pictures.
Don’t use too large or too small Images
Make sure not to compress an image too much that it loses its quality. You are advised to use any tool or plug-in to reduce the file size without degrading its quality. Try to use one that compresses the images externally on their servers. This minimizes the load on your website. Moreover, you can use paint as well to resize any image before uploading it to your website.
You can change the pixels as per the dimensions that you have to set for an image and save it in the format that you like. I mostly prefer using JPEG format when I have to opt for SEO for WordPress Images.
Modify the Name of Image – SEO strategy
How do you name images for SEO? Well, one of the most important factors that affect your page SEO is creating a keyword-rich file name. Yes, that’s correct. Before uploading any image, you should name your file with relevant, descriptive keywords to rank it in image search results. It will make people reach your images and hence, content in general when they will type certain keywords.
File names should make sense to both users and search engines. Try to include target keywords at the beginning and separate them with hyphens. Well, do not use underscores as search engines do not recognize them.
Also, you must also have thought “how do I optimize images for SEO in WordPress?”
Well, in the above image, on the right side, there are various options to fill in so you can optimize your images, especially in the WordPress site. Other website types have similar options just as in WordPress, however, they might have slightly different formats. You can add the best-suited title with keywords or fill-up other details accordingly.
Use SEO-Friendly Alt tags and captions
Search engines cannot spot your image content without a good alternative tag. These image tags for SEO provide clues to the search engine spiders. Even if the images are not loading, you will get an image box with the alt tag present in the top left corner. Search engines will still be able to rank a page by reading its alt tag.
To boost visibility, avoid keyword stuffing and provide more details like brand-relevant words. Adding appropriate alt tags to the image provides useful information about the subject matter of the image. It helps your website to achieve better ranking in the search engines by associating keywords with images.
The caption refers to the small text below an image that describes what it shows. It is recommended to use captions wherever possible as search engines extract information from captions as well.
Ensure Defining the Image Dimensions
You are required to define the dimensions of your image in the source code. It provides a better user experience and allows the browsers to size the image before the CSS is loaded. This prevents the page from jumping while it is loading.
It is advised to define dimensions if you are using AMP or PWAs.
Include Page Title, Description and Image Structured Data
Google had stated that it uses your page title and description in its image search algorithm. So, to improve image rankings make sure to add all of your basic on-page SEO factors like metadata, header tags, and structured data.
Don’t forget Adding Images to your SiteMap
A sitemap refers to a file that contains a map of your site’s content. It lists the web pages of your site to inform search engines about your site and its content. Sitemaps play an important role in image optimization SEO as they tell search engines to notice every page of your website including photos, videos, thumbnails, etc.
Having images in a sitemap increases the chances of search engine crawling and brings more traffic. For this, you should include title, description, URL location, caption, and license information. If you are using WordPress and Yoast SEO, then images are automatically added to your sitemap.
Use Schema Markup Google (for recipes, products, or videos)
People usually skip this essential factor while optimizing images. Google uses a few relevant badges on the thumbnails in mobile image search results that help users find relevant content quickly and brings the target audience to your site. These badges are known as schema markup.
Currently, Google supports four types of markup: products, videos, recipes, and GIFs. To ensure that your image shows one of these badges, you need to add appropriate schema markup to the page. In the case of GIFs, you need not add any additional markup. Google easily detects and know they are GIFs.
Consider Lazy Loading
Lazy loading means the browser defers the loading of images until they need to be shown on the screen. Images are loaded when they need to be loaded i.e. when you scroll.
Before you upload any image to your site, make sure it is optimized as it will benefit your entire site. The above-mentioned image optimization techniques will improve the visibility and likability of your content by both search engines and users. Furthermore, there are image optimizer or jpeg optimizer plug-ins or image optimizer online tools available to be used for free. You can use them to perfect your content.