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So you want to know how to optimize images for SEO. Web designers use SEO image optimization to manipulate the functionality of images. By doing this, designers use characteristics assigned to each image to increase visibility.
You’ve probably seen the term SEO in articles about digital marketing, but many people still aren’t quite sure what it means. The process search engines like Google and Yahoo use to filter information from websites into categories is called search engine optimization (SEO). Contrary to popular belief, there’s no team of software engineers on the other end of your Google search typing in formulas to find the most accurate results. Many factors contribute to good SEO. The quality of images, videos, length of blog posts, keywords, and website accessibility are all equally important factors.
The systems used by search engines are commonly referred to as “crawler technology” and scans web pages, categorizing them into indexes. Algorithms then analyze the pages in each index, taking into account hundreds of signals from each page, determining the order in which relevant pages appear in a search. Think of good SEO as a foundation with different layers that each have a different, supportive function.
Using techniques to manipulate the function of search engines, web designers, and marketers alike can use that information to increase a website’s visibility and position in search engine queries. Making a web page more visible can also increase views, sales, and engagement.
Rooted Web’s design team carefully looks at all aspects when helping clients convey their brand message on their website. Using and sourcing quality images is one of how we do that. This article will discuss the use and functions of SEO image optimization.
As mentioned above, search engine optimization is the process of a search engine sifting through websites and categorizing its information. Any text associated with any images on a website is accessed and categorized into indexes. By including images on your website, you can improve the quality of your website and increase your chances of appearing in searches.
Though not the most common method of searching the web, the image-search options are becoming more popular. Daily, millions of people use the image-search function on Google. From trying to identify a wild mushroom to looking for product reviews before buying a new soap, searching images is a convenient way to get information fast. Images also populate in search results, creating a two-fold purpose for SEO image optimization.
Optimizing an image for SEO is adding attributes to an HTML element. Google reads these HTML files of a web page to understand how a web page is structured.
Image optimization is something like a science and can be methodical as such. SEO image optimization takes a lot of thought, keyword research, and work to format images to get maximum benefit. Some think simply adding images to a website help by providing a visual. While these are valid points, images have benefits outside of providing eye candy.
Optimization should occur at all levels of integration from the text, type of image, as well as the loading time. We’ll describe how.
SEO image optimization plays out in many ways but ultimately refers to any and all text associated with an image. The text connected to an image is just as important as the image itself. The title of the image, as well as the description, affect search engine optimization.
Choose the right file type. JPG, GIF, PNG, And SVG are the best file types for web browsers. JPEG is the recommended file type for colorful files while PNG is the recommended file type for simple images.
Resize images. Larger files are more likely to take longer to load. Compressing images helps reduce load times by making them smaller, while maintaining the quality of the image. It is a good idea to make sure any images or galleries included are mobile responsive.
Use real images. Real photos communicate a brand’s personality and authenticity. Stock photos are okay and can work when real photographs are not available, but you should get in the habit of using real images.
The image file name matters. Before an image is uploaded to a website, you should check the file name and make sure it is relevant to the site and details. If it is not, change it before uploading the image to the website.
Give images relevant SEO-friendly titles. The title of the image is recognized and indexed along with the rest of the website’s copy. Using hyphens in the image titles can help the title to be more “visible” to search engines scanning websites for matches to any particular subject.
Utilize the alternative text. The alternative text or ALT text is a description of the image that appears in place of an image if it does not load. Some people have their images turned off, while others may be visually impaired. Either way, the ALT text feature is a must-use. When entering the ALT text, use researched, SEO-friendly keywords to increase visibility. When computers index information, the ALT text is indexed along with the other pages.
Caption the image. Captions can be a large factor in a website’s bounce rate. People skim websites and generally spend more time scrolling over pictures looking for additional information. A good caption provides a tidbit of valuable information, making the viewer want to read the page in its entirety, or at least click through other pages on the website.
SEO image optimization is a small piece in the puzzle of web design. Every website, no matter what its promoting, should include images of some kind. Overall, images make your website more appealing, scannable, and trustworthy. SEO optimized images load faster and boost conversions and increase the time people spend browsing a website. The tips in this guide are quite simple but go a long way with respect to optimizing images for SEO. For instance, there are a lot of moving pieces in designing and maintaining quality web content. Web design can be tedious and task-heavy. Rooted Webs is here to take care of that part so you don’t have to.
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