Having a visually pleasing image on your website is just as important as the content you post. Have you ever picked up a magazine with words only? Probably not! Your eye immediately goes to the image, the colors, the texture of a page. That is why image SEO holds a certain significance. With the help of image SEO, you get to improve the readability and quality of images used on your website. Which, in return, improves user experience and ranking of your website.
Search engines can’t read images without alt text and Google crawlers hate slow-loading images. So if you have uploaded images that are too large or not optimized, you’re in trouble. This here is exactly why image optimization is important for your website. So, let’s move on and discuss 10 important Image SEO tips you need in 2021:
Tip #1: Focus on your format:
I think we can all agree that there are many options for you to choose from when it comes to an image format. However, how to know which ones are the best? From what we’ve heard over the years JPEG and PNG are the two top formats used by any web page. Let’s break down to what each format does for your website:
PNG: Larger file size but produces the best quality image
JPEG: The quality might not be exceptional but you can adjust the quality level according to your websites needs
WebP: The only format that is supported by both Chrome and Firefox however, it’s not the best when it comes to quality instead, it compresses the image.
I think it’s safe to say that PNG is the best format for your website considering websites require images with the highest quality and you can’t compromise on that.
Tip #2: Compress to Impress:
Now, you don’t just want to upload an image to your website without making changes, right? Compressing your images, without having to compromise on the quality is extremely important. When looking for images, search engines are not impressed by large images because they ruin the load speed of your webpage.
On average, images make up to 21% of your website weight so make sure your images are worth it. For compressing images, you can use something as simple as photoshop or TinyPNG. TinyPNG has a WordPress plugin as well. Another benefit of compressing your image is that it increases your website speed.
Tip #3: Use Images that are never seen before:
Being unique would get you on top when it comes to Google Ranking. If you’re going to fill your website with stock photos, your website would seem unoriginal. What you can do is conduct a small photoshoot. Nothing high class, just something you can use for your website. We take multiple pictures on a daily basis so doing the same for your website wouldn’t hurt. Original photos would not only be fun for you and your company but can also create an impact among users that you’re willing to work this hard for putting your website out there.
Tip #4: Avoid copyright issues:
It’s 2021, everyone who creates any content knows what copyrights are. But if you don’t, it’s about time you do; anyone who owns an image, video, content has the right to sue you if you use their content for your own sake without permission (Except for the copyright-free content of course). Hence, when you’re choosing images for your website, do not use copyright images, use stock photos or copyright-free photos, or better yet, create your own photos. However, it is understandable, not everyone has time to conduct a photoshoot so if you’re picking up pictures from somewhere, make sure they are copyright-free.
Tip #5: Customize your image file names:
I know this seems unimportant but you’ll be surprised at how much significance this holds. When you create content for a website, you use keywords so that you’re more likely to appear on google’s top pages, right? The same is the case with images. When you add a keyword-friendly file name to your image, it automatically increases your chances to rank higher! Google is likely to pick up images that have keyword-friendly names. An image with the name “IMG_12344” is never going to appear on Google’s ranking list but something like “Online Clothes” might.
Tip #6: Use SEO- Friendly Alt Texts:
Alt text is a text alternative to images when a browser can’t render them properly due to any reason. The alt text is basically used to describe the contents of an image file. If an image on a website doesn’t load, an alt tag appears on top, make sure they fit the image and make the image relevant. If you have better alt tags, your overall on-page SEO can also be helped. Here’s an example of what an alt text would look like:
<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”chocolate”/>
Tip #7: Focus on your Image file structure:
Before we get into this, know that the increasing ranking factor is still image quality and file name but the one thing that can give your rankings a little nudge is how you arrange your photos. For instance, if your website is clothing-related. Try not to just add all images in one folder, instead, make subfolders for categories such as pants, shirts, jackets, etc.
Tip #8: Page Title and description matters:
Your page title and description not only help your page rank higher on google but also helps your images rank higher. If your page is organized properly with a title, header tags, and metadata, it is more likely for Google to rank your images higher.
Tip #9: Mobile-friendly images are a big win:
When you create a website, you don’t just focus on how it will look on a bigger screen, you have to keep a mobile screen in mind as well. Everyone has a smartphone in their hands at all times so it is more likely for people to visit your website on their phones. Hence, it is important to make sure that your images are mobile-friendly. For this, you have to create responsive images that set according to the size of the screen the viewer is viewing.
Tip #10: Add images in your sitemap:
A sitemap is a blueprint that helps search engines find your websites. You have to add images in your sitemaps because they help google detect images easily. Thus, you’ll get more traffic. If you’re using WordPress, Yeast offers a sitemap solution in their plugin.