When working with SEO, most people direct all their energy towards optimizing and linking content and completely ignore image SEO. Most people assume that search engines like Google can see what an image is; that’s not completely true. All search engines are based on algorithms that understand zeros and ones. But for this perception to change, people need to be educated about image optimization techniques.
How do image SEO help users?
Images play a big role in SEO as they are an important part of the user experience. Think about it; no one would like a website that looked like a Word document, with nothing but text on a white background, you would think it isn’t trustworthy and would definitely not want to come back. But what does an ugly website have to do with Search Engine Optimization?
Search engines use algorithms that pay attention to metrics that reflect user behavior, like the bounce rates and the amount of time visitors spend on a web page. You can use image SEO as your advantage to help with SEO.
What are the common ranking factors for images?
Meaningful file name
Relation to the content
It’s not just about being found in Google’s image search. Because for some time now, images have also appeared in the regular search.
Of course, a general image search doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal. If your text contains images that match the topic, these should be appropriately named using an ALT attribute. This ALT attribute should be more in line with the general topic and need not be directly related to the image.
How do I use images strategically?
When it comes to browsers, the most important thing is ranking. To get a good ranking, you need to ensure that the metadata and name of your image are relevant to the user searches.
Not having any images on your website is a very bad idea. Your images should be relevant to your content, so you don’t end up disappointing your visitors. Using blurry or badly cropped images will make your website look unreliable and unprofessional.
Find the right quality-to-size ratio.
Yes, you want to use high-quality images to make your website look good, but you don’t want them to slow down your website. Your website speedis a huge SEO factor, and if visitors have to wait too long for your page to load, it counts as bad user experience.
Specify Your Dimensions
If you’re using AMP or PWAs, you are required to define your image dimensions in the source code.
Nevertheless, if you’re not making use of either, it’s still a good practice to define the width and height. It gives a better customer experience.
And also, it allows the web browsers to size the image prior to the CSS is loaded. This allows web page to stop jumping during loading.
Make Your Images Mobile-Friendly
Oh, mobile SEO. At its worst, it can give you a high bounce rate and also reduced conversions. But, at its best, it can offer you more ranking power as well as far better user engagement.
Problem is, exactly how do you enhance image SEO for the mobile-first index?
You create responsive photos. This implies the picture will scale with the size of the site whether the individual is utilizing desktop or mobile. It adjusts to the dimension of the user’s device.
Include Images to Your Sitemap
Whether you’re adding your images to your sitemap or producing a new sitemap for photos, you want images somewhere in your sitemaps. Having your images in a sitemap substantially raises the opportunities of online search engine crawling as well as indexing your photos. Therefore, causes even more website traffic.
If you’re utilizing WordPress, Yoast uses a sitemap remedy in their plugin.
Think About the Image File Structure
In 2018, Google upgraded its Image Guidelines. One of the significant updates they exposed was that they make use of the data course as well as documents name to rank photos.
Repeat: The file path and name are a real ranking factor.
For instance, if you’re an eCommerce brand with multiple items, rather than putting all your item images into a generic/ media/ folder, I would recommend structuring your subfolders to a lot more category relevant topics like/ shorts/ or/ denim/.
Be careful of Copyright
No matter the image you select to make use of, make certain there’s no copyright problem.
The Postal Service is paying $3.5 million in an image copyright lawsuit. As well as, Sketchers sued for $2.5 million.
If Getty, Shutterstock, DepositFiles, or a few other online image company possesses an image you use, and also you do not have a permit to utilize it, after that you’re running the risk of an expensive lawsuit.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), you could be issued a notification if you have violated any copyright concerns. If the owner of content sees their material on your site, they can issue a DMCA Takedown which you should abide by.
Create Unique Images
If you load your internet site with stock images, you’ll look unoriginal– like countless various other websites that do not stand out.
Too many internet sites are cluttered with the same common stock images.
While you may have your stock photos perfectly maximized, it will not have the exact same impact or possible SEO advantages as an initial, top-notch image.
The even more original photos you have, the better experience for the user and also the better your odds are of ranking on pertinent searches.
Do you remember very early websites? When you had to wait for a page to build? At that time, of course, all of the technology was still in its infancy. If one or more pictures were still on the website, even if they were so small, it killed the loading time. The technology is now much more advanced so that today you can definitely dare to incorporate a page-wide image. But of course, that also has its limits. How often do I see pictures uploaded with a maximum size of 5000 x 8000 pixels, which can then be several megabytes in weight. It should look pretty. Naturally. But such a screen is not infinitely large either. Please also bear in mind that the page is accessed by many users on their smartphones.
Before uploading, cut your image to the correct format (e.g. 800 x 600 pixels) Use JPG or PNG as image formats. Both still deliver good image quality even when compressed
Tips for photo editing tools:
Online tools such as TinyPNG or Compressnow for image compression For WordPress websites: Use plugins like “Smush” , which can reduce the image sizes on the website itself in order to improve loading times and thus the page performance.
Choosing the right image format
In order to save a bit of bandwidth here too, the images should always be integrated in the format required. JPG is used for a full image, i.e. with a background, for transparency PNG is used (GIF is out of date) and SVG for vector graphics, such as the logo.
A “modern format”, the WebP published by Google in 2010, brings even more drastic improvements. This format, an alternative to JPG and PNG, is smaller and beats all other image formats in terms of compression and therefore saves a lot more bandwidth. Back then only supported by Google Chrome and Opera, it’s slowly gaining popularity.
(As of November 29, 2019) WebP is now supported in 80.87% of all browsers, but not in Internet Explorer and Safari.
The general rules for using images:
For simple pictures without transparency: JPG For images with transparency: PNG For vectors and icons: SVG – with these, you should always make sure that there are no client-side scripts in the file
Don’t give your image a random name, go for names that are descriptive, relevant, and contain target keywords. Your visitors will probably never see the name, but it is a good way to give search engines more information about what’s on your page.
Description of the image
Every image on the website has the option of also providing textual information. These, in turn, can be read by search engines and relate to the relevance of your website. These image texts should therefore pick up the keywords under which you want to be found. What text attributes am I talking about here?
The ALT attribute stands for an alternative text. This is important for the enhanced readability of the website.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The text describes the image if the image contains information in the context.
The text provides information about the link target if the image is within a link.
For people who are dependent on screen readers, the reader reads out the ALT texts. The ALT attribute is an absolute must for accessible pages.
An empty ALT attribute is sufficient for purely decorative images. These offer neither visitors nor search engines any further use and are purely for the purpose of optics.
Example of an ALT attribute:
<img src = “/ wp-content / uploads / 2019/11 / picture-advantages-of-a-blogs-leser.jpg“ alt = “A woman reading a blog” />
This attribute is also saved as “Title” in the source text. Not quite as important as the Alt-Tag, but not negligible either. So that it is not forgotten, just accept the content of the alt tag.
WordPress provides wonderful support in maintaining image attributes. This information can be entered immediately when uploading and including images in pages or posts. The WordPress plugin YOAST SEO provides additional support for this topic. In addition to several other SEO tools, it also checks the optimal use of images in a post, whether the keyword has been used, whether alt tags have been set – nothing can be forgotten!
This field shows the text that is shown on the image on the page, as it were as a caption. Here it is often necessary to place the source information when using stock images. But this information is also evaluated by Google, so it should also be provided with keywords.
Host images on your own website
Most people prefer to go with hosting from third-part websites as it saves them space. That isn’t a very good idea, if that website is overloaded, it may result in the images on your site not load and make your website look bad.
Image SEO is a great and simple way to optimize SEO and need a little extra time and effort. If used strategically, you can give your website an extra edge.
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