How to optimize images for SEO

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optimize images for SEO

How to take advantage of the traffic potential associated with searching images? Here are some tips to optimize images for SEO on your website. One of the SEO strategies that have been neglected is to optimize images for SEO. This era is over since the advent of Google’s universal search in 2007, resulting in the appearance of images and photos in the engines search results.

Since the birth of Google Image in 2001, image search is constantly growing on Google and other search engines. Google Image is the most complete image search on the Web. In 2015, 80% of Google search results display universal search with an image in 35% of cases.

Why should you optimize your images?
Getting a good position in the results with a sales image linked to your business is the assurance of acquiring qualified and potentially important traffic. For certain categories of websites, a good positioning of the images is essential today, it is the case for:

  • E-commerce sites,
  • Portfolios of artists, graphic designers,
  • The image banks,
  • Travel agencies and tourist sites,
  • Printers,
  • The web agencies,
  • The photographers, …

Here now the 8 tips to optimize images for SEO

These are 8 simple tips to implement (on WordPress in particular) to optimize the optimization of images on your website and acquire qualified traffic.

1 – The names of the images

Google cannot read an image, it’s up to you to indicate what is on your image or your photo. For example, if you want to reference photos of the Niagara falls, avoid image names like IMG19762.jpg and prefer Niagara-falls.jpg, admit that it will be easier for Google to position your photo with relevance by placing a few keywords in the file name. (avoid accents and prefer dashes for better interpretation of the file name by Google)

2 – The alternative text or tag ‘ALT’

The alternative text or attribute ‘ALT’ is a text read by the search engines, so it is essential to optimize the referencing of images. In addition to the name of the image, the tag ‘ALT’ also improves the SEO of your site since it allows to accommodate additional keywords that will be interpreted by the engines, be careful with keyword stuffing your image. Keywords placed in the ALT tag will replace the image if the browser can not display the image.

3 – The format and weight of images

Preferably use JPG, GIF and PNG formats even if some engines are able to read other formats. Also, specify the height and width of your image to tell search engines how big your image is. Ideally, the native size of your image should be the same as the display size. Doing so, this will reduce the weight of your images resulting in reduced loading time of your pages.

4 – The content and the context around the images

The context and content (including the caption and title of the image) on the page where the image to be referenced provides search engines with important information about your image.

For example, avoid embedding a business card picture in a kitchen recipe page, and send a confusing message to the search engines about the subject of the business-card.jpg image.

Search Console Help Center Guidelines: Make sure you place your images near a relevant text as much as possible. We also advise you to assign titles and descriptive captions to your images.

The environment of the page is therefore essential to optimize images for SEO purposes.

5 – The title of the image

The title of the image (title attribute) is a text that is displayed on mouseover. The information of this attribute has no effect on the SEO, it is against a plus in term of accessibility and user experience.

6 – A specific sitemap for images

Once all your images are optimized, you can submit a sitemap for images via the Google Search Console interface.

7 – The legend of the image

The legend of the image corresponds to the text displayed under the image. It does not bring any direct added value in terms of reference. It can be useful for the UX and brings content around the image, the legend helps to heal the context.

8 – The long description

Like the caption, the long description of your image is not read directly by Google. However, it is very useful for attachment pages. This is also a great SEO lever for portfolio sites or sites dedicated to photography.

In conclusion, and by following these simple tips, you can optimize images for SEO and improve your positioning. If the results are not there, an audit of your website will certainly highlight points of blocking.

To know more: the future in the search of the images will pass also by the quality of these, the progress of the engines will allow in the long run to identify a blurred photo!

Since 2017 Google Images has evolved, websites are no longer displayed in the background. Sessions from Google Images are no longer counted on Google Analytics.