Many websites don’t optimize their images for site engines. Without mincing words, images are essential for augmenting your search engine optimization strategy. Apart from spicing up your webpages, they keep visitors hooked to your site and in turn, helps to increase ranking in search queries. Without wasting time, let’s take a look at the essential steps for optimizing images.
1. Use appropriate images
As a rule of thumb, using blurry images should be avoided at all costs. Ensure that each one is of high quality and resonates with the content. Here are some ways to get images for your site.
Stock images are not beneficial for SEO when they are used in their natural form. It’s possible to face a lawsuit if you use certain stock images. The truth is that millions of sites use them, making it difficult to make a difference. However, they can be enhanced with online tools such as Canva.
Many websites are becoming more creative with images. You can take photos of products or any other related photos with a high-quality smartphone camera. There is no need to worry about copyright issues when you use your own images. Another option is to hire a graphics designer.
Perhaps you have a difficult topic to share, screenshots can be used to convey the message effectively.
2. Include captions
Adding captions is unarguably one of the powerful ways to optimize images for search engines. They usually attract attention and are used for describing what an image is all about. Understand that not all images require a caption or else you may end up over-optimizing.
3. Name images
Search engine algorithms can’t recognize images on their own yet. They depend on the text that are used with the image. Each image needs a concise name that describes the file. Endeavor to place keywords in strategic places when naming images or creating an alt text. Alt text are referred to as text alternatives to images in situations where a user turns off images in settings or the network is poor.
4. Know the right file format
The different types of image formats include JPEG, PNG and GIF. JPEG is the ideal file type for site images. The downside is that it utilizes lossy compression and lack support for transparent background. On the other hand, PNG images usually come with high resolution and small size. They rarely lose their quality even after compressing. Lastly, GIF format is limited to a pallet of 256 colors. It works best for logos, icons and animations.
5. Compress images
The size of an image really matters. It can make a site to load quickly or slowly. Inasmuch as site load speed is part of Google’s ranking factor, the best thing is to reduce the size of large images. You need to do this before uploading them to your site. Lossless compression technique is the best way to compress an image and still retain its quality.
6. Design an image sitemap
Adding image tags in the XML sitemap will ensure that every image is instantly identified. Alternatively, you can create an image sitemap separately. With this, search engines will find it easier to detect the images and they may even appear in image search results. Both options are fully supported by top search engines, especially Google.