Images are powerful; SEO amateurs and pros know that. They make your website come to life and can help you create an unforgettable first impression on visitors, which translates into more sales for the business!
Image optimisation https//imageoptim.com/ is a powerful tool in your digital arsenal because it can lead you towards faster page loads, an improved user experience and even rank higher on search engines.
Media search is a crucial part of our publishing stack! However, we know that it’s way too ignored for what it’s capable of, so we’re throwing more engineers at the problem and doing outreach.”
The factors that determine how well your images are likely to be found and not slow down the site include:
1. Choose The Right Format
Making the right choice for your website’s images can be tricky. This is because there are so many options! But before you start adding them, one thing needs to happen: choosing which file type will best suit you.
- PNG: PNG files have better quality than JPG but larger file sizes.
- JPEG: Image quality may decrease, but you can adjust the settings to find an appropriate balance.
- WebP: Choose lossless or compressed images using this, supported by :
- Google Chrome (desktop) 23+
- Google Chrome for Android version 25+
- Microsoft Edge 18+
- Firefox 65+
- Opera 12.10+
- Native web browser, Android 4.2+ (JB-MR1)
I love PNG for its ability to faithfully preserve the original image while still using it as a base and saving some space. But, when converting from one format into another like WebP, you should be doing if your goal is to save bandwidth rather than storage.
Be careful if you’re using .jpg images inside an inline SVG format, as Google’s systems can’t index these.
2. Compress Your Images
The internet has a certain level of frustration regarding images that aren’t compressed.
Why make SEO complicated?
Webseo gives you a transparent analysis of your website’s performance with the best data, visuals, and actionable tips.
However, images can slow down your website and take up valuable space on the page. In addition, the average webpage contains 21% of image weight which is not suitable for SEO since it will lower its ranking in Google’s eyes due to excessive downloading by browser plugins.
Compress your images before uploading them to the site. You can do this in Photoshop or use a tool like TinyPNG.
TingPNG also has a WordPress plugin you can use too.
WP Smush is my go-to WordPress plugin for reducing the size of images without sacrificing their quality.
Whatever plugin you use, make sure to find one that compresses the images externally on their servers. It reduces the load on your site.
Google PageSpeed Insights tool is an excellent way to test your images and see their effect on page speed.
3. Create Unique Images
You want your website to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, a stock image-filled site will make you look unoriginal, just like thousands of other sites that don’t offer anything new or creative with their content!
The content you create should be unique. For example, it’s not good enough to use a stock photo because your site will become cluttered with other similar sites!
Corporate websites, firms that pride themselves on customer service and other organisations use virtually the same stock image of a businessman smiling to represent their brand.
Original, high-quality images are much better for SEO than stock photos. Even if the stock photo is perfectly optimised, it will not do!
Keep in mind that large images are more likely to be featured in Google Discover.
As Google recommends in its Advanced SEO resource
The image should be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview: large setting or through AMP.
Do not use your logo as the image.
4. Beware Of Copyright
It is essential to ensure no copyright conflicts with the images you choose.
The fines can be heavy, $150000, and no one wants that.
Here are a few fee image downloads sites :
- Freerange Stock
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a piece of legislation that deals with copyright issues. If you have violated any content owner’s rights under this act, they can issue your site an official notice to take down what has been uploaded onto it – if we don’t comply, it can be a lawsuit.
5. Customise Image File Names
It’s important to create SEO-friendly file names that are keyword rich and provide a good description of what the content is all about.
What’s the point of getting a pizza with nothing on it? It is the same as not customising your image file name. It Sucks!! Customising images is necessary for SEO since Google ranks websites based on their visual appeal!
Image file names alert Google and other search engine crawlers about the image’s subject matter.
The file name should be easy to read and recognisable. Unfortunately, file names are usually something like “IMG_944018” or similar, which is not helpful for Google since they don’t understand what “IMG” means either way!
Changing the default image name is always worth doing if you’re like most people and have a rather extensive media library.
Let’s say you got an image of Candy, for example.
I could call it “candy”, but if you sell Candy on your website, every image might be named “Candy-1”, “candy-2”, and so forth.
The image is called “dark-candy-coffee” I named the file with this description, so users and search engines will know what they are looking at when browsing for pictures on our website!
6. Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text
Alt tags are like a textual description for images when your browser can’t render them correctly. They’re similar to titles and provide extra information about the image file’s content.
If the image doesn’t load, you’ll get an error message with its alt tag present in your browser window. Make sure that this fits and works well together so readers can understand what they are looking at!
