Images are a crucial part of any website. They add character, increase user engagement, and support your SEO efforts. And not just with the standard alt tag or title tag—images can actually help your search engine understand what your site is about, leading to higher rankings. However, while most websites include images as an afterthought- they’re far more than a visual flourish. Images are essential to almost every website, which makes using them in your SEO a must. But how do you use images for SEO?
Making the effort to optimise your photos for SEO is a quick and crucial step to improving the search engine ranking of your website. It’s the kind of minor detail that many companies overlook, so taking action can provide you a competitive edge in capturing your target keywords in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
And like many other SEO recommended practices, most image SEO procedures also enhance user experience. Therefore, the effort you put into it will not only enhance the likelihood that people will find your website, but it will also make them enjoy it more once they are there.
The Benefits of Images for SEO
We tend to think of SEO as being mostly about text and keywords, but visuals also play a part. They play a significant role in the user experience, to start.
Consider this: you wouldn’t believe the website was reputable or memorable if you found yourself on a page that appeared to be a Word document with nothing but text on a white backdrop.
Studies undertaken by researchers over the years have shown that pictures speed up information processing and improve memory. This means that visuals can increase the impact and engagement of the material on your website.
Our experience of a web page is heavily influenced by its images. This is significant for SEO because Google’s algorithm considers user experience-related behavioural indicators, such as bounce rates and dwell times.
Additionally, photos can be adjusted to directly improve SEO. Search engine crawlers view text beneath the image that you can fill in to inform them what you want them to see, however most site users will only see the image itself.
6 Ways to Boost Your Image SEO
High-quality and relevant images are key
For the user experience component of SEO, this is essential. The user will be confused by an image that is irrelevant to the page’s content, and a blurry or improperly cropped image will only make your website appear amateurish. Make sure each image you use both looks beautiful and clearly relates to the content of the page.
There are many web resources that offer free photographs that businesses can use, but you must be careful not to use any images that you don’t have the permission to use. And now, even non-designers can easily, quickly, and affordably create original images thanks to DIY design platforms like Canva.
Spend some time each time you write a page or blog post working out at least one good image to use. It’s even better if you can discover more.
Use alt text
Most website visitors won’t view this section, but search engine crawlers will. Every image you upload to your website can have an alt text description that will appear in its place if a visitor uses a screen reader or a browser that has difficulties rendering the image.
You can use this text, along with other parts of the page, to tell search engines what the page is about. Always update the alt text for your photographs. Include your page’s main keyword as well as a description of the image. You can do this by entering text in the alt text section if you use WordPress.
You can add alt=”your alt text” to the picture tag if you’d rather use HTML.
Alt text is helpful for SEO, but it’s also an excellent approach to increase accessibility for your website. Therefore, spending a few minutes to improve your SEO can also improve the user experience for visitors to your website.
Customise the filename
Make sure to rename the file before adding the image to your website. Change it to something pertinent to the image and, if you can, incorporate one of your page’s target keywords. The image can have a name like brandname-backpack.jpg if your website is about a backpack product you offer.
The filename gives you a method to give the search engines a little more information about what’s on the page and the best keywords to connect with it, even if most visitors will never see it.
Add image captions
For every image on your website, you have the option to add a caption, which is a text area that website visitors can see. Use the caption area to explain the picture or to give the viewer further details when it makes sense to do so.
Don’t force it; there may be another opportunity to add your goal keyword to the website in the image captions. If there is a natural way to do so without detracting from the visitor’s experience, then only include a caption.
In general, adding captions is a good idea, but there isn’t a set method for doing so. In some circumstances, captions might be a nice place to inject some personality or a joke. The better choice is that if it enhances the user experience more than including your term would enhance your SEO. Here, use your best judgement.
Reduce the image file size
Right after you put in the effort to find or create an image, you need to upload it to your website. Not yet, exactly.
Frequently, an image’s file size is far bigger than is necessary for the size at which it will appear on your website. Reduce the file size a few seconds before loading it to make sure your website won’t be slowed down. If visitors to your website must wait for a while for a page to load, both the user experience and your SEO will suffer. Site speed is a ranking criteria for SEO.
If you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, scaling an image after you load it to the CMS is very simple, but it means that you still have the enormous file size that slows down operations on the backend.
By downsizing your picture files before loading them to your website, you can speed up performance while maintaining the excellent resolution of the photos you display. Frequently, apps that come pre-installed on most computers, such as Microsoft Paint or Mac’s Preview programme, make this simple to accomplish. Alternatively, you can utilise Adobe Photoshop’s “Save for Web” command to discover the shortest file size while maintaining a high resolution.
Use responsive images
You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about responsive websites by this point. The easiest method to ensure that your website appears great on all device kinds, regardless of screen size, and that all users view the same information is to go responsive. One component of that is using responsive pictures.
Using the HTML code srcset, you may make any image you add to your website responsive. By doing this, browsers are informed to choose and load the image file size that is most appropriate for the user’s screen size. You don’t have to worry about responsive sizing because our tool takes care of it for you.
Don’t worry if you basically tuned out when you heard “HTML code.” If you use WordPress to power your website, the CMS does this for you. You won’t need to do anything to automatically apply the srcset code to your photos as long as you’re running WordPress 4.4 or later (which you should be by now).
In terms of SEO, image optimisation is fairly simple. You may give your sites an advantage in the search engines by taking a little more time to find the ideal photos and optimise them for search for each new page you upload to your website.