One often overlooked aspect of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the image. Anyone who has ever made a piece of content for the web has found themselves wondering if their piece needs an image. Well, the short answer is yes. Almost every type of web content will perform better on search engines if it has an image. And, if you spend time thinking about how you can be optimizing your images for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), then your image use can take your content even further. Let’s talk about how you can optimize your images for better search engine performance.
Step 1 – Pick the Right Image
Before you can begin work on optimizing your images for SEO, you first have to find appropriate images for your piece of content. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to use your own images than images from stock photo websites (but stock photos will work fine if you don’t have other options). Other options for images to use in your content include:
- Drawings/animated characters
- Animated Gifs
- Charts and graphs
- And infographics
When you’re picking your image(s), also make sure that it relates back to the piece of content that you’re creating. It doesn’t do any good to have an image of parakeets if you’re writing a page for a plumbing website!
Step 2 – Use the Right Image File Format
There are a few different image file formats around, and they’re each better suited for certain types of images. The formats and their general best-practice uses include:
- JPEG/JPG – Jpegs are best used for real-life photographs as they have several more colors available. They are also good for large-scale graphics.
- PNG – PNG images are best used when you want to preserve the transparency of the background of the image.
- SVG – SVGs are best used for logos and icons that need to be scaled to several different resolutions.
Step 3 – Compress Your Images
Once you have found the right image and transcoded it to the correct file type for its use, it’s time to compress the image for use on the web. But why?
Well, the faster your image loads, the better your page will perform in search. Pagespeed is a very important factor for ranking on Google and other search engines. So work on getting your images to load as fast as possible without sacrificing quality.
When it comes to compressing your images, you want to find a tool that does so without visible loss of quality. A couple of decent tools to use are TinyJPG and TinyPNG. Both of those sites will losslessly compress your images for optimum load times on the web.
Step 4 – Make Sure to Use Alt-Attribute Text on Your Image(s)
Alt-attribute text is a tag that is added to images on the web that tells screen-reading programs what an image is of for the vision-impaired. The goal is to make all of the content on your page accessible to anyone and everyone without losing any of the information you’re trying to present.
Alt-attribute text is one of those areas of SEO that many people forget about. However, the alt-attribute text is becoming more and more important for search engine optimization. So, before you finish publishing your next web page or blog post, make sure that you have used appropriate alt-attribute text for your images. For an example of what that looks like, see the screenshot below.
Optimizing your images for SEO isn’t difficult or time-consuming. And, performing the four steps listed above can go a long ways towards helping your page perform well on search engines like Google. If you’d like help optimizing the images on your website, then feel free to contact us here at Contractor Advertising today!