An important part of SEO that is not usually immediately thought of is optimize images. In addition to the other aspects of SEO, there is also a lot to be gained here. Research shows that about 20% of all internet searches are conducted using Google Images search. Only this shows that not optimizing images is a missed opportunity.
In addition, a website is strongly influenced by images that are, for example, too heavy or do not have the correct file format. This results in longer loading time of the pages on the website, resulting in mediocre user experience. However, optimizing images for a website has many other advantages. But how exactly do you do this and what should you pay attention to?
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What makes sure that the images load quickly through optimized images and how do you ensure that the images on the website also rank well? Read on and discover how you can start optimizing images yourself!
Use unique images
This first tip may seem like an open door, but it is very important that you use the right appealing images. A good first impression is of great importance because it sticks with visitors. In addition, fun and relevant images ensure that a visitor is, as it were, triggered to continue reading. However, be careful with using images just like that. It happens that an image contains copyright. As a result, you may not just use the image in question. You can fix this by using websites like Pixabay. The images that you can download here are (usually) royalty-free. You can recognize this by the mention of “Creative Commons CC0”.
However, be careful not to download stock images that are already popping up all over the internet. Nobody gets excited about this anymore. Instead, choose original appealing images and improve the user experience. I recommend using images like the ones from Pixabay or Unsplash only if there is no other option. Try to use your own high-quality and original images as much as possible.
Choose the correct image size
Before you start processing images on your website, it is wise to first consider the correct format. Everyone probably knows that you can choose from many different image formats. Nevertheless, some are better suited for websites than other formats. Choose one of the sizes below to ensure you are seated correctly:
JPEG is the most common file type because you can use it almost anywhere. Note, however, that JPEG leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality and a transparent background. The JPEG format, on the other hand, is again very suitable for compression of images. Although this format is slightly outdated, the format is fine to use on a website.
The more modern PNG format is ideal for images that consist of smooth surfaces. In addition, this format supports transparent images and short text descriptions. A disadvantage of this, however, is that the file size can be larger than that with JPEG, for example. Also, this format is not yet equally well supported everywhere.
GIF (suitable for moving images and icons)
Use GIF images only when you want to use moving images such as animations or icons. Do not use this format for normal photos and graphics. This is not good for quality.
Use a neat and clear file name
When it comes to SEO, it is crucial to use a neat and clear file name that contains the most important keywords. For a search engine such as Google, it is important to indicate the subject of the image via the file name. If you do not do this, the search engine does not understand exactly what the image is about. As a result, you do not help Google to make crawling the image as easy as possible.
For example, all too often I come across images whose filename is labeled as “_0D2C4.jpg” instead of the keyword being incorporated here. In such a case, save an image as “seo_optimalisatie_ afbeelding.jpg”. Make sure you never use spaces in the file name and use any serial numbers.
Always add an SEO optimized Alt text
An Alt text or Alt tag is used to describe the context of the image. Search engines cannot read an image on its own. That’s why, among other things, they look at the Alt text of an image to determine what an image is about. Adding an Alt text to an image is, therefore, part of On-page SEO.
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Moreover, filling it contributes to the overall SEO strategy. A correct Alt text gives Google the necessary information about the subject of the image. Google can then determine which image fits best and is therefore displayed with the user’s search query.
A correct Alt text ensures that in addition to Google, a user also sees what is the subject of an image. For example, when an image does not load as it should load. A good Alt text is not too long and at least contains the main keyword that the image is about. For hardware website, this is for example: “East Coast Hardware“.
Note the image file size
It is important to optimize the images on a website as much as possible (and thus reduce the file size), without affecting the quality of the image. After all, a minimal file size contributes to the faster loading time of the image and thus the page of a website containing this image. This improves the user experience. In addition, Google sees this as a very important indicator, which contributes to a high SEO score. To resize images, use a photo editing program and experiment with the minimum file size of an image without compromising the quality of the image. Use Compressor quickly websites or, for example, use one of the many WordPress Plugins to compress images.
Are you curious if the images on your website need to be optimized? For example, use the Page Speed Insights tool from Google and find out where you can make possible improvements. This tool offers many useful insights to improve your on-page SEO including image optimization.
Add subtitles to the images
When images on a website have an informative function, it is wise to add subtitles to them. Pictures attract the visitor’s attention. That is why it is a great opportunity to give the reader an idea of what the images (and therefore the text) are about via subtitles. Make sure not to spend a whole lot of text on this, a short concise subtitle is sufficient.
Make images mobile-friendly
It is always advisable to design your website mobile-friendly. This ensures that your website is also easy to use for mobile users. The mobile-friendly design of a website also contributes to lowering the Bounce Rate and increasing conversions. Are you wondering what to do now to ensure that mobile users can navigate through your website effortlessly?
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You can easily solve this by creating responsive images. That is, the images may change in size when using another type of device such as a mobile. The size of the image therefore automatically adjusts, depending on the device with which a visitor visits a website.
Add the images to the Sitemap
The last tip I would recommend is to add images to the Site Map of the website. There are several ways you can add images to a Sitemap. For example, in WordPress, you can do this very easily via the Yoast Plugin. In principle, it doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as the images are placed in it. The chance that search engines crawl and index the images is greatly increased when they are neatly included in the Sitemap. This in turn increases the chance of attracting larger numbers of visitors to the website.
So as you have just read, there are several ways you can improve the On-page SEO regarding image optimization. Please take the steps mentioned above and take the time to implement the steps on your own website. The SEO optimization of images belonging to the basics of developing a proper SEO strategy.
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