One of the essential parts of creating high-quality content is images. This enhances the visual quality of content, making it more appealing and attractive for users to visit a web page, because who would want to view content that is only full of text that will most likely bore out the users?
Images also convey ideas, feelings, and stories in ways that words may not be able to achieve alone. So, it is no surprise that the visibility of a site in the search engines can improve considerably with good image SEO and subsequently lead to an increasing proportion of organically generated traffic.
Unfortunately, not all website images are being optimized. Some websites use images that are overly large due to high resolution just to provide high-quality images to their users, not realizing that this may slow down page loading time and result in their users leaving the website. In this article, we will help you understand more about the art of image optimization and how to produce good optimized images for SEO.
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SEO Image Optimization
Image SEO refers to the process of optimizing image format and visual content on websites for Google image search which serves as a part of the initiative to make web pages more appealing and engaging not just to search engines, but also to their readers.
Websites providing optimized images and SEO graphics enhance user experience, which is important to be the top priority of each website as it is given that 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.
This brings us to the idea that having good website imagery is essential! Images of content should not be ignored, as they can help content writers to capture the attention of their audience and improve the presentation of their stories.
The speed of web pages also plays an important role in the success of a website, as 39% of users will stop engaging with the content of a web page when the images won’t load or the loading time of Google images takes too long.
SEO Trends: The Emergence of a Voice and Mobile-Friendly Web
As we go through 2023 and beyond, visual search, optimization of voice search, and mobile-friendly websites are one of the current trends in the SEO landscape. So, if some websites are still not optimizing these mediums, they are already losing a great opportunity to enhance their website’s visibility on Google search and any other search engines.
The prevalence of digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant contributed to the increase in voice searches over the past few years. So, optimizing mobile search just makes sense as phone searches have also continuously increased.
With these emerging trends in the SEO landscape, content writers must recognize that the quality of their content can make or break their efforts and also understand how they can create SEO-friendly content.
How to Optimize Images in SEO
Images of content can make your article more understandable, appealing, and engaging but, what if it is not optimized properly? This results in low quality when viewed from different devices and causes the page to run slow. That is why understanding the fundamentals of SEO for image optimization will allow you to create content that will succeed in 2023.
Optimization of images is also vital for image SEO because Google favors and promotes high-quality, fast-loading images, which means websites that offer an optimized image can have a bigger possibility to rank higher in Google and any other image search engines.
But first, what is image optimization? Image optimization involves the process of reducing the file size without affecting its visual quality. Its goal is to deliver and create high-quality images in a more ideal format, resolution, and size to increase the engagement of the users.
According to WebAlmanac, unoptimized images on most webpages comprise almost 75% of total page weight, which is why it is important to make sure they are being displayed correctly, and will not slow the page down especially since some page visitors would leave a website that takes more than four seconds to load.
Page load times and the overall user experience will improve when the image size is being reduced without compromising their quality. These results have a positive impact on search engine rankings that will further improve customer retention, conversions, and customer engagement.
And now we will give you some of the fundamental ways to optimize your images and image optimization tips, that will make unique images take up less storage on your server, so site backups are being completed more quickly and faster.
Resizing your images is a MUST!
Resizing your images is one of the fundamental ways to optimize your images. Because images with higher resolution and larger dimensions will most likely slow your page load time or the site speed.
It is the process of adjusting the image dimensions and the image file size to be able to fit the specific display requirements of the website or the application which we can also call it as resizing images/image compression. To resize images of content, it is crucial to strike a balance between reducing file size, and maintaining image quality as it helps to faster page load times or the site speed and have a better user experience.
We all know that in the process of compressing images, it will affect the image quality. That is why we will give you some of the image optimization tools that will help in image compression while optimizing images and their quality.
Some Image Optimization Tools:
Optimizing your Image File Names
An essential aspect of image SEO is the optimization of image file names. You need to name the file accurately, using descriptive keywords that precisely describe the content of the image to have more SEO power or impact.
For websites to optimize image file names, they should include keywords that relate to the image and the content of the page that will be used. This will help to have a high ranking in relevant searches as it can be easily understood by search engines.
You need to keep it short and at the same time maintain consistency, as having a concise file will be much easier to read and remember, making it easier for the user and search engines to navigate your content efficiently.
One thing to remember is to not use underscores because search engines would not be able to recognize or see the words individually instead use hyphens to separate the words including the target keywords.
For example, the original name for an image of a kid in a playground is playground123.jpg, you need to rename it with a clear and more descriptive title, such as kid-in-a-playground.jpg.
Use the Most Appropriate Image Formats
Each image file format we’re seeing on the internet uses a variety of compression techniques, and each of them affects the overall page size in various ways. So, the page speed is greatly affected by some of these image file formats.
Google has also confirmed that page loading time is a very important factor for ranking in both desktop and mobile searches. Therefore, it is essential to choose the best image file format when it comes to SEO for images and graphics.
Here’s an overview of a couple of image file formats that are frequently used by designers and marketers and that we typically encounter on the internet. This also includes an overview of which image file formats we should choose in accordance with our specific needs.
Ensure Image SEO are Mobile-Friendly
According to a study by Statista.com, 58.33% of website traffic comes from mobile devices as of the first quarter of 2023. To give their targeted audiences consistent user experiences, a site needs to be able to offer its users responsive images that are readable by all sizes of screens.
Having a mobile-friendly image SEO is also a critical ranking factor considered by Google, so it is also important that they know the best practices in building a mobile-responsive website to satisfy mobile users and prevent them from leaving.
