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Image Optimization is often considered the “lost art” of SEO. Be it a blog, or an article, or an online newspaper, you will find yourselves in the need of putting images in your content. Images are often neglected when important On-Page SEO tasks are being performed. But, image optimization is just as important. It can be a game-changer in your website’s ranking on the search engine results page. Here are 5 tips for Image Optimization that can assist you a lot in your SEO efforts.

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Why should we do Image Optimization?

Images are a crucial step in maintaining the attractiveness and display of your website. According to a source, nearly 50% of the people don’t wait more than 3 seconds for the images to load. In fact, the global page time is actually increasing.

Moreover, Google uses pages loading time as one of the rankings factor. That’s enough reasons to save that prospective client to stick to your website.

5 Tips for Image Optimization

1. Compress your image

When a user visits your site, it can take a while to load all the images, depending how large the file size is. In an attempt to keep this user on your website, you can decrease the size of the image files.

A file below 70kb is what you should be looking at. In case of heavy files like 500kb, the best you can do is settle at 120kb file. By doing this, it will take less time to load and save the user some extra milliseconds.

There are many tools for image optimization such as TinyPNG, Kraken.io etc.

2. Use Alt Tags

5 Tips for Image Optimization - Alt Tags

As mentioned previously in best Technical SEO Practices, Google bots cannot read images. Instead, they read the ‘Alt text’ that explains the image to the bots.

Adding appropriate alt text to the images on the website can help your website achieve better rankings. The Alt text is added to an image to show the descriptive text in case the image doesn’t open up. A good Alt tag provides context and helps the people who are visually impaired.

Alt text can be viewed in the cached text version of the page, helping both the users and the bots. Alt texts are also SEO friendly, as it acts as an anchor text of an internal link to a different page on the site.

3. Use Unique Images

 Only unique and original content helps SEO, because Google ranks them better. Everyone knows that. In the same way, using unique images will help your search rankings. We rely on a number of websites providing stock images. But, so does everyone else. It won’t necessarily help you improve your website’s rankings.

The more original pictures you have, the better user experience and the better chances to improve your rankings.

You can source out images that speak your content at that particular page. If you are able to add your own image, that is better for your SEO efforts.

Yoast SEO says, “If you are using an image, just for the sake of using an image and to get a green bullet on our SEO Plugin, then you are doing it wrong. The image should reflect the topic of the post, of course”

4. Choose the best file type

Search engines prefer high quality images and high quality content. In a piece of content, images are the first thing that catches a naked eye. If your images are low in quality, the reader won’t really have a good feeling about the content as well.

Your task is to choose the most appropriate file format for each image – i.e. the one that offers most compression with the least reduction in quality.

5 Tips for Image Optimization - Correct file type

JPEG images for e-commerce websites will be perfect and for photographs as well. They provide the best quality and smallest file size.

If you’re looking for animations, then GIF should be your ideal choice. But the size will be very large, and there is no good way to reduce it.

PNG format is becoming more popular and an alternative to GIF. This format is best for line drawings, text etc.

5. Name your images descriptively

One of the easiest and often overlooked optimization practices is the actual name of the image file. When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive and keyword rich file names is absolutely essential.

Typically the file name for any image in your computer would be IMG000156.jpg

5 Tips for Image Optimization - Name your images

This should be converted into ‘la-la-land-poster.jpg’

Just be sure to relevant, helpful keywords while naming your image.

Final Note

It’s what they said, a picture speaks a thousand words. Users are far more likely to catch the image before they start looking at anything else on the website. It’s human nature to focus on images first and letters later. Image optimization is a very crucial part of On-Page SEO and can do wonders in terms of user experience. We hope that these 5 tips for image optimization were somewhat helpful in your SEO efforts.

Also Read – Best On-Page SEO Techniques