Yesterday we were analyzing a clients website to advise them on what they should do to boost there Ranking in the search engines. There were a lot of nuances that needed to be added to our list, but the one that I find that most clients are missing is their image optimization. Image optimization is an important and often overlooked detail in SEO. So her are a few tips that can help optimize your images so that you will maximize your SEO.
#1 Always use alt text.
What is image alt text?
The short answer is, it’s the text that the search engine uses to understand images.
To add alt text to your images, you simply add
alt="this is your alt text" to your image tag into the html of your page. Here’s an example:
<img src="cat-collar-pink.jpg" alt="Cats R US pink cat collar" />
You should keep it short and concise using keywords that are related to the image and to your sites content.
Image Optimization Best-Practice #2: File Size
You know page load times matter for SEO, right now, right?
So, to ensure that your images don’t torpedo your fast load times, make the image file size as small as possible (without sacrificing quality, of course).
Oh, and one more thing…
DO NOT let your browser resize a large image to look smaller.
When you have a large image, and input height and width tags on that image to make the image smaller, people load the large image first, and then the browser resizes it.
To solve it, always use an image editing program to make your image a desired size, and upload that.
Image Optimization Best-Practice #3: File Name
Before you upload your image, pick a descriptive filename—preferably a file name you want that image to rank for—because it will help with your search engine rankings.
For example, if you want to see this in action, just do a sample search and view the images that rank. They almost always have the keyword you searched for in their file name.
Or, see the image below… here with WordPress SEO.
Image Optimization Best-Practice #4: Captions
As of right now, there’s no direct relation between image captions and search engine rankings (that I know of).
However, bounce rates are taken into account.
What do I mean by bounce rate?
If someone searches for a term, clicks on your page, and bounces back to the search page quickly, search engines use that as a factor for rankings.
It makes sense too… Why would someone go back to the search results?
Because the content they clicked on didn’t satisfy what they were looking for.
And that’s where image captions come in.
Next to your headline, image captions are important because they are one of the most well-read pieces of content on your entire site.
So, if you fail to use them, you’re losing out on one more chance to lower your bounce rate.
So makes this practice a habit when posting or uploading images to help maximize your SEO. Trust us it’s worth it!