In addition to publishing relevant, high-quality content, on-page SEO includes optimising your headlines, HTML tags (title, meta, and header), and images. It also means making sure your website has a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Finally, it considers various aspects of the webpage that, when added together, will improve your website’s visibility in the search results.
Adding appropriate alt tags to the images on your website can help your website achieve better rankings in the search engines by associating keywords with images. Even Google has remarked on the value of alt text in photos.
It provides Google with valuable information about the subject matter of the image. We use this information to help determine the best photo to return for a user’s query.
When it comes to the Australian Disabilities Act, alt text is required for any images that cannot be viewed by themself. A descriptive alternative can alert users about what they’re looking at, so no confusion and accessibility problems arise from the lack thereof! For example: Say you have an image on your website showing Candy – with its description (e.” explanatory words”).
<img src=”candy-1.jpg” alt=”candy”/>
However, a better alternative text that describes the image would read:
<img src=” candy-1.jpg” alt=” dark candy coffee flavoured candy”/>
The alt-text is visible in the cached version of this page, helping both users and search engines. In addition, you can use it as anchor text for internal links when linking images on different pages within your site for further SEO benefits.
7. Think About The Image File Structure
The new guidelines from Google reveal that they rank images based on their file path and name.
Repeat: The file path and file name are actual ranking factors.
Grouping your product images will help you brand them more effectively. For example, if you have an e-commerce store with multiple products under different headings like “Shorts” or Denim,” I would recommend placing all of the imagery within those folders instead of generic /media/.
8. Optimise Your Page Title & Description
The Google support page states:
The more you optimise your images for SEO, the better they’ll rank on Google. Several factors affect how well an image ranks in page search engine results (SERPs).
For example, metadata and header tags can help describe what’s inside any document or site; copy-writing content around keywords used by users who enter “image” into google will appear higher up when someone searches those words.
It means people who are interested enough in this specific topic might find their page appearing near the top!
9. Define Your Dimensions
Defining the width and height is a best practice, even if you’re not using either AMP/PWAs. It provides users with a better user experience.
Plus, it allows the browsers to size the image before the CSS is loaded. This stops the page from jumping when it loads.
Image dimensions are crucial for preventing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) issues that could interfere with your Core Web Vitals optimisation.
What is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)?
CLS is the unexpected shifting of webpage elements while the page is still downloading. The aspects that cause a shift are fonts, images, videos, contact forms, buttons, and other content.
Minimising CLS is important because pages that shift around can cause a poor user experience.
A poor CLS score is indicative of coding issues that can be solved.
When it comes to mobile SEO, you have two options: At its worst, mobile searches can give your company a high bounce rate or low conversions, but when done right, they’ll help ranking power and user engagement skyrocket!
Google has a lot of helpful information on best practices for images.
Do you want your images to be responsive? Yes definitely! This means they’ll scale with the size of the site, whether someone is using a desktop or mobile. In addition, it adjusts accordingly, depending on what device they visit from.
With the srcset and sizes attributes, you can provide browsers with additional source images to display identical content at a smaller scale for mobile devices.
The most common way to format this with different parts on each line, as demonstrated in the following example from their resource:
<img srcset=”elva-fairy-480w.jpg 480w,
sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 480px,
alt=”Elva dressed as a fairy”>
Learn more about using srcset for responsive images here.
11. Add Images To Your Sitemap
Images are an essential part of your website and can decide whether or not someone clicks on a link. Ensure you have images included in one or more sitemaps for easy access, wherever they may exist on-site!
RankMath offers a sitemap solution in their plugin if you’re using WordPress.
12. Add Structured Data
Structured data markup is the key to making your content stand out from other sites. In addition, search engines like google can use it as an indicator of quality, which will show users higher ranking results for their searches and help them find what they’re looking for faster!
When you use schema markup on a product page and label the image, Google could pair this file with prices. However, the search engine automatically skips algorithms for information provided in structured data to provide appropriate photos automatically!
Image Optimisation Key Takeaways
So, before you begin uploading your image to your site, follow the image optimisation rituals from above.
The most important thing is to make sure the image and alternative text are relevant to the page. Other key takeaways:
- Choose the proper file format. PNGs are my favourite for screenshots.
- Second, reduce file size for faster page load speed.
- Third, ensure your on-page SEO elements (metadata, structured data, etc.) match your image.
- Finally, for crawlability, create an image sitemap or make sure your images are featured in your sitemap.
You can’t afford to take your site’s media optimisation lightly. The new voice search technology makes it even more vital to do all the above for SEO and user experience reasons!
Have fun Optimising.:)