Do you optimize images to improve your SEO performance? Or do you never consider their impact on your ranking?
If you aren’t taking the time to optimize your images, you could be missing an opportunity to drive more traffic to your site and boost your SERP position.
With the ongoing rise of visual search, images are returned for around 20 percent of Google searches. That’s why we named it one of our top SEO trends for 2021.
But what can you actually do to improve your SEO performance with images?
Be clear when naming image files
Descriptive file names are a must. Vague or generic names (e.g. “image001”) won’t help Google understand exactly what an image shows.
Think carefully about how a file name can help a search engine recognize the contents of an image. Be specific, descriptive, and include keywords (such as “men’s-black-Nike-sneakers”).
Take advantage of alt text
On a similar note, alt text brings a wealth of opportunities to increase an image’s visibility. Alt text is required under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure users with visual impairments understand what images contain (via screen readers or text-to-speech solutions).
But alt text also helps search engines clarify the contents of an image and the page it’s on. As with image file names, focus on clarity and precision. Include relevant keywords but be subtle (i.e. no stuffing).
Pick your image format carefully
JPEG and PNG are two of the most common image formats online (along with GIF and TIFF). But each has its advantages and drawbacks.
JPEG images tend to be of a lower quality but load faster than PNG. And with PNG, quality is higher but file sizes are bigger. So, choose carefully.
Always compress images before you publish
Uploading uncompressed images can have a serious impact on user experience: images, and the pages they’re on, will take longer to load. And users are more likely to abandon your site if they’re waiting too long — bounce probability rises 32 percent when page load jumps from one second to three seconds.
Various tools and plugins can compress images for you. Aim to keep images below 100kb to reduce the risk of performance issues.
Incorporate images into sitemaps
Sitemaps are crucial for good SEO, as they help search engines discover a site’s pages.
Including images in your sitemap will increase the likelihood of a search engine indexing your images. And that could bring more traffic your way.
Either add images to your existing sitemap or create a new one just for your pictures.
Keep images mobile-friendly for smartphone users
Responsive images will scale to align with your site’s size on any device. This is so important when so many of us use smartphones to find products or services. For example, half of mobile users are more likely to use a business’s mobile site when shopping instead of downloading their app.
If you overlook responsiveness, you could chase users away with slow load times and poor overall performance.
Nett Solutions is an Orange County SEO agency with years of experience helping businesses just like yours rank higher through tailored campaigns. To find out how we’ll optimize your site and increase your visibility, get in touch today!