What is Image Optimization in SEO?
It is the process of optimizing an image so that search engines can understand what the image is concerning. It is about reducing the size of the image without affecting the quality so that page load time is low.
The ultimate aim of search engine optimization is to offer users a seamless experience. Image optimization also includes improving your product images and decorative images to rank on google.
There are so many questions in your mind that leave you scratching your head. So let’s know their answer one by one.
Why is Image Optimization so important in SEO?
We all know that image is one of the important parts of the website and Google also recommends that your website should have images. Because if a website only has worded information no images are there, then the user will get bored after some time and will go from there.
People remember images more than words and when you want that user understands your article properly, what you are trying to explain.
Images add life to your article and spice it up a little bit when you use it properly. But sometimes it creates a problem in the speed of loading a website.
If your website does not load quickly, then it has a negative impact on the user and they think that it is not opening then they move on to another one. So how do we solve this problem?
The best way is Image Optimization, so let’s know about what it is and how to do it.
Why do we need to optimize images?
The purpose of optimization is to increase productivity, strength, reality, longevity, efficiency, and utilization. It is the way of achieving the best design relative to a set of prioritized criteria or constraints. Then your work will be done with less memory.
There are some reasons behind image optimization:-
Improves Page Speed
Images are heavy due to which it creates loading issues if we use them without optimization.
Page Speed and Seo are interlinked and important part of your website’s performance. Mostly mobile users leave a website if it takes so much time to load, they expect to load site as soon as possible.
Boost Page Ranking
Images help to understand the text better. Images are not a piece of decoration. It is the part of the content that is required by the user for a better experience.
So rather than just use images to make a web page easier to read, it’s possible to improve the SEO of a page and provide a quality user experience by treating the images as content. So they help in the ranking of Webpage in the Future.
When you precisely format images and title them with the right phrases regarding your core content, the chances of your image appear in Google image search result increases which helps in doing SEO which not only ranks your website higher but also makes it load faster.
How to optimize Alt text in images carefully?
Alt text called “Alternative Text” is an HTML attribute used to show the description of the image and tells Google what this image is all about. When the browser doesn’t load the picture it will display the alt text instead of that through which the user will get an idea about the image.
Something like this:-
Why there is a need to optimize the alt text of the image?
Alt text for images is vital to successfully optimize every aspect of your page content for search engines. Google Algorithms are still in a learning process to better understand what the content is about and which user is addressing it.
There are some examples to understand this better.
Bad(missing alt text) : <img src=”img_girl.jpg”>
Bad( Keyword stuffing) : <img src=”img_girl.jpg” alt=”Girl in a jacket Girl Beautiful Girl Girl in a blue jacket”>
Better : <img src=”img_girl.jpg” alt=”Girl”>
Best : <img src=”img_girl.jpg” alt=”Girl in a jacket”>
If you are still confused then there are some points that will make you clear about it.
Write descriptive alt text- When you start writing alt text make sure it describes the image well so the user understands it fully.
Keep it short- Always ensure that your image’s alt text must be small as well as have a full description. There is no need to create large sentences.
Use relevant Keywords- Adding keywords in the alt text with a good description can help to rank your website. One thing to keep in mind that does not stuff keywords if use them properly in alt text it helps in showing your images in search engine.
Use Empty alt tags- Images are used for various purposes it can be used to convey a message, a context, a function or decorative. Before writing an alt tag ensure that the purpose of image why and where we use these images. There is no need to give information in alt text if an image is decorative.
Be Specific – Be careful while describing the image, using alt text, as on a page level, search engine counts the number of alt tags. Always mention what image shows or meant for as well as your content should be relevant.
Focus on user behavior- Why did the user access my page or my content? What is it that they want to read or see? Combine common answers to these questions, summarize the topic and create the alt text image.
How to optimize the images?
Choose the right image format- Google Images supports images in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG formats.
JPEG (.jpg) is a standard format of the image as images of this format compressed easily with a high-quality result of the image of a small size. JPEGs are SEO-Friendly.
GIF(.gif) format is used for animations as it does not require a wide color range. It is maybe safer to use a true video format for large and long animated videos.
PNG(.png) produces images which are of better quality but comes with large file size.
WebP(.webp) as it produces high-quality images with smaller file sizes.
Resize your images – Properly resizing the height and width of the image is a necessary factor in image optimization, which most bloggers overlook.
If you upload an image in your blog post and resize it in the post editor itself, whenever the browser loads this page, the image will first be loaded in the original dimension and then it will be resized. This will increase the loading time of your page.
Whenever you download an image, its dimension (Height & Width) can be more, which is necessary to resize before uploading to your blog. You can resize the image in the computer with the help of Paint tool or Photoshop.
Create Unique Design – Images when used with care help the user to better understand your article.
Do you want your photos to stand out on the website?
If you need images for your article, then you cannot use Google Images. Those images can be copyright protected and they can later run into trouble for you.
There are many websites in the market that offer free stock images. You can use a website that gives images for free and is related to your article and there is no other option to draw your created image.
There are websites like FreeDigitalPhotos, Freepik, Pixabay, Pexels, etc. which provide stock images for free. Apart from this, you can easily get high-quality and professional images on Shutterstock by spending some money.
- You can use free sites or paid sites to find the right image for your site, but never use Google Images.
- And even better if you can create custom images for your blog. There is a lot of website for making custom images
- The more original images you have, the better the user experience and the better the chances are about ranking on related searches.
Choose the dimension of your images
- It depends on your theme and article. Although the content area of most blog themes is 600- 700px. So, you can use the image dimension as per your theme.
- It is a good practice to define the height and width of your images, either do it while you are creating it or you can do it with CSS as well.
- If you upload these images in your article without resizing and resize them in the post editor, then you are on the wrong track.
- Reason: When your article is loaded in the browser, the images will load in the original size and dimension. As a result, your site’s load time may be impaired.
- You can use the plugin or online website to resize the image.
Reduce the file size of your images
- If you use high-quality stock images in your article, it can put a lot of load on your server. That is to say, the size of the high-quality image is also very high.
- Try to keep the size of your image within 100kb. If the image size is above 100kb or in MB, then it clearly shows that the image is of high quality. Always resize such images and upload them with the correct dimension.
- WordPress.org has a lot of image optimizer plugin that can help resize and compress your images.
Beware of decorative images – How to affect on the website and what effect.
Decorative photos do not add information to a page’s content. For instance, the information provided by the image could already be given using adjacent text, or the image could be used to make the website more visually attractive.
Decorative images are used to beautify the site. They can result in large file sizes combined with slow load times.
You should check the size of all the decorative images on your website and try to make sure that they are at least in size.
Here are some tips on how to reduce the size of decorative images:
- Instead of using images, use CSS to construct colored areas where possible.
- Render them PNG-8 or GIFs for images that make up borders or simple patterns.
- Look closely at that big background image in the form of a wallpaper. Those files can be massive. Shrink as much as possible, without ruining the quality of the image.
- Before uploading the image in a blog post, please rename it according to the keywords.
- When you download an image from a website, its name is something like “45abc.jpg or 3hd@.png”. Such file names are not search engine friendly.
- While renaming the image, use the main keyword in it. By having the keyword in the image, the search engine ranks it much better.
For instance – If you are writing the article “How to rank number one in google 2018”, then the name of the image will be something like “rank-in-google.png” or “rank-one-in-google.jpg”.
Always write the name of the image in small letters and use dash (-) in between every word.
Choose the right image matched to your content
- Always keep in mind that whenever you are adding images on your site, images are always related to what the content is about. Using unrelated images is a waste of time.
- Do not link to unrelated images from the post and the search engine also does not know for which purpose you are applying the image.
- Using the image in a topic when you are unable to convince the user, is a very good way to explain your point.
- Always name your images according to related content, it is a best practice according to Google.