Images drive extra traffic to the website. They affect the behavioral factors and speed of loading pages. In the case of correct optimization, images improve your search engine rankings.
Why do you need to optimize images?
Search robots index not only text content but also image content. To help search engines correctly analyze the content of images, you need to conduct a comprehensive optimization. SEO-friendly images depend on some factors: image creation and internal optimization of image on the page.
How to create correct images?
1. Format. Google indexes images in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP and SVG formats.
JPEG — for photos;
PNG — for graphics, and for everything that designers drew;
SVG — for vector images.
There are also new formats, such as WebP and JPEG-XR. They weigh less, but not all browsers support these formats. For example, IE supports JPEG-XR, and Chrome, Opera, Android support WebP.
2. Quality. Make sure the graphics are clear and visually appealing. An image that does not fit its description is considered as a poor image.
3. Size and weight. Size of images affects the page loading speed and search ranking. If you use many pictures on the page, it can significantly slow down page loading.
There are many tools to compress a file without losing quality. Compressor is a free service, which allows compressing images up to 90%. The function is available only for JPG and PNG formats.
How to optimize images on the page?
1. Filename. Briefly describe the image name to clarify the content to search engines. Use Latin letters and hyphens instead of spaces in the file name. Avoid such names as dkfie_kdwn123.jpg, and write describing words such as link-shortener.jpg.
Note: Keywords should be as relevant as possible and describe the essence of the image.
2. Storage. Store similar images in the same directory with the appropriate names.
3. Backlinks. While ranking the page, search engines take into account anchor links to images from external resources. The text of the anchor must match the content of the image.
Bonus tip: Add short branded links to the images.
If you sell products that people might search for in Google, or if you think your images will be taken out of the context, add short branded links to them. This will help drive traffic back to your website and improve SEO.
4. Alt tag. The alt tag is used to describe what is depicted in the image. It plays an essential role in SEO image optimization, and this is why:
If the image is not loaded for some reason, a text comes up explaining what the image is about.
Screen readers use the alt tag to explain the content of images for visually impaired people.
Search robots use alt text to index an image, and determine the best image for a user request.
Usually, alt tag consists of 125 characters. Make a large and well-describing image description.
5. Uniqueness. Create not only high-quality images but also unique ones. The bottom line is that search engines value original and non-copied content to show users.
When creating and optimizing images, follow the main principle: the quality and value of the content are essential for search engines. Remember, that pictures are a part of good SEO. It would be best if you enhance all steps of SEO optimization to reach success.
The article is about:
- The importance of images.
- How to optimize images correctly.
- Short links in image optimization.
- SEO requirements for images.