Websites do not have to resize and upload all their images according to different screen sizes, as they can learn various ways of achieving this by reading a guide to responsive images.
Optimize your Image Alt Text
Image alt text is an alternative text describing the appearance and function of an image SEO, this provides search engines with a clear indication of what is the image all about. Basically, alt text is a quick description of the image SEO.
Adding alt text to images makes them more accessible to visually impaired users since this includes a keyword that shows to people using screen readers or when an image does not load on the page. Alt text is important for SEO as this helps search engine crawlers such as Google to find images faster and rank their websites.
Websites should optimize their image alt text by using descriptive language that accurately reflects the content of the image. While it is important to have descriptive alt text, it’s also essential for websites to make their alt text short and on point to ensure that this won’t be cut off in search results.
Writers can also attain this goal by utilizing tools like a text optimizer. A text optimizer is a simple and efficient tool to make well-optimized content and make concise alt text for images of content.
Being consistent is also key in optimizing a website’s alt text. Making sure that their alt text is consistently used across all their website images can contribute to creating a more informative user experience.
Create Image Sitemaps
An image sitemap is a file where you can list each web page that your website offers and this tells Google and other search engines about your site’s content. Sitemaps are an important aspect of SEO for images as this helps search engines to know about your pages and website structure.
Another factor for search engine crawlers to notice a website’s image files is to ensure that each of their image files is included on their image sitemap, be it an infographic, meme, photo, video thumbnail, etc.
Add Image Structured Data
One of the image optimization techniques is to add structured data on your website as it will help to enhance the search engine understanding and the visibility of the images.
Search engines can easily comprehend the content of the images by providing structured data, which will lead to a higher ranking in the image search results, making it more likely for screen readers to discover your images when conducting relevant searches.
Structured data also allows search engines to display more results from your images, such as image previews and other visual elements that will attract more attention from users and can increase the click-through rates of your website. It will also help to categorize the SEO images effectively, which is specifically important for e-commerce websites as it will be easier for users to find specific product images.
Optimize All Your Images for Social Media
Being an owner of different websites, we all want our content to be easily shareable and appealing both visually and in content, especially when we share it on different social media platforms.
This is where all the image optimization tips come in such as the file size compression, image dimensions, image file format selection, and many others as it serves as the main factors affecting our content’s overall engagement of various users when shared from different social media platforms.
To enhance the visibility and appeal of content on social media platforms, we can use Open Graph tags, which are special tags within the HTML code of web pages.
Users can also help by creating social backlinks by sharing the URL of the content on their social media platforms, which will encourage their followers and friends to click on the link and read the article. More people will be encouraged to discover and explore your content through social media, making an increase in website traffic.
These will also contribute to the content’s visibility, engagement, and wider reach on social media platforms, which will lead to a positive impact on the website’s overall performance and SEO.
This will ensure that when someone shares our content on social media, the shared post will have a captivating image along with a preview and link to our page. This will make our content stand out from the others and will invite and encourage more engagement and clicks from social media users.
Benefits of Image Optimization for SEO
Users find web content more engaging with the right use of images. This is why aside from creating written content it is important for content writers to also spend more time curating interesting imagery. But there’s a lot more to consider aside from the look of a website because having image SEO offers various benefits and we’ve listed those benefits below.
- Improved Page Load Times
Page load times refer to the speed at which webpage loads are visible and interactive for users. Page speed is an essential factor for ranking in search engines, and optimized images play a significant role in making sure that the website loads faster.
The importance of faster page load times cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts both user experience and search engine rankings. Reduction of image file sizes without affecting the quality can significantly enhance the site’s loading speed, providing users with a smooth browsing experience, and increasing engagement.
- Enhanced User Experience
The overall satisfaction and positive impression of the users when interacting with a website or application is one of the top priorities in making content. User experience directly influences the critical aspect of web design and development.
As images are an integral part of web design, they should be optimized for image SEO to capture the attention of users and convey information efficiently and effectively. Users have increasingly shorter attention spans, which is why utilizing optimized images results in a faster-loading website, providing a smoother and more satisfying experience for the users.
- Higher Search Engine Rankings
It is the position at which a website or webpage appears in search engine results for specific keywords or questions. One factor that search engines consider in determining the ranking of a website is image optimization.
An increase in the visibility of the website is possible if some of the tips in image SEO such as providing descriptive alt tags/alt text, relevant image file name, incorporating keywords, image editing (Reducing image file size and image dimension), using best image format and many others.
- Increased Organic Traffic
Optimized image SEO can contribute to generating more organic traffic through image search results. When users search for specific keywords or phrases that relate to a website’s content, well-optimized images such as Google images can have a higher possibility to appear in the image search results. This will provide websites an opportunity to attract new visitors and increase the website’s visibility.
- Optimal Social Media Sharing
Social media platforms play a significant role in driving organic traffic and in increasing engagement. When a website’s images are properly optimized, they can be easily shared on any social media platforms which can increase exposure of the website and also attract new visitors.
Image optimization is a vital aspect of SEO and this should not be overlooked. Although optimizing a website’s images would mean extra work, the benefits that come from doing so are rewarding as this will help make your website perform well. Also, with image optimization, it is easier to share images on social media platforms which helps in a website’s content marketing strategies and link-building to reach a wider audience.
Overall, Your online success can be greatly aided by a well-optimized website that provides careful attention to image SEO, which will also help in increasing the visibility and reach of your brand.