The correct optimization of Images is a very important element for SEO. This aspect is often underestimated, although images can certainly help your page rank higher in search engines and they have an influence on the purchase decisions of users.
If you are looking to increase the organic visibility of your website through the SEO optimization of images, you are in the right place.
In this guide, you will find out what is image optimization in SEO and it can help you in increasing traffic to your website through images as well as in improving the user experience and the usability of your web pages.
What is an ALT Tag and How Important is it for SEO
An ALT tag, also known as an “alt attribute” is used in HTML language to describe an image and its use in a web page. ALT tags are important for SEO because they are the first element that is detected by search engines when trying to identify the content of images on a website. It is very important to have well-written ALT attributes and to make sure that they include specific keywords relevant to the topic that they display.
Additionally, they are very important for the website accessibility of visually impaired users, who browse the internet with the aid of screen readers.
How to Create a URL for an Image Optimized for SEO
To optimize the images on your website for search engines, it is important to name your image URL so that it describes the content of the image. Usually, when uploading images to a website, a generic URL is generated, which does not help search engines in understanding the topic and content of it. To make your image more SEO friendly, rename its URL with a clear, descriptive text.
You can create an optimized image URL by changing it in your content management system or by simply renaming an image before uploading it.
How to Optimize Images for Website Speed: Compression and Defer Offscreen
The most important factor when you are trying to speed up image loading on your website is size. Image size is very important because it can increase your site loading speed, causing a higher bounce rate, meaning that more people will leave your website before it is showing content. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the size of your images below 100kb.
If your webpage has a lot of images and the loading speed does not improve by reducing the size, there is another way to improve. You can set-up your webpage so that only the content and images that are on-screen are loaded, instead of the whole page. This optimization can have a great impact on usability and loading speed, especially on mobile devices.
The Best Image Format for SEO
The image format is very important when optimizing your website images and there are mainly two factors to keep in mind when selecting the best image format for SEO: size and quality. Ideally, you should try to keep the size of your images as low as possible. But, on the other hand, having high-quality images is key to a good user experience. The best image format which includes both high quality and a low size is the .jpg format, as it is also compatible with all browsers.
Title Text and Image Caption: are They Important for SEO?
In addition to adding ALT tags to your images, you can add a title and a caption. These fields are not important for SEO as they do not impact the searchability of your images.
Why is it important then? It is good for the user experience. When users hover on the image with their mouse, they can view a title and caption of the image, that can help them get an idea of what the topic of the page is. You can add these fields to images in your content management system.
How to Create Image Sitemap.xml
Image sitemaps are very useful as they show search engines all the images that appear on your web pages in a summarized file so that it is able to scan them and give priority to your main images. This can also enable your images to be found through Google Images, bringing more traffic to your website when people search the topic of your image.
To create your image sitemap for SEO, you can use any image xml sitemap generator.
Last but not least: choose a relevant image
Part of the image optimization in SEO is in the choice images which are relevant to the topic of a web page. Search engines are able to detect what an image shows, so choosing descriptive, high-quality images is very important as well.
Example of Image optimization for SEO
To make it easier for you to understand how image optimization actually works for SEO, we will use the image below, from our SEO Consulting service page as an example.
ALT Tag: seo consulting
File Name: /seo-consulting-agency
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