Many bloggers and SEO experts know how important images are for both user experience and search engine optimization.
You’ll find that using them in your blog posts or web pages makes the content more appealing, not to mention giving you an opportunity to optimize images so they’re better at ranking with Google’s algorithms.
So it becomes necessary not to neglect their power when trying to get a boost of organic traffic on your site!
In this detailed guide, I’ll share how simple it is to properly optimize these assets, as well as some tools available that can help make the process easier than ever before.
But first, let’s try to understand:
What Is Image SEO & Why It’s Important
Image SEO is the process of optimizing your images so Google can index them correctly and generate image search traffic for you, while you sleep.
Websites with optimized images can generate a large portion of their traffic from Google image search.
That’s really not surprising, since organic image searches are responsible for more than 20% to 60% of all Google traffic!
The first thing to do when embarking on an image optimization strategy is to find out what keywords you’re targeting or what your blog post is about.
This will make it easier for you to optimize these keywords for your images as well.
And to optimize your images to give you a full boost in your organic traffic, you need to understand about:
How Search Engines View Images?
Search engines like google prioritize these 6 things while crawling through images on your blog posts or websites. These are:
- Image Name
- Image Alt text
- Image Relevance
- Image Caption
- Image Title
- Resize Images
- Image Size
- Image File Type
- Image Linking
These are some of the basic parameters that Search Engines take into account before they rank your images in their Image Search Results.
Let’s discuss them one by one in our next section.
How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For Image SEO
Image SEO involves many different techniques such as creating an alt tag that has keyword-rich text; using descriptive file names in your upload folder so Google knows what they’re downloading; setting up your Image Title & caption tags correctly, and more.
However, it’s important to know which technique will work best with each type of image content.
A strategy for all may not be as productive as targeting one specifically, depending on what kind of traffic you want to attract (you’ll also have to take into consideration who your audience might be).
But to make things easier for you to understand, here are some tips on how you can better optimize images for SEO
1. Image Name
Shakespeare once said,
What’s In A Name?
I’m pretty sure, he didn’t knew about the future of internet & how the name of images will affect your google rankings.
It’s important to name your image file appropriately before uploading them onto WordPress.
Otherwise, the image file names will be random and won’t help search crawlers understand what they are about.
Let’s take an example: if you’re using pictures from smartphones, they’ll mostly end up as something like “IMG_20180425_183956”.
With these types of photos, it becomes difficult for search crawlers to understand what each image is all about!
But that becomes so much easier for them to understand if you give every image, an informative title before uploading in order to make things more organized within blog posts.
Also, remember that Search engines like Google treat hyphens and underscores differently when reading text or image ALT tags.
Google reads “Image-SEO” as Image SEO whereas it would read “Images_SEO’ as ImageSEO.
It’s a wise thing to name your images properly by using relevant keyword terms instead of just numbers or underscores.
It will make it easier, not only just for you, but for search engine crawlers as well.
The next thing to take care is of:
2. Image Alt text
Using a descriptive alt text is extremely important and you must optimize your images by using proper alt texts for every image, if you want better organic results.
Basically, the purpose of alt tags is to provide additional information about a photo that search engines can index in order to find it more quickly when someone searches its content on Google Image Search or Bing Images.
The alt text should provide a succinct explanation of what the image is about & should be relevant to the image.
It’s best to use keywords you want to rank for, but don’t overdo it or manipulate your alt tags content in any way.
The Alt Text will not be shown on Google Images, so there is no need to make it keyword-heavy and spammy–everything has its place!
Alt tags are an important part of Image SEO that can help boost organic traffic by over 37%.
Also, alt tags were designed to help visually impaired people (who read through a screen reader), to understand what an image is about.
Example to define an alt text correctly:
For this image, the alt text should be: “person-holding-a-vegetable-sandwich”, instead of just “sandwich”.
As told earlier, alt tags should be descriptive, instead of just like a generic name.
There are other aspects too, like using descriptive URLs and Title Tags which must also be considered if we want higher rankings from image search results, which are explained in this post.
3. Image Relevance
Images are a big part of the web & your images should fit or blend in with your content (Just like the woman has fitting clothes that makes her look beautiful above).
But, where should your images go to make the most effective?
In order to ensure that your blog is engaging, you should include at least one image for every 300-1000 words.
That means, 10-20 images can be included in a 3000-word article.
The use of images in posts is a great way to break up the text and make it visually more appealing.
However, by adding an image frequently, you can also keep your audience reading!
Make sure not to overdo it & keep the images relevant to the context as well.
When you write a post, don’t just add any image that comes to mind.
Make sure the images are relevant and interesting; they help bring your content to life!
4. Image Caption
Image captions are often overlooked on the internet, but they have just as much weight when it comes to grabbing your attention.
