Images are critical to making the content more visible, appealing and attractive to users, but they are as valuable in the context of SEO. First, they offer descriptive details to search engines. Second, customized photos speed up page loading, which improves user experience and search engine ranking. To provide your brand the best chance to thrive with SEO, you need to grasp the fundamentals of the image optimization process.
Image optimization is the practice of producing and providing high-quality images in the optimal format, scale and resolution to improve user experience. It also requires precise marking of images so that search engine crawlers can interpret and understand the meaning of the page.
As per HTTP Archive, images accounted for an estimate of 21 percent of the overall weight of the pages as of November 2018. Since images use more bytes than any other component of the website, their size and sophistication have a huge effect on site efficiency.
If you minimize the size of images without losing quality, the loading times of the pages will increase and, as a result, the experience of website users will also improve.
Improved user interface and experiences with the website carry a positive effect on search engine results, which further increases customer loyalty, conversion and customer satisfaction. What’s more, if configured photos take up fewer storage memory on your website, backups can be done more easily.
Here’s how you can optimize the images.
1. Resize Your Images
Image size and file size are totally different things. Image size means the size of the image (e.g., 1280 by 720 pixels). File size refers to the amount of space used to hold it on your server (e.g., 450 kilobytes).
Pictures with higher resolution and wider proportions (often produced with a professional camera) slow down the page load speed tremendously. Although they work well for print duplication, you need to downscale the file size without compromising too much quality to make them work well on the webpage.
Pick the Right File Format
PNG, JPEG, and GIF are all very common. Each of them carry their own advantages. It’s recommended to use JPEG for vibrant images and PNG for plain images.
Choose the Right Compression Rate
If you resize an image too heavily, the size of the file might turn tiny, but the image quality declines massively. In contrast, when you opt for a low compression rate, the image quality remains high, but the file size is enormous. Optimally, you can play with your format and compression rates in order to see what works better for each image.
Numerous image editing software, like Adobe Photoshop, have a web-save feature that instantly minimizes file size while retaining image quality. Alternatively, you can use online tools like Fileminimizer to compress images.
2. Optimize Image File Names
Choosing the proper file name is critical for your page SEO and to rank higher in image search results. Prior to uploading any picture, label a file with the appropriate, descriptive keyword to gain the most SEO boost.
Include targeted keywords at the start and split them with hyphens. Do not use underscores since search engines do not understand them and would not be able to “see” words/phrases separately.
File names should make logical sense for both Google and human visitors. For instance, the initial name for the image of a lady in a hair salon might be “salon234.jpg.” It can be renamed with a clearer and more detailed title, such as “woman-having-haircut-in-salon.jpg.”
3. Use Alt Tags
Audiences may recognize what the picture is, but search engine crawlers also need hints. Without alternate text, it is difficult for search engines to correctly index the image content. A strong alt tag gives meaning and also supports visually disabled people.
Even if the photos are not loaded due to a bug, search engines will still read alternate text to help index a page. Brand-relevant terms can be used here to maximize exposure. But remember to never stuff keywords.
Provide more information than those contained in the name of the file. If there is no perfect number of terms, aim at 10 to 15 to express something about the picture.
4. Optimize the Image Title
If you are using WordPress, the image title is generally taken from the file name so that you can often keep it as it is. If you do not use WordPress or the text does not clarify the picture, rewrite it with the necessary keyphrases in the same manner as the file names.
5. Include Captions
Image captions – words immediately below pictures – may not have a clear effect on SEO, however, unlike file names and old text, captions are noticeable on the web page. They will contribute to the user interface for this purpose.
Most viewers are drawn to picture captions to make a sense of the overall content. Without captions, your bounce rates could increase, undermining your search engine reputation.
6. Use Unique Images
Using stock images is okay, but they would not usually boost the search rankings, since other websites also use the same pictures. Just as unique written material is better for SEO, it’s a smart idea to post unique photos wherever possible.
But when you have no option but to take images from other sources, don’t forget to mention them.
If you’re unable to get your content recognized, keep these tactics in mind before you upload any picture. These image optimization procedures can enhance the quality of content for both search engines and human visitors.
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