How To Optimize Images For Better SEO
Picture this. You have a popular eatery in Mississauga and you just wrote an article on ‘How to make the most awesome cheesecake at home’. How would the article look without even a single image of a cheesecake?
Let me rephrase that question. How would the article look with a few images of you making the cheesecake yourself?
It would look vivid and it would probably bring a few hungry drooling customers your way on the same day. Images can bring your mundane text to life and considering the popularity of Image search engines like Google, it can generate a lot of traffic too to your website.
But like everything else ‘SEO’ related, you have to optimize your images correctly for it to be able to support your overall ranking efforts and for it to rank itself in image engines.
Here are a few best practices for image optimization for better SEO.
Alt text has been around forever and it still is one of the simplest and most effective techniques of explaining to search engines what a picture is about. In the above mentioned example, some alt texts that you can use are ‘Mississauga Cheesecake Ingredients’ ‘Best Cheesecake’ ‘homemade cheesecake in Mississauga’ etc. To add an alt text to your image, you can use the alt tag.
<"img src="awesome-cheesecake.jpg" alt="Awesome Cheesecake">
Keep the image size in check. You may have clicked an amazing picture on your DSLR in the raw format. But do not use it on your website because it may be 10-15 MB in size. That will kill your page load time and a potential visitor will most probably exit your website and go somewhere else.
There are many online tools and plugins for content management systems that compress images without compromising on the quality.
You want the image name to be relevant to its content. Citing the above mentioned example again, A picture of the ‘Best Cheesecakes’ should ideally be named Best-cheesecakes.jpg rather than DCIM100016.JPG.
This will help the image get ranked. To see this theory in action, go to Google images and search for any image. Now see the names of the images that are ranked first.
How do captions affect SEO rankings? Well, they can be an influential factor on the bounce rate. For example, a user lands on your website and finds very few headings that he can scan through. He immediately clicks on the back button and bounces back to the search page. That’s a negative marking for your website.
On the other hand, a user lands on your website, scans through the copy, doesn’t find anything interesting, suddenly he sees the image caption and thinks, ‘Wait. This might just be what I am looking for’. That’s plus one for the website.
XML Image Sitemaps
Google has explicitly stated that to inform Google bots about Images, website owners can either use image-specific tags or even better, use Image sitemaps. Nothing is written in stone. You can choose the method that best works for you.
To know more about image optimization, speak to a Mississauga SEO company today.