Every time you write a page of content you take due care to include keywords and write unique content for better brownie points from search engines. Naturally you are hoping that the content will help you rank on search results pages. But is that enough?
Many a times to make the page attractive and focused images are used.
They add to the look and feel of the web page and make it more enjoyable for the visitor. Did you know that these images can help improve search rankings? Yes, Images can be optimized for SEO and should be. Standalone they can generate traffic from image-based search engines too. For e.g. Google Images search.
Let’s understand what needs to be done to optimize images for SEO.
Tips for Image Optimization for SEO rankings
A: Alt Text (short for Alternate Text)
When you see an image of a person eating an ice cream you are immediately able to understand the activity. Similarly when you see people shaking hands or see the image of a well known monument you recognize what’s in the picture, isn’t it!.
Now the problem with search engines is that they cannot understand or recognize what images mean. The solution to the problem is to tell the search engine bots what the image is all about and this is where the “Alt Text” tag comes in. It basically helps the search engine understand the images on a web page.
How to add alt text?
In the image tag on the web page all you have to do is add the Alt Tag as alt=”alt text here”. For example:
<img src=”ice-cream-vendor.png” alt=”Ice Cream Vendor at Juhu beach” />
That’s it, by doing so you have told the search engine what the image is all about.
B: Size of the Image files
Web page load time has become an important parameter for SEO. This means codes and images on your pages have to be highly optimized to ensure faster page load times.
One of the things that increase page load times are the images. If images are a must, then some steps must be taken to ensure SEO compatibility. Ensure that file size of images is as small as possible. No doubt you must ensure that reducing file size does not result in poor image quality.
One common mistake I have seen that people let the browser resize images. The best route : edit images to the desired size, and upload that. No code issues.
C: File Name Nomenclature
Whats in a name? is a famous saying. But the for SEO lets understand that there is much to a file name. You must have a descriptive filename for the image files. The ideal method is to add a keyword in the file name itself because it will help search engines relate the image to the page content in a better way.
D: Writing Captions for Images
Image captions make sure that the readers or web page visitors quickly get a grip on what the contents of the page might be. In the absence of such the visitor is left to guess and / or read a few lines and in such cases usually visitors bounce from the web page.
I would say captions on images have helped me many a times decide whether I was the right page for the information I was looking for. I must add that this has been a long argued feature as no relationship has been established between captions and seo rankings but I believe it has its own benefits.
E. Page content surrounding the Image
Content relevancy and originality is something we already know about. This applies to images too. The text surrounding the image has to be relevant to the image and vice-versa. Not only is this important from the image SEO perspective but works also from a user perspective.