How to Optimize Images for Better SEO
You cannot have a website for a business that does not use images. Your visitors will be more compelled by your images than anything that you write in your copy. How do you optimize images on your site for better SEO?
You might ask, why is that important? Well, when you optimize your images for SEO, you can improve your website’s rank in local search queries. Did you know that, at times, your images can appear in SERPs? Clearly, image optimization is important.
Something to bear in mind is that while optimizing your images for SEO is important, it’s more important that you select quality images. You can optimize your images until you are blue in the face. You can get your site to be number one on all search results for relevant keywords. Still, if the images that you have on your site are junk, all of your efforts are wasted.
We are going to imagine that you’ve got good images that support your brand. The question is, how do you make it possible for search engines to find them and to get them to your customers?
Look at the size of your image files. If your image files are too large, they won’t load fast enough. Most users do not have the patience to wait for images to load. Slow loading images send negative signals to Google. Your ranking deteriorates because of the load speed factor.
The majority of your work should be done when creating the image file. You don’t want to manipulate the file too much after it’s been uploaded to your website. A big mistake would be to load a large image and then use HTML width and height attributes to constrain the file to a smaller resolution. The goal is to get your storage space small and the dimensions of your image large. You can do this by compressing the image. Here is a good guide about gZip compression by Hosting Canada.
Search engines are definitely getting smarter with each new version. However, they still are not great at identifying content inside of images. This is why you should embed alternative text in the image. This text is going to describe what is seen in the image.
To be sure, you are not going to give a lengthy description of every attribute of the image. However, you are looking for keywords and the local modifiers that show the relevance of the image to your business or to your service.
We cannot emphasize enough the danger of over-optimizing. This is going to create more challenges for you than benefits when it comes to search engine rankings. It can also cause poor user experience, especially for visually impaired users who use screen readers that describe elements on your page.
Image File Name
When you have a digital file, you give it a descriptive name. The name is simple, but it makes it easier for you to identify what is in the file. It’s the same when optimizing your images for the web. The image filename you give is the first thing that a search engine is going to use in determining how your image is related to the service you offer, the product you offer, or your geolocation. To get the most out of your image filename, we recommend separating the words in the title of the file with a hyphen. It might look something like this: low-voltage – technician – Apple Valley – Minnesota.jpg.
Put Relevant Text around Your Image
When you look at the HTML of your web page, you get a better understanding of how your keywords proximity to your images improves optimization. It is recommended that you surround images using relevant text. This would include using keywords. This allows search engines to better connect your images with your content.
When your images are properly optimized, they are telling Google, Yahoo, or Bing important information about your site. They tell the search engines that they are relevant items and that they should appear for local queries. Optimizing images takes time. It is part skill and part art. Although it can be time-consuming, especially if you have a number of images, doing the job and doing the job right will bring rewards by means of improved visibility and higher ranking of your site.
We have just mentioned a few tips to optimize your images for SEO. We would love to hear more tips from you. Share them with us in the comments section below.
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