10 tips to do image optimization for SEO

Marketing is vital for a business’s success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being the major medium for online marketing today, it is important that what we talk about in the online space be as relevant and close as it can be in the real world. For a web page or blog’s success, it is imperative that the text contents and visual media tell the same story. One aspect of search engine optimization is known as Image Optimization.

What is Image Optimization?

Image optimization is the system of compressing images to the maximum in a proper format while still retaining their visual acceptance depending on the role of the image in the page. It requires one to strike a balance between the size of the image and the quality of the image.

How to incorporate image optimization for SEO?

Image Optimization

Having learnt what image optimization is, now let us look into the tips to do image optimization for SEO.

1. Naming of the image:

When you post images to your website make sure you give a name that describes the image. Some search engines primarily search using text, so when they search the source of a website for the keyword the correctly named image shows top in the search list.

2. Relevance of the image:

Just like the name of the image is important in the image optimization for SEO, the relevance of the picture is also important. For example you cannot give an image of a flower in a site which explains about the features of a car. Images should represent the content of your website. An irrelevant image is not just a total mismatch it can also dampen the interest of the visitor and drive traffic away.

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3. Judicious use of Alt tags:

This is a major image optimization element. At times the images may not load fully due to slow internet connection, problems with the browser or any other reasons. The text given inside the Alt tag will be displayed in the place of the image if it is not loaded. So just like naming, the Alt tag information too should focus on the image and be named relevantly.

4. Image dimensions:

The height and the width of the image are also important. User may not be much interested in either a too large image that covers the entire screen or too small image that is barely visible. Sometimes, if you have to give multiple views of the same product from different angles, make sure that the image dimensions also match. By dimensions, we mean the pixels size or length and breadth in inches.

5. File size of images:

File size

Studies indicate that the average wait time for a website to load on a desktop browser is about 3 seconds. Having a sizeable image can slow down the website, increasing the time to load. This can be detrimental to the site’s traffic. Your SEO ranking of the website also takes a hit as Google uses the page load time as a factor in ranking websites. The ideal file size would be less than 70 KB.

6. Usage of Image SiteMaps:

Google’s Image Sitemaps can help you get your images gain attention from Google. Google has a set of guidelines for image publishing that can help improve the ranking of your website in a search engine. You can make use of Google Webmaster Tools for ideas on the appropriate formatting of the Sitemap and the images for it.

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7. Use the right file type:

Use the file type that is appropriate to the size and quality of the image you intend to use in your web page. In case of jpg format 70 KB size would the upper limit. However, this is supposed to go higher if you use a PNG file. Make a wise decision depending on what extend the quality of the image is hampered by opting for a lower sized file.

8. Use of thumbnails:

Thumbnails images show a smaller version of the actual image until clicked and are often used in websites to create a visual impact leading to the actual click. If you plan to use thumbnails on your page be sure to make them as small as possible so that they do not interfere with the loading of the web page.

Have a different name for the alt tag text of the thumbnail so as to prevent duplicates.

9. Do not get too decorative:

You would love to get your over creative hat on and start decorating your web page beyond the acceptable limits. While this may make your website look good, but impacts the web page load time. So, better stay away from over decoration.

10. Test your images:

Do not forget to test the images in your website. You can test to see whether reducing the image count increases traffic and engagement. You can also check which kind of images your customers prefer. There should be an analysis going on to determine what works best for the site and the customers.

As a website owner, you would like your website to be attractive and load faster at the same time. To strike a balance between these two the 10 points listed above should prove to be quite handy.

Amit Acharya
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