Images are among the most resource-heavy elements of a typical web page.
In SEO terms, images can be both a help and a hindrance, largely dependent on your ability to optimize them for the search engines. While imagery within your content can improve the user experience, excessive graphics can also slow down page loading.
There is no certain formula for image optimization, but following a number of simple tips can ensure you create an attractive, fast, inviting site, pleasing both users and the search engines.
Optimize the Alt Tags Image
When uploading an image to your site, you have the option of including alt tags and a title, along with the original file name.
Google will use this information to understand what the image is about, but it is common for site owners to use generic file names and text. While you should avoid keyword stuffing, there is an opportunity to add the words and phrases you are hoping to rank for.
A good option is to use related LSI terms, though sporadic use of the main keyword is acceptable.
Geotagging the image
For local marketers, geotagging is a great way to build geographic relevance into your images. Various images can be given local names to target the wider area, but geotagging gives a clear reference to the location.
Not only can you add geotags to images on your own site, you can also do this for images you post around the web. Social media and image-hosting sites can be used to post images, with a link directing back to your site.
The images will then act as citations, ultimately leading to greater authority and local relevance.
Slow loading times have a considerable impact on user experience, with an average load time over three seconds causing an increase in the bounce rate.
Images frequently are the cause for a sluggish website, but consideration of image sizes can overcome many of these issues. Aim to reduce the size of images to a point where you don’t sacrifice quality.
If you have a number of images on a page, such as a product inventory on an e-commerce store, then use smaller sizes that can be opened in a pop-up or new page to see the larger version.
Infographics are similar to other images, but they contain a lot of useful information. As this information cannot be read by the search engines, it is wise to include it underneath the graphic.
You could write an article about the topic, but even including the main bullet points will be beneficial for SEO. In the best-case scenario, your infographic will be shared across the most popular sites in your niche, providing you with powerful and relevant backlinks.
Image optimization is only one piece of the SEO puzzle, but it can’t be overlooked.
Poor optimization can lead to slow loading times and a negative user experience, whereas some quick updates can help gain a good ranking position and improve your site for visitors.
Image optimization doesn’t have to be complicated, but the potential results mean you should add the process to your SEO campaigns.