Image SEO optimization is an excellent way to increase your organic traffic and visibility. Over 20% of all U.S. web searches happen on Google Images, according to 2018 data from Jumpshot.
It’s thus essential for entrepreneurs to implement a real image SEO strategy.
Here are 6 most important and easy to implement image optimization tips you need to know.
1. Compress Your Image and Reduce Their Size
Image file size can dramatically affect page load time, so it’s important to get it right. JPEG files are usually more SEO friendly than PNG files, especially if you do not use transparent backgrounds property.
Once your images have an optimized format, you should always compress them. Many compression services are available on the internet. Don’t neglect this step: it’s an essential one.
Finally, you need to use responsive images: there is no point in loading an image 1080*1000 pixels if the image is displayed on a mobile screen. Responsive images are easy to implement, especially if you are using WordPress because it’s automatic.
If you are not a WordPress user, you need to add a srcset attribute in your <img> elements as follow:
You should always strive to save your images under 100kb or less if possible.
2. Select Adequate File Names
Your image filenames are a unique opportunity to promote your best keywords, but be careful. Promoting your keywords should not lead under any circumstances to keyword stuffing.
We recommend you to do not extend 3 keywords for your image name. These keywords should by the way be somehow linked to the paragraphs surrounding your image.
3. Fill Out Alternative Texts Properly
Filling out alternative texts properly is a science and it’s time consuming but you should not neglect it. It’s important for accessibility and search engine optimization.
Alternative texts help visually impaired people to understand your visual content by providing them a textual alternative to the picture you are displaying.
Google guidelines are clear about alt text: They should be short but descriptive. Try, in the fewest keywords possible, to provide enough information for someone who cannot see the picture to imagine it.
If you have been lazy with your image alt texts and names, there is an automatic image SEO optimizer for WordPress and we have negotiated a crazy offer for Secret users. Give it a look!
4. Use Relevant URL Structures For Your Image
Image SEO is no different from on page SEO. The file path and file name are ranking factors. Keep them short and relevant.
5. Create Image Sitemaps
Image sitemaps help you to increase the likelihood that your images can be found in Google Image Search results.
It’s easy to create image sitemaps manually. You need to follow this pattern:
You can find more information about in Google guidelines.
6. Avoid Pictures Coming From Free Image Banks
We said before that Image SEO was not different from on page SEO. Copying and pasting articles is firstly an infringement to copyright law but it is also highly penalized by Google. The most famous Search Engine on heart (and probably beyond ☺) despite duplicate and non-original content. It is true for the text that you use but also for the picture that you display.
If you want your images to be first in the SERPs, they have to be unique.