A good image caption can help your search engine ranking, as well.
Image captions give the searcher a reason to click on an image and stay there for at least two seconds.
That’s not much time but it is enough to get them interested in what you have to say about more text-based content or product listings!
For your website visitors, captions can be read and enjoyed by those who cannot see the image (visually impaired people).
In contrast to an alt tag’s ability only to be seen by a search engine crawler, Image captions under pictures are like titles that can be seen by real people too.
They give you an indication of what the picture is about, but they also describe it for those who might not be able to see it, or just want a recap before diving in wholeheartedly and getting lost among your beautiful work.
5. Image Titles
Your image title may seem trivial, but it has a big impact on people who are checking out your post.
Not only does the text get displayed when they hover over an image thumbnail or full-sized photo (if you’ve that feature enabled), but it also attracts more attention if you include keywords in the headline as well – all of which help to drive up engagement with your content and increase page views.
If you want to optimize your images for Google, try using a title that’s easy to read and include keywords in the file name.
You don’t need long titles or default names, so make sure it has something catchy!
6. Resize Images
In today’s age of fast-paced browsing, you don’t have time to wait for a page to load before getting bored or moving on.
This is because larger images increase your load times than smaller ones do!
Also, they increase your LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) which is a bad thing in Google’s Core Web Vitals.
I prefer to put my featured image dimensions at 1200*630 px while all other images in my blog posts aren’t greater than 512*512 px.
7. Image Size
Also, your total image file shouldn’t exceed more than 100KB for a good User Experience for people on the web.
That’s why you should always optimize your image size so they will take less space in your hosting and not affect page load time.
I personally do this by using online tools like ShortPixel to compress & reduce the file size of my images.
8. Image File Type
Just as Image size is important, your image format also plays an important role in determining your rankings.
Google has laid out a certain file type named WebP, that’s optimized for web usage.
Who doesn’t want to make their visitors and Google happy? That is what WebP, an emerging image format put out by Google, aims for.
It features a more aggressive compression algorithm than JPG or PNG with the objective of reducing file size without compromising image quality.
This means faster websites will consume less bandwidth- everyone wins!
Though there are few tools that create WebP images for you, you can surely convert your images from any format to WebP through this online FREE tool named EZgif.com
If you can’t produce webp images directly, just convert your png or jpg images to webp with this tool.
If you want to bulk convert your images to WebP, you can use this FREE tool here.
9. Image Linking
You can easily make your images clickable!
Image linking is especially useful if you’re writing affiliate product reviews.
You can quickly include banners for your favorite products that are a part of an affiliate program by clicking on the image and selecting “Link” from the pop-up menu.
This way, when readers see those links or pictures they will be taken directly to the affiliate product page, which will get you more chances to make affiliate commissions.
And if your images get ranked in Google Image Search results, whenever any user will click on them, he’ll get redirected to your affiliate offer as well.
More Conversions & More Money for you.
How To Make Your Website Fast Without Compromising Image SEO
It’s no secret that the internet moves fast.
The average internet user spends over 2 hours a day browsing social media and visiting websites.
That is a lot of time!
If your website isn’t optimized to load quickly, you are losing potential visitors who will move on to another site in seconds.
Thankfully, there are ways to make your website fast without sacrificing image SEO.
Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. Implement Lazy Loading For Your Images
Have you ever noticed how loading times seem to slow down when the page becomes busier?
One reason for this is that it takes more time and effort on your browser’s part to load so many images.
Luckily, there are options like lazy loading which will make everything run faster by only downloading one image at a time as they come into view rather than all of them simultaneously – this reduces HTTP requests by up to 80% & speeds up your website as well.
I personally use the WP Rocket plugin with its lazy loading features on my site themistakenman.com and to cache my pages & images, so you don’t have to wait for them.
Also, WP Rocket has an inbuilt feature that optimizes your WebP images further, thus reducing more loading times & saving you tons of bandwidth as well.
Lazy Loading has boosted my page speed score from 75 to 87, which is a lot.
2. Use A Push CDN Service To Host Images
There are many FREE CDN services like Cloudflare, but sadly these are all pull CDN services.
In order to have a better & fast loading time, always go for a Push CDN service.
It’s definitely is a paid service, but in the end, you’ll yourself feel the benefits as well.
Since I’m hosted on Cloudways, I use their inbuilt CDN service which is just for $1/Mo per 25GB data transferred.
You can also go with MaxCDN.
3. Use Browser Caching For Serving Images Locally
Did you know that caching your images, can actually help your page speed score?
For example, if you have a site with 10 pages and each page has 5 images on it.
There’s a good chance that the server is going to have to do more work in order to send those 5 images per page when there are multiple requests for them.
You may not be aware of this, but browsers cache what they see as being most relevant so even after hitting reload, the browser will still show the image from its cache unless told otherwise.
If one person visits a website twice within two minutes and sees an image both times at different resolutions then their browser will store both versions of the image so that when they visit again later on, they don’t have to make any new requests to your server.
I personally use the WP Rocket plugin to do that for me.
It automatically sets Browser Caching on my sites & this also helps in reducing my bandwidth.
4. Create XML Image Sitemaps
It seems like Google’s image footprint is a lot bigger than you might have thought.
In fact, if your images aren’t on their radar then they’re most likely invisible to crawlers and users alike.
You don’t want visitors or search engines passing up any of those incredible photos from your website because they couldn’t see them – so here are some tips to create XML-sitemaps:
I personally love the XML Generator By Google plugin.
Also, if you’re using Yoast SEO, you’re good to go.
It’s a must-have for WordPress sites, as it automatically creates image sitemaps and generates ALT text when there are no alt tags on images with just one click!
It also supports XML Sitemaps so you don’t have to use more than 1 plugin and saves time by generating both an XML & IMAGE SiteMap at once.
Definitely worth checking out if you’re not using WP already 🙂
To check whether your blog is having an image sitemap, do this:
Go to yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
Here, I’ve taken a sample sitemap of a random blog. You can see that this blog has 2 post sitemaps, 1 page sitemap, 1 deal sitemap & 1 download sitemap but doesn’t have an image sitemap.
Similarly, you’ve to check it out too.
5. Use Responsive Images
Many people don’t use laptops or desktop computers for browsing the internet.
Mobile phone usage has increased exponentially, and that’s why you need to make sure all your images are loading properly on any device.
Responsive web design is when a website looks good no matter what device someone uses to view it; they also keep text readable on small screens like those of smartphones and tablets without resizing fonts or adjusting margins so much as with traditional websites.
You’ll have one set-up HTML code instead of multiple per page–which means more work!
But if this doesn’t bother you then responsive designs might be worth looking into since mobile devices will never go out of style.
Here is a handy tag you can use to make your images responsive on posts and pages.
This little tweak will not only give your pictures a glossy, professional look but also makes them much more functional!
Add this code to every image of yours, especially the class.
<img src=”image-SEO.webp” alt=”image-SEO” class=”image-responsive”>
Now go to your Appearance-> Theme Customizer -> Add Additional CSS
And paste this code there:
And you’re good to go. Now all your images are responsive.
But modern WordPress Themes don’t require you to do this as they already come with this feature in-built with them.
How I Prefer To Do Images SEO For My Blog Posts In Less Than 5 Minutes
This is my 5 step formula that gets my Image SEO Optimization done fast.
Step 1: I find all the necessary images I’ll be going to use in my post. For this I generally look over to Freepik.com & Pexels.com.
Step 2: After downloading all the images, I open all the images in Photoshop. If they’re bigger in size (more than 512px), I resize them at exact 512px (below this level, image starts to distort).
You can do this by: Open Image In Photoshop ->Go to Image On Top Bar-> Image Size -> Change width to 512px (don’t change the height, it’ll automatically adjust).
PRO TIP: If you want to further reduce your image size, try clearing out the entire background of the image. For every image on this page (except featured image), I’ve removed the background of all the images.
This in turn, will help you remove more unnecessary pixels (as your blog page background is already white, you’ll see the same image), & further reduce your load times & reduce your bandwidth usage as well.
Step 3: After doing this for all images, export them in any format. Remember to rename those images according to your Image SEO & other factors mentioned above, while exporting.
Step 4: Go to this website here. This website will bulk convert all of your images to WebP format (from any format) for FREE & that too, all at once. Other websites you search on Google are either paid, or you can only convert one image at once.
Step 5: Bulk upload all the images to WordPress & put their alt tags or alt text once they’re uploaded. Use those images into your post.
TIP: Try to use varieties in your alt tags & image names. Don’t use the same name & same alt tags. Suppose the image is about a sandwich.
Put your image name as “person-holding-a-sandwich” & alt tags as “man-having-sandwich-in-breakfast”.
Doing this, will give you higher chances for ranking in Google Image Search results, as your single image can be found for 2 different queries.
This is one of the fastest way I’ve come across till now that gets my Image SEO Optimization done. This takes me not more than 15 minutes for approx. 30-50 images.
If you were preparing your images for your blog posts with any other slower method. I hope this method of mine will definitely help you out & improve your workflow as well.
If you found this useful, kindly share this article with your friends.
Where To Find Good Copyright FREE Images For Your Blog Posts?
I am sure that we have all had the experience of looking for an image to use in a blog post and finding one on Google Images.
But, did you know that many of those images are copyright protected?
It is important to find images on sites where they are not protected by copyright because you don’t want your blog to be flagged as having copyrighted material.
You can also use Freepik.com to discover some of the best stock photos you can use for yourself.
What Are The Best Image Editing Tools?
I personally use Canva which you can use for FREE, & for adding a great touch-up, you can go with Adobe Photoshop.
FAQ’s On Image SEO & Optimization
Imagine if you could pick up a phone and call your online friends just by clicking on the icon.
You have an instant conversation with them, without ever having to leave your computer screen!
Image SEO is like using those icons that are shaped as phones because they give search engines more information about what’s inside of them- in this case graphics related content.
Image SEO can lead to higher rankings for websites which use it;
making these types of sites easier findable when people do internet searches through Google or Bing.
Images are crucial to ensuring that your content is more accessible, attractive, and engaging to users.
Images can also improve SEO for websites by keeping up with load times while keeping the experience of visitors enjoyable.
A website’s output tone should be conversational so as not only to engage, but educate readers about what they’re reading on it; images play a key role in this process because they assist in making sure content is easier to read all around (i.e., text appears clearer) which helps make webpages look cleaner too–and anything less cluttered creates an air of professionalism, which leads back into appealing design aesthetics!
In terms of optimizing content for search engines like Google’s PageRank algorithm or Yahoo!’s Index Impression Metric Algorithm, Image SEO plays an important role.
To be short & concise: Yes!
If you want to have top-notch SEO, your images need to include in a number of factors.
Google is becoming better at recognizing elements in photos every day and it’s important that all the parts play their part for both user experience, as well as good search engine rankings.
I’m sure you’ve seen in the past that some people will type words into a search engine like Google and then click on images of different products, to get more information.
I often do this myself when shopping online; it’s so helpful because these days most stores have their own websites where there are pictures, but not always detailed descriptions.
Anyway, SEO can really boost your ranking in image searches for certain keywords–you know what I mean?
It sounds pretty technical-sounding at first blush, but one way we use it is by optimizing our website with high quality photos across all pages!
They’re important too don’t forget about them 😉
1. Keyword phrases are the most important thing when it comes to SEO. Give your URLs a keyword that people will search for and you get more traffic! …
2. When naming images, use keywords in order to rank higher on Google searches.
Find out what words or ideas people who might be looking for these pictures would type into the search engine- this is how we name our blog posts as well: “How To Name Images For SEO – FAST!”
3. Use proper image file formats so they can display correctly online with no errors, like WebP which have ultra compression levels without quality loss…
4. And put an appropriate title tag on each one too!
These were some of the tips to name your photos & to have a more detail step by step version: Read This
It’s easy to improve your SEO at a quick rate with these 4 tips.
1. Optimize the page URL and product names for keywords that are relevant to what you’re selling, so it shows up in search engines when people look for those products or services.
Google will rank pages higher if they contain phrases like “buy” and “purchase.”
2. Rename any images on the site that have been uploaded using default file naming conventions by adding an underscore followed by their keyword phrase – e.g., example_chocolate-cake.
3. Save all of your pictures as WebP instead of PNG or JPG files because this type is highly preferred for providing a better experience on the web across most browsers including mobile devices!
And lastly, be sure always include alt tags so it becomes easier for people with visual impairment problems to understand what your image is about.
Smaller files are best, but not too small because that will cause quality to be lost.
For heavy file sizes up close to 300 kb or larger, you should shoot for a 100 kb maximum in order to have enough room for any editing and additional content you may want on your website.
The most important factor to consider when optimizing your website for search engines is the alt text of each image on the site.
This one little tweak could make a huge difference in how well you rank because it’s so powerful at attracting clicks and visitors from Google Images, which accounts for 45% of all online searches according to recent reports by Searchmetrics.
Make sure that every single tag has different content; this will distinguish them more effectively and give someone who might not be able to see images or doesn’t have an internet connection access information about what they are looking at if needed – making browsing easier!
Keep tags short but descriptive enough where people can tell exactly what is going on.
Image optimization is about reducing the file size of your images so that they load faster on a website.
This keeps page loading times low, and it also helps to rank higher in image search engines like Google Images and Bing Image Search.
Image SEO & Optimization: Conclusion
If you’ve been neglecting the importance of optimizing your images for SEO, it may be time to start.
With all the strategies mentioned above, you can gain good traffic from image search, if your images rank higher in google images.
Image optimization can help improve your site rankings in search engine results pages and increase organic traffic from Google searches.
And if that’s not enough incentive – it also helps with branding!
So what are your thoughts on image optimization?
I love hearing about my readers’ experiences- let me know how this has helped or hurt you in the comments below!
And If you’ve any doubts regarding any topics above, message me on social media or E-mail me at [email protected]
And if you haven’t started your money-making blog yet, feel free & check out: How To Start A Blog In 2022 That Makes $2593/Mo On Auto-Pilot
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Till Then, have A Nice Day 🙂