Where would a website be without images? Playing an essential role in the design and visual aspect, they can transform a lifeless page into an engaging masterpiece. Every site needs them, but few are aware of their SEO potential.
Optimising your images could bring heaps of traffic from image-based search engines alone. As such, it’s essential to master the art of Image SEO. Fortunately and unlike other SEO practices, this doesn’t require much time or effort. Just follow these straightforward tips and you’ll get the most out of your images.
Always add an alt tag
Search engines use the alt tag or alt text to understand the image and what’s going on. Without this, it cannot effectively display the picture or rank it. Always include them on every image. As an example, if the picture shows a red Ferrari, the alt tag would be ‘Ferrari 458 Spider Red’. It’s a simple as that. There’s no need to stuff it full of keywords, just practice good English and explain the picture in a concise way.
Reduce file size
Although it’s tempting to upload high definition images for the best user experience, this could be affecting your rankings. These large image files can slow page loading time, which will be penalised by the search engines. To overcome this issue without having to use poor quality images, simply make use of photo editing software. Photoshop enables you to reduce the file size without having much impact on the image.
Choose a file name
A generic series of numbers given by your computer to name a file isn’t going to impress the search engine bots. As with the alt tag, it’s important to name the file appropriately. If you’re not convinced, do a quick search of Google Images. Those that are top listed all have one thing in common – a relevant file name. Before uploading a picture or once added in WordPress, simply change the File name to a phrase which describes the picture similar to the alt tag.
Add a caption
These may not be considered by the search engines, but a well-placed caption can do wonders for engagement. In our fast paced world, users are looking for information within seconds or they’ll likely move onto the next site. To avoid a quick bounce rate, add a caption to your images. It’s one of the most read pieces of content and can quickly satisfy a new user, encouraging them to keep reading.
Watch your thumbnails
Thumbnails are a key part of any ecommerce operation, allowing you to display hundreds of products in one page. With that said, these can have a major impact on SEO. For starters, it’s important to reduce the file size as much as possible. With so many images, the cumulative size could drastically slow your site speed. Secondly, when inputting the alt tag, opt for a different text than used on the bigger image of that product. This image should also be indexed instead of its larger counterpart.