What does Image optimization means for SEO?

Image optimization is equally important whether you are building small business website for the first time or you are web designer or an SEO specialist.
This is good for multiple reasons-
And factor of image quality falls in the top bucket of search engine ranking factors. And you cannot afford to ignore when you are actually going to focus your business on the web.
best of the images on internet
  1. Size of the images
  2. Alt tags on the images
  3. File-name of the images
  4. Linking pages for images
  5. Title tag of the images

 Image Optimization for SEO benefits

 Relevancy with the topic and content

65% of customers are more likely to contact you when your profile is displayed with the images on your local search results.
Identifying right images for the post is equally important as writing good content, and requires some research. You need to make sure that images are relevant to your topic and catchy enough to draw visitors attention.

Alt Tag

Alt usage is widely mistaken and even best tools recommends alt tag on all your images. For example SEMrush SEO analyzer marks a flag if alt tag is missing.
Then what is the ideal strategy  for image optimization?
According to Search Engine Academy none of the top search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) uses alt tags to determine the relevancy of the webpages. And being the old school SEO tactic this has led to massive Alt tag spam.

Smarter  approach for SEOs

  1. Smartly adopt the practice of moderation- don’t use alt for the images which are used for decoration (like squares, arrows, spacing gifs, question marks), instead use keyword rich description in few of your images.
  2. While adding alt, keep in mind the objective; purpose of alt is to describe images when pages are intended to open with images turned off.
  3. It is recommended to use by WC3 to facilitate the user with content intent not to spam the search engine.
  4. Remember alt is just one piece of pipe and there are numerous other factors to build the relevancy; so don’t spam it and focus on other advance onpage optimization factors.

Image Sizing

Size and pixels of images are directly proportional to the loadtime. More the “size and pixels” more will be the load time. More than 80% of websites which complains slow load time are victim of poor image optimization tactics.
There is no precise rule for image sizes especially when there are cdn technologies on the web; even-though it’s recommended that your image sizes should not be more than 300-400 KB.
image optimization for good user experience
If you are using wordpress you can find multiple plugins which resizes your images on the go. And sometime helps in size reduction by more than 60%.
My favorite is wpsmush

File Name & Linking

Images downloaded from the camera comes with numeric characters (CD451.jpg), replace this name with sensible phrases which are relevant to the images and your post. You may add semantic keywords which are relevant to your post, for example “img-relevent-seo-images.jpg”. And if it is a CTA try to add Title on the images. Title here gives a glimpse of visitors next landing destination. You may also like to check How Page Authority & SEO boost by Hotlinking?
filename for images

Organize your image sitemap

Image sitemaps increases the chances of your images being found on “Google image searches”. Objective of image sitemap is to make sure that none of your images are being missed from Google bots. This is very easy to implement and more details about image stemap can be found here.

Code can simply look like this

Example shows a sitemap entry for the page http://example.com/sample.html, which contains two images.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
        xmlns:image="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1">
  <url>
    <loc>http://example.com/sample.html</loc>
    <image:image>
      <image:loc>http://example.com/image.jpg</image:loc>
    </image:image>
    <image:image>
      <image:loc>http://example.com/photo.jpg</image:loc>
    </image:image>
  </url> 
</urlset> 

 

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