7 Top SEO Tips for Using images on Your Website

In internet terms, a picture can be worth more than 1000 words, so choose wisely. Learn about using images on your website and winning at SEO here.

Did you know that using images on your website can be done in a right way or a wrong way?
And we don’t just mean that you’re using the wrong images, although that’s definitely a factor.

Images can be an essential part of your on-page SEO strategy, but you have to take the correct path to do so.

Interested in boosting your SERP? Read on, and we’ll give you ten hot tips to help you make sure that you get the most out of your images when it comes time for SEO.

1. Pick the Right Images

All of the great stuff you can do isn’t going to mean much if you’re not using great photos in the first place.

Many places actively discourage the use of stock photos, but they can be remarkably effective when picked well in the first place. You can also use slightly off the track websites like Unsplash to find some surprisingly beautiful photos with full rights for free.

The important thing is to make sure that the photos are relevant and add something or don’t detract from the overall message of the content you’re using.

Bad photos, or even good photos that seem randomly placed, aren’t going to get you anywhere no matter how much SEO work you do with them since user experience will suffer and Google hates that.

2. Size Things Appropriately

With platforms like WordPress, it’s really easy to take an extremely high-resolution photograph and jam it in wherever it might fit in your formatting.

And people do, frequently.

What they don’t realize is that just because you’ve got a 480×480 frame on your site, that 5000×5000 pixel picture is still loading in its entirety behind the scenes.

That means slower loading times. Load speed is a huge part of your SEO. It’s also a just a big part of keeping your site together, those with a high-speed connection who notice a page is taking an exceptionally long time to load aren’t going to stick around.

3. Optimize Your Alt-Text

You’re also going to want to optimize your descriptions of the photos. You know, that little rollover text that shows up when you leave the mouse cursor hanging around for a bit.

Insert your keyword, or a secondary keyword here, but do it naturally. It’s actually more important to accurately describe the image in question than to try keyword jamming in a photo’s description.

Alt-text is designed for web accessibility, which means that an accurate description can be used to help a visually impaired person view your web page.

This is another reason that choosing the right image is important: to maintain relevant alt-text you want something which is related to the content of the page.

4. Optimizing File Names

File names are the right place for you to add in your keywords for the most part. Things should always be relevant, of course, but it never hurts to add another primary or secondary keyword into your photo descriptions.

Optimizing your on-page with photos is all about care and the little touches, and this is one of those which can help immensely.

Click here for a good example. You can inspect the element in the background photo and see that the file name remains relevant to the topic and descriptive, giving it a great little bit of additional SEO.

5. Optimize File Types

A lot of people will tell you to make sure that all of your files are .jpegs.

It’s not a bad idea, but it depends on the type of image that you’re working with. Instead, make sure that photos are in a .jpeg format and any logo or vector art is placed as a .png to ensure that the colors stay more true to the original.

This can solve a lot of the issues people have when placing photos on their pages, where sometimes colors bleed and other “unexplainable” images happen.

You can also compress your files further, programs like Caesium will let you do it without sacrificing too much quality but make sure that everything still displays well before you finalize the decision.

6. Organize The Images in Your Sitemap

You’ll need to make sure that all of your images are included in the XML sitemap. Fortunately, most of us use WordPress which is remarkably good about keeping things updated but anything else, and you may need to submit your site to Google manually.

For WordPress, there are a ton of plugins which will handle it for you in the background.

7. Keep the Rest of Your On-Page SEO in Mind

Your images can help, but they’re usually not going to be the make or break part of your SEO unless you’re vying for the top spots in a highly competitive niche.

That said, it’s good practice, and you never know if you’ll have to get more competitive in the future.

Using images on your website is important, both for user experience and SEO but if you go through our checklist of tips then you’ll be in good hands.

The really important thing is to make sure you’ve got a full SEO strategy, including your pictures, rather than thinking a few file names and alt-texts are going to bring you up the SERPs.

Using Images on Your Website Isn’t Optional

Images are actually quite important for SEO. Using images on your website is pretty much a requirement to rank, how many times have you seen something top Google without them?

SEO is perhaps the most competitive edge which you can gain when it comes to organic searches, and it’s vital for all businesses. Your images may seem like a small factor but when you’re trying to top things out.

If you’re looking for more SEO tips, then why not dig into our blog and see what you can find?

 

10 of the Best Components for a Strong On-Page SEO

Being one of the first results of a Google search can be a game changer for your brand. The impact that being #1 in targeted keyword rankings can have on your bottom-line cannot be expressed. But how do you step-up and become the leader of the pack?

A set of effective on-page SEO techniques could be the missing piece of your puzzle. They are the cornerstone of any good SEO strategy. In fact, 61% of respondents in a study said improving SEO is one of their top priorities for inbound marketing.

The crux of the matter is that by improving your on-page SEO, you can improve your search rankings. If you increase the number of people who discover your business, you can increase the number of prospects you have. More leads being generated equates to more sales. Sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it?

What is On-Page SEO?

