While the goal of SEO is to lift the website to a better ranking in Google search for better online visibility and generation of more organic traffic, it must be appreciated that there are a very large number of techniques that website managers, content developers, and marketing managers can use to achieve the result. Due to a large number of methods that can potentially be used for better SEO, invariably some are not so much used by many companies. The lack of competition on a particular SEO component represents an opportunity for marketers to score in an intensely competitive field. While most people appreciate how important images are for communicating well with target audiences, most often nobody pays a thought to optimize images for SEO. However, by taking the time and effort to optimize the images on your website, you can make it more competitive in the race for Page 1 positions in Google search results.
Why Are Images Vital for SEO?
Conventionally, SEO is thought to be more about text and important keywords, however, images also have a crucial role to play. More than anything else, images can transform the user experience of the website and make it possible for the information to be presented in a better way that facilitates easier and faster comprehension. The matter is not only understood better but also the contