Image SEO Practices to Make Your Content More Discoverable
Critical marketers have started paying attention to the importance of visual images as they are an opportunity to reach new audiences on the SERPs. After running an experiment, many people discovered that Google’s image packs increase the impressions and click on the content.
Image SEO is optimizing your images for the search engines through appropriate captions, alt text, and suitable dimension files. Image SEO can make your content a lot easier to interpret by search engine crawlers. It can give a boost to the image results page and the search results pages. Thus, it also makes your site more discoverable.
Following are the best practices of image SEO-
1. Use relevant and accurate alt text for the user accessibility and SEO
Alt text is a written copy that describes an image. It helps the search engine crawler index your website a lot more effectively. This has a positive effect on the search results. You will be an aid in the discovery process by ensuring that the images and your site are optimized for Google images, and it increases the likelihood that your content will appear on the search engine’s results page. The alt text also improves your user experience. It describes an image to a user who is visually impaired. It also helps the user if he cannot load or see the image correctly on the device.
2. Use captions to describe an image
Captions are not necessary if the context of the web page can help the readers understand what the image is depicting. If you have a visual-heavy website, you should use captions to help readers understand an image in the context. The captions can contextualize what the image represents. However, you should use good judgment when adding captions to images.
3. Compress images for a faster load time
Compressing images is a very vital component of any good website optimization strategy. It helps your web pages load faster. This provides a better user experience, and it also enables you to boost the search engine rankings of your website. For compressing an image effectively, you can make use of various tools. You should also consider that Google looks at the page’s total size. If you have a small image with a less substantial quality difference, you can try compressing that image to 30-50KB. It gives you extra room to keep another image 30KB more prominent.
4. Post original images, not just photos
Google prioritizes original content, so it is vital to use unique images. If you work for an eCommerce website, you are posting your products’ visuals; hence, it becomes crucial to post high-resolution photos. If your image does not demonstrate your product, it might get buried under better and high-quality images from your competitors.
5. Name your file images before uploading them
Your file name can impact how easily the search engine crawler interprets your image. Hence, it is helpful to rename your file before you upload it on your webpage.
Instead of keeping any generic name, you should try using relevant keywords to describe what is in the image, similar to the alt text. It can also ensure your image appears on the image results page, increasing the traffic to your site.
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6. Use responsive images
Responsive images are critical for ensuring readers can see your images on any device. Your pages must be optimized for mobile to impact the search engine rankings and user experience.
If the images aren’t responsive, the page won’t appear as clean on mobile as on the desktop. This could negatively affect the SEO as well as the perception of your brand.
7. Leveraging images as a back-linking opportunity
Creating high-quality and original images is a fantastic opportunity to earn backlinks for your website and other websites. If you create high-quality images, other companies may want to showcase them on their website with links to your business. The images can directly impact the number of leads, traffic, and customers you get for your business.
8. Add images to an existing sitemap
Google is the search engine that suggests adding images to the existing sitemap. It helps the search engine discover your images.
9. Choose the right format
There are many image formats you can choose from. PNG and JPEG are the most common ones for the web.
PNG- This format produces better-quality images. However, they come with a larger file size.
Jpeg: One may lose the image quality. However, they can adjust the quality level to find the perfect balance.
10. Beware of the copyright
If you violate any copyright issues, you can get a notice from DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). If the owner of any piece of content sees their content on your site, they can issue a DMCA against you. Hence, regardless of the image files you choose, you should make sure that there is no copyright conflict.
11. Customize image file names
Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is very crucial when it comes to SEO. You should change your filename from the default to help the search engines understand the image and thereby improve the value of your SEO. It involves a lot of work depending on how extensive the media library is. However, changing the default image is always a good idea.
12. Write SEO-friendly alt text
Alt tags are the tags that are text alternatives to images when a browser cannot render them properly. The alt attribute is used for describing the contents of an image file. When the image cannot load, you will get an image box with the alt tag that is present in the top left corner. It is your duty to make sure that they fit with the image making the picture relevant. Paying attention to alt tags is beneficial to the overall On-Page SEO strategy. If the image fails to load for any reason, the users will see what the image is supposed to be.