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?