Images play a massive role in SEO and here are the best practices for optimising your images
Images play an important role in an online business. Images make a website more prolific and help contribute to the message you are trying to portray to potential customers who find your website. Images have been known to be the main contributing factor of why customers decide to use one business over another.
In this post, you will learn the basics of optimising images to increase the performance of your website and also how your images can help increase the local SEO of your website online.
Are you ready…
1. Name your images
When you have found the perfect image to use on your website or blog post, give it a name when saving it to your computer. For image SEO purposes, this will inform Google what your image is about without even having to look for the image online.
If your image is of “you catching a fish on the river Thames”, the title of your image must not be DSC04512.jpg (standard file name given by a camera) but rather catching-fish-river-thames.jpg.
Top Tip: Make sure you are using your website page or post keyword within the image name!
2. Resize your images
One of the biggest problems we come across is images that have not been resized for the internet. With technology getting better, cameras (phone and cameras) have the ability to take very large images.
This is great because the quality of the image but they are not sized correctly for online purposes.
Image size can have a direct influence on the speed of your website and especially when a huge image is only being used for a small pixel image, the whole image has to be downloaded.
eg: Using a 2500x1500 px image for a 250x150 px image on your website
Top Tip: Use an image measuring tool, this will give you a guide to the size of the image you will require for your website before you resize the image.
3. Add Alt Tags
Alt Tags or Alt text is the description given to an image to inform the user and also the search engines what your image is about.
When a user hovers over an image on a website, the alt text will appear giving more information on the exact image and also more importantly what the image means to the information you are sharing.
The Alternative text given to images can benefit your website because the images contribute to the relevance of the page/post on your website.
Top Tip: Make sure the alt text includes the SEO keyword for that page and relates to / describes the image.
When adding an image to WordPress, you are able to edit the image title, add alt text and also give the image a description.
See image below…
4. Image Sitemap
By creating and publishing an image sitemap, you are aligning all your images in one place and making it easy for the search engines to find, read and then index your images based on the information you have added to them.
If you are running a WordPress website, the majority of the Sitemap plugins will create an image sitemap.
The best XML Sitemap plugin is: Google XML Sitemap
Some SEO plugins will actually build a sitemap for your website which will include images.
Here are the best SEO plugins with sitemap included:
5. Open Graph & Twitter Cards
When creating content for your website, one of the goals is to offer value with the intention of your readers sharing your content on Social Media.
To control the images and content that is displayed on Facebook and Twitter you will need to add OG Tags to the post/page.
If you are using one of the SEO plugin mentioned above, you will be able to edit the open graph tags with ease.
Completing these aspects of your post/page optimisation your images will help catch the attention of other readers on Facebook and Twitter and bring them to your website.
6. Image optimisation plugins
One of the best aspects of WordPress is there are plugins to solve every problem. There are a variety of plugins that will aid in the reduction of website images.
It is recommended that you add an image optimisation plugin to your website that will further reduce the size of your images as soon as you upload them to your website.
Please Note: This will NOT change the measurements of the images only reduce the size of the image!
You will need to change your image from 2500x1500 pixels to the desired size for your website. When you upload your newly resized images to your website, the plugin will go and reduce the size of the image for you.
Here are some recommended image optimisation plugins:
Image Optimisation Notes
By using the tips above, you will be able to increase your websites speed, user engagement and will result in a better overall experience for your website visitors.
Image optimisation will take some effort but in the end, will benefit your website.
A picture is worth a thousand words!