Image Optimization for SEO – A complete SEO image optimization tutorial
When we think of images we don’t think much of them, they are not more than something we use for decoration. Well there is much more to it, images can be really helpful for increasing traffic to your blog.
Image search is one which gives you results based on the keywords you put in the search bar. If you optimize the image right then you can see the images in the image search for specific keywords. This can result in some great traffic to your site.
There are ways which you should consider to SEO optimize images.
You should be wondering that why do i need to optimize the images on my blog.
As i told you that images can help you get traffic from image search, when you add images to your post then you must keep mind that images are very heavy then your text content. So it takes more time to load the page, resulting in increase in page load.
Images can be helpful for SEO too, search engines loves to some images in an article.
Now we are going to tell you the ways to SEO optimize images for your blog.
1) Image Name
When you write an article then you give it a tittle, This is to tell your viewers briefly that what the article is about and what to expect from it same goes with images. when we place images in our article rather than having a name like DSC0061.jpg or XYZ1234.jpg its more valuable to name them Black-harley.jpg it makes much more sense for search engines to know about the image.
A descriptive name will provide information about the image to the search engines, try to have keywords in the name of the image that you have in the title of your post. While creating a name with keywords use hyphens (-) instead of space, search engines reads hyphens better than a space.
Try not to stuff title with keywords, keyword stuffing can lead to negative effect on SEO.
2) Alt Tag
An alt tag is considered the most important for image SEO optimization, alt tag have more value than the name of the image. What alt stands for is alternate, this is an alternate text for the image which is displayed if the image fails to load.
Why alt tag is so important is due to the fact that most of the search engines only reads text and simply ignores images or videos on the page. If there is an image on the post then the search engine will treat it as a blank space, which is certainly not so good for SEO. Here comes the use of alt tag, an alt tag will tell the search engine that there is an image at this place and what the image is about. So that the search engines know that there is an image at this place, not a blank space.
You should give the alt tag to an image that is related to it. Alt tag is important and you can put some keywords in it too but remember not go get carried away. Do not try to stuff keyword in it, it will ruin your on-page SEO.
3) Size of an Image
Images puts a lot more load on page than text, So if you put an image which is heavy then that image will increase the loading time to a great extent. As the image become heavier this have a direct effect on page load, It has been observed that as the page loading time increases the visitors are more likely to leave your site.
In some recent Google algorithm update page load time plays an important role while ranking. The more the loading time, worse is the ranking. To decrease your page load time you should decrease the weight of the image.
To reduce the weight of the image you can compress the image. You can use smush.it to compress the image, Yahoo smush.it compresses image by taking out unwanted elements form an image without reducing the quality of an image.
4) Image Relation
Image should be related to the content you have in your post, why is this important in terms of SEO. Each post have a specific topic, all the things in that post is related to that topic. The images which you insert in the post should be related to the topic.
If you are making a post on some mobile phone then you post an image of a child playing, this won’t go together. This is bad for user experience as well as SEO, the image title and alt tag will describe the image and the algorithm will calculate that the image is now related to the topic. This will result in having a lower ranking.
You must have notices that there are some websites where you see text associated with the image, this is called captions. Even though these are not as important as alt tag but it still have some SEO benefits associated with it.
This captions will be related to the image, you can even place some keywords related to your topic in it. These captions will help your viewers to know exactly what you want them to think. Words will exactly describe the image, how it is related to the topic of your post.
6) Image dimensions
Your website uses different dimensions for an image, like you have a small thumbnail and same image in post, both of these have different dimensions. If the same image is used then the size of the original image will be more than needed.
This will increase the load on page, when you place such a big image as thumbnail then you increase the page load on your home page too. To make your images search engine optimized you should change the dimensions of image according to the design of your website.
If you are using WordPress CMS then you should use the plugin weight of the image., this plugin will generate multiple dimension images of one image, so it places the best dimension image to where it is needed.
7) Image sitemap
You can create a sitemap for images you have on your blog, having a sitemap for images will help search engines to index the images easily. You can add the sitemap to your Google webmaster tools, then your images will show in Google image search.
As search engine crawlers are not able to crawl images, an image sitemap will tell them about the exact locations of the images.
While creating sitemap you should add the related tags which will tell the crawlers about the image. If you want to rank higher with the images you should optimize your images, even Google have image publishing guidelines for SEO optimization of images you can check them here.