Search engine optimization involves using techniques to improve a website’s visibility and rankings through organic search results. Similarly, on-page SEO refers to optimizing the pages on your website to gain relevant traffic from the search engines. That includes both content and the coding under the hood.

Search engines have complex algorithms to determine search rankings. They take into consideration hundreds of different factors to decide on a rank. Obviously, you can’t control all of them, but there are a few that you can work on to improve your rankings.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important ranking factors, why they matter, and what you can do about them.

Highly Effective On-Page SEO Elements

1. Title Tags

Your page titles play a significant role in determining your rankings. Each page and post should have a unique title that includes the primary keywords for that page or article. The closer the keyword is to the beginning of your title, the better. But more than that, it’s important that the use of the keyword is natural.

The length of the title is equally important. Ideally, you should keep it between 40 and 70 characters. Any longer than that and it will probably get cut off when turning up in the search results.

2. Meta Descriptions

Many people often forget to add a meta description to their pages. They’re a great place to add relevant keywords to your content. While it may not directly impact your rankings, they do improve your click-through rate (CTR). This, in turn, can have a somewhat modest impact on your rankings.

Give some thought to what might compel a reader to click on your result over others, and frame a meta description based on that. Try to keep it under 160 characters preferably.

3. URL Structure

When choosing a URL for your page, be sure to use the keywords you are targeting. In fact, 63% of the best sites, across industries, have keywords in their domain URL. URLs should be search engine friendly as they ensure better crawling. Shorter URLs are also likely to perform better than longer ones.

It’s better to use words and punctuations in the URL over codes. Session IDs have been known to add to content duplicity thereby affecting rankings. You can add cookies to your site to help reduce this problem.

4. Body Tags

It’s advisable that you break up your article into smaller sections and paragraphs to make it easier to read. These sections can each be given a separate heading to make the content more structured and easier to consume. You can make use of H1, H2, H3, and other such tags here.

Providing a hierarchy to the page’s content tells search engines which segments have more importance. Again, keyword-rich headlines will prove to be more helpful than generic ones.

5. Keywords

The importance of including relevant keywords throughout your content cannot be stressed enough. They are the key to letting search engines know what your content is all about. But keep in mind that excessive use of keywords can be just as harmful. Remember to use variations of your keyword as well.

Leverage tools like Google AdWords to see what keywords are trending in your domain. It even does a comparative keyword analysis and makes suggestions on phrases you can use.

 

Image via Google AdWords

6. Optimized Images

Images are a great way to make your pages visually appealing. Use your focus keyword in the image file name, title, description, and alt-tags. Ensure that you use proper captions with the images as well.

Image optimization will help you rank higher in Google Image Search, thereby increasing site traffic. It will also help you reduce page load speeds and considerably improve your conversion rates. You can use tools like TinyPNG to create optimized versions of the images you plan to use.

Image via TinyPNG

7. External and Internal Links

It’s imperative that you have both internal crosslinks as well as outbound links to improve your SEO.

You can improve the chances of a search engine finding you by linking your page to other pages on your website. One way to do that is to refer to other articles you may have written in your present one. This helps enhance user experience and keeps them engaged for longer periods by providing more content to consume.

Use outbound links to articles or pages of other websites to establish your site’s credibility and authority. The Reboot marketing firm found a positive correlation between SEO and outbound links. Ensure that you’re linking to relevant content and pages that have a high Domain Authority to get the most out of this tactic.

8. Page Load Speed

A website that loads quickly is essential from both a user and website owner perspective. Users are more likely to stay if a web page is quick to load. A delay of even one second can result in an 11% drop in page views and a drop in conversion rates by 7%.

Make use of resources like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to track the performance of your website and derive actionable insights.

Image via Google PageSpeed Insights

Search engines like Google measure bounce rates and dwell times when determining your search rankings. A few easy ways to improve page load speeds are:

  • Minimizing HTTP requests
  • Reducing server response time
  • Enabling compression and browser caching
  • Optimizing images

9. Social Sharing Buttons

Social SEO is all the buzz these days. Social media is a staple marketing tool and brands should be making the most of it. By adding social share buttons, you enable visitors to amplify your brand’s message. They are a simple and effective way to boost site traffic and page engagement.

10. Monitoring Results

No matter what changes and optimizations you make, it’s important to gauge your performance and check your results. You can’t boast having an effective on-page SEO if you can’t track the results.

You can use tools like Pro Rank Tracker, for example, to check your search rankings. It even provides you with insights on how to improve your SEO.

Image via Pro Rank Tracker

Conclusion

There’s a lot more to on-page SEO than just publishing relevant content and having links in your articles. As a marketer, you’ll have to account for other factors too, like the ones discussed above. Once you get your on-page SEO game on-point, you’ll see marked differences in your page performance and site traffic.

These techniques will help build the value of your pages and the relevancy of your internal pages for particular keywords. If you have any points to add, then we’d love to hear from you in the comments section.


Shane BarkerShane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.