5 Tips to Optimize Images for SEO

Learn image optimization to drive considerable traffic to your website through images. Here are the nitty-gritty details you need to keep in mind while applying SEO techniques to your images. Follow these five tips to optimize images for SEO and improve search rankings.

  1. Use descriptive file names

Image SEO begins with file name. Google will not be able to associate an image with the file name, Image098.jpg with any keyword searches. Hence, it is imperative to use relevant keywords in the file name. For instance, if your image is that of London Tower Bridge then your image file name should be tower-bridge-London.jpg. Include the focus keywords, which in this case is Tower Bridge, in the beginning as it is the main subject of the image. This way, when a user searches for Tower Bridge, the chances of your image turning up on the first page are high.

  1. Optimize your alt-text

Alt-text is a text alternative for images. It appears when the images cannot be displayed to site visitors for whatever reasons.  Alt-text adds tremendous SEO value to your images. Hence, use important keywords that describe your image as alt-text. Ensure that they are clear, concise and not over-stuffed with keywords. Key-word rich alt text can help boost click-through rates even if the images don’t render for users. Take the following image as an example. The alt-text could be “cute cat looking at its reflection”.

IMG_0179-original copy

Photo by: Ciril Monteiro

  1. Reduce the file size of your image

Page load time is an important SEO factor. Therefore, make your image file size as small as possible.  Ensure that the image quality doesn’t suffer in the process. You can do so by cropping the image to the size of your page width. Alternatively, you can show a small image and provide users with the option of viewing a larger image in a different tab or in a pop-up.

Photo by: Varun Aditya

Photo by: Varun Aditya

  1. Use the right image file type

Different file types have different uses.  A JPEG file is highly recommended as it can be compressed without sacrificing quality. PNG files are mostly suitable for decorative images and images including text. GIF files are great to offer small-sized animations.

Photo by: PhotoConcierge

Photo by: PhotoConcierge

  1. Include relevant captions

Captions add context to your image. On an average captions are read 300% more than the body copy itself. Therefore, you can grab the opportunity to engage with a significant percentage of potential readers. Captions also have an SEO value. Hence populate your caption with relevant keywords to improve your image’s search rankings. For the below image, the caption could be “St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague”.

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