It’s a fact that images make your content more accessible, interesting, and engaging to visitors, but they also help with SEO in a big way.
First of all, they give search engines important context information. Second, optimized pictures make it faster for a page to load, which increases user engagement and search engine rankings.
For SEO to work best for your brand, you need to understand the basics of image optimization.
Image optimization is the whole process of making a picture better by changing its format, size, and resolution in order to get more people interested in it. It also involves naming images correctly so that search engine crawlers can read them and understand what the page is about.
HTTP Archive says that as of November 2018, photos made up 21% of the total weight of a web page. Pictures take up the most bytes of any part of a website, so their size and complexity have a big effect on how fast the site loads. But when you reduce the size of photos without lowering their quality, page load times go up, and website users have a better experience.
Basic tips can help you improve your image and illustration.
By making the user experience better, you can expect more visitors to interact with your site, which will boost your search engine rankings and make your customers more engaged, more likely to buy, and more likely to stay with you. Also, site backups will be done faster because optimized photos take up less space on your server. Now I’ll tell you how to make your photos better:
Size of image and size of file are not the same thing. The size of a picture is determined by its image size (for example, 1024 by 680 pixels). The file size is how much space it takes up on the server (for example, 350 kilobytes).
Images with a high resolution and a large size, which are usually taken with a professional camera, make it take a lot longer for a website to load. Even though they work well for printing, they need to be shrunk down without losing too much quality to work well on the web.
Choosing the File Format and the Rate of Compression
Standard file formats include PNG, JPEG, and GIF. Each has good points. JPEG is best for photos with a lot of color, while PNG is best for photos with a lot of detail.
When a picture is compressed too much, the file size gets smaller, but the quality of the picture gets worse. On the other hand, when you use a low compression rate, the image quality is great, but the file size is huge.
Try out different file formats and compression rates to see what works best for each image. Adobe Photoshop and many other image-editing programs have a “save for web” option that automatically reduces file size while keeping picture quality at its best. Here are some alternatives to Photoshop if you don’t have it:
- Tools for improving images
- Affinity Photo
- JPEG optimization with Pixlr
- ImageOptim is only for Macs.
- Kraken (large-scale compression)
- Paint.NET Mini JPEG
- OptiPNG FileOptimizer Triage
Plug-ins for WordPress that help optimize images
- Yoast SEO Image Optimizer ShortPixel EWWW
- Optimus Image Optimizer WP Smush TinyPNG ImageRecycle
Optimization of Speed
Once you’re done optimizing your images, how will you know if the time it takes for your website pages to load is not making your visitors wait? Well, here are the best tools to help you find out how fast your site is:
- WebPageTest Pingdom
- WebWait PageSpeed Insights from Google
Checking your stats often is a good idea because websites tend to change over time and should be tweaked every so often.
Improve Image File Names
It’s important for SEO and ranking in image search results to pick the right file name. To get the most out of SEO, name picture files with relevant, long-tail keywords before you submit them.
Make sure to put the keywords you want to rank for at the beginning, separated by hyphens. Use underscores as little as possible because search engines don’t know what they are and can’t “see” the words as separate.
It’s a good idea to name your image files after what they are. We suggest that you give your images titles that are clear and to the point.For example, a picture of a woman in a hair salon was originally called “salon234.jpg.” Change the name to something more descriptive, like “woman-getting-a-haircut-in-a-salon.jpg.”
Use the Alt Tags
People may be able to tell what an image is about just by looking at it, but search engine spiders need more information. Search engines can’t figure out what your pictures are about without alternative text. A good alt tag gives context and helps people who can’t see the image. Even if a bug keeps pictures from loading, search engines may still look at the alternative text to rank a website. Don’t use too many keywords when adding brand-relevant words.
You need to add more information to the file name than you did. Even though there is no perfect number of words, try to say something about the picture in 10 to 15 words.
Change the name of the picture
If you use WordPress, the title of the picture is often taken from the name of the file, so you can sometimes leave it alone. But if you don’t use WordPress or if the title doesn’t say enough about the image, you should rename it with the right keywords, just like you would rename a file.
Image titles aren’t as important for SEO, but they can help make the alt text make more sense. Regarding user engagement, image titles are more beneficial. Use a short call to action, such as “buy now” or “download now.”
Image captions, which are the phrases that show up right under photos, may not have a direct effect on SEO, but they are visible on a website page, which is not the case for file names and alt text. So, they can make the experience better for the user.
Most people look at image captions to get a sense of what the whole thing is about. Without picture captions, your bounce rate could go up, which would make search engines less likely to trust you.
Use photos that are one of a kind.
Stock photos are fine, but they might not help your search engine rankings because many other websites use the same pictures. So, just like it’s good for SEO to post original text, it’s also a good idea to post original photos whenever possible.
Make sure that your text goes well with the pictures.
The page copy can help search engines figure out how relevant your pictures are. If there isn’t enough information to explain an image, add more relevant language and, if possible, describe the image.
Include Picture Structured Data
If your pages have structured data, search engines may show your photos as “rich results.” Images of products, recipes, and videos can all have structured data in Google Photos.
For example, if you put recipes on your site and add structured data to your photos, Google can add a badge to your photo to show that it goes with a recipe. Learn how to add structured data to your websites in a way that fits within Google’s Structured Data General Guidelines.
Google says that a site map is “a file in which you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines how your site’s content is organized.” In other words, it’s a file with a list of all the pages on your site. Site maps are important for SEO because they show search engines all of the pages on your site. So, put every image on your site, whether it’s an infographic, meme, photo, video thumbnail, etc., in your sitemap to make sure that search engine crawlers find it.
Include the title, description, URL, caption, and information about who owns the rights to these picture map entries. For video entries, include the title, description, URL, URL for the thumbnail, and URL for the raw video file. If your website will be hosted on WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO to automatically add your pictures to a site map.
Before you upload any images, keep these tried-and-true tips in mind if you’re having trouble seeing your work. These strategies for optimizing pictures will make your content more appealing to both search engines and people.
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