Images are important for any website. They not only add visual depth but also make the site look beautiful. Using them deftly, a website can provide right information to its target audience and realize its true potential.
Images are also important when it comes to SEO. They can be used strategically to boost rankings of the website. The image on every page of your website can help rank your site higher in search engines and drive more visitors, if they are optimized correctly.
You can utilize the power of proper optimization and turn images into a valuable SEO asset for your website. In fact, it’s the images, their size, quality that affect a website’s performance like other optimization factors.
More importantly, your website can do image optimization expertly and ensure better user experience. This will definitely have a positive impact on the overall search engine performance of your website.
Images can help in many ways in SEO, including:
- Image optimization can add value to the site
- Better user experience can be delivered by optimizing images appropriately
- Faster page load times can be achieved with right image optimization
- More ranking prospects can be developed with the subtle use of images
- Images can be used aptly to give better search results and deliver value to users
Clearly, visual search in on the rise, and the earlier you seize the opportunity the better for the growth of your website and business.
Images can boost rankings in many ways, including-
1) Use high-quality images for better SEO results
When it comes to using images for rankings, you should avoid putting a foot wrong. Else, the result might not be what you think. So, relying on stock images is not going to help you at all and the earlier you understand that the better. Generic stock images can never give your site the cutting edge or will never make it stand out from the crowd.
You can go about optimizing stock images and even the results would be standard, but is this what you want from SEO? If not, you should then use only original and high-quality images and get them optimized to become an asset for your website. Unoriginal and generic images can’t help beyond a point as far as optimization benefits are concerned.
2) Let original pictures deliver a better user experience
Search engines give value to only those sites visitors find helpful in one way or other. The same happens when you use original pictures as this ensures a better experience to users and this is when the chances of improving on rankings get better. All it takes a high-resolution camera to click pictures that are meaningful and relevant. Such pictures can keep users interested and give them a clear idea about your business per se.
More so, some websites understand the value of using data, graphs, charts and similar visual assets so that the target users can be fed with the right content. They also use high-quality product images so that visitors can feel a sense of connect and see the ‘clear picture’ about the brand. If your site is loaded with original pictures instead of stock images, it will have a better ranking in search results.
3) Use images in context
You’re not going to use images randomly thinking it will serve you well in the SEO. Well, it does not work like that – unless your images are used in some context, they won’t serve the purpose at all. In fact, it’s advisable to use images only to tell a story or push forward a coherent idea that your brand believes in.
Using images aptly can serve you well, like –
- Use images to complement the content
- Break the text using images at right places
- Use images to help customers know your product or concept easily
- Images are great for simplifying any idea you want to get across
- You can support the blogs, articles or any content anywhere using images in a subtle
- You can us screenshots to good effect and convey your story
- Right emotional chord can be touched by using images rightly
4) Add Descriptive Captions
Add descriptive captions to your image if you want to follow the image optimization best practice. In doing so, you add the text that is visible below the image and that explains all about your image. With some text under your images, chances are readers will understand the context immediately rather than having to go through the entire article.
If captions are not added to the images, not only your visitors but also search engines will not understand the meaning and utility of having them there. And when search engines don’t get the context, it can affect your SEO greatly. In fact, studies have shown how adding caption to images can boost the readership of the concerned text. But yes, add caption where it’s needed to help readers and search engines alike.
5) Name your images for SEO
All the images on your website must be named accordingly for SEO to help bring ranking benefits. Therefore, you must look to create descriptive, keyword-rich fine names. This is how Google or other search engine crawlers come to know about the images through their file names. So, you should look to change the file name from the default immediatel) y after getting the image in any format to make it SEO ready.
For example, if you sell t-shirt on your website and you have hundreds of images, it’s better to describe them all uniquely to let search engines understand them better. So, rather than giving a file name, ‘t-shirt 1’, ‘t-shirt 2’, or ‘t-shirt 3’, it’d be better if you add ‘trendy black t-shirt for party’ or’ cool beige t-shirt’ and so on.
You can then manually edit the HTML of each of your images and then upload them. Using simple and keywork-driven image file name can serve you well as far as ranking is concerned.
6) Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text
Having a text alternative to images can help in boosting the SEO of your website. Alt tags precisely serve the same purpose and their utility becomes greater in cases where browsers fail to render images properly. Quite like the title, the alt text can describe the contents of an image file. Doing this belongs to your on-page SEO strategy and you just can’t move ahead without having the alt text in place.
The alt text come handy in cases where images fail to load for some technical issues. Since alt text uses keywords to images, this can help search engines read them better and provide superior rankings to your website. With alt text, you provide useful information to the search engine, and you also consider users’ query. So, leverage the power of alt text and boost your site’s SEO prospects easily.
7) Maintain sync between File Size and quality
Slow loading sites are bad for SEO. Their rankings always suffer, and they don’t add value to users in the way it should. Do you know what the major reason behind slow loading sites is? Yes, images and their file size. They can hamper the speed of a website, particularly when file size is too big. You can take to resizing and compression to get images back to the right size.
Keep some of these things in mind related image sizes –
- The image size used should be in sync with the width of the web page or blog post
- File size must be reduced when it exceeds the standard ratio of web page width
- Huge file size can affect rankings in SERPs, so you should resize them and use a size for user experience
- The image resolution should be kept low to not affect page load speed
- You should use only quality tools to compress images without losing quality
- Images that have lost pixels and become distorted can also affect rankings negatively
8) Create an Image Sitemap
If you look to benefit from images to boost the rankings of your website, do create the image sitemap and have all the images in one place. By doing so, you allow search engines to find images on your site easily and without any hassles. Sites often use ‘image-sitemap.xml’ to let search engines know about the uploaded images on the site. This is also done to point out to crawlers the images you need be crawled.
For images, it’s possible to create a new sitemap, and you can add image information to the already existing XML sitemap. Some CMSs have a plugin for this purpose and where doing this task manually does not take time at all. Anyway, you can leverage an XML sitemap and let search engine index and identify your images more easily than it does.
You can clearly see how images can be used to improve rankings and boost visibility of your website. It’s therefore important to hire and trust only a top digital marketing company for the needful and realize your SEO goals easily.
Sawoni Chowdhury is an aficionado of writing. She is an expert writer and blogger and shares her views and opinions on a range of topics such as Technology, Business, Digital Marketing and lot more. She works with Mind Digital Group, which is one of the best digital marketing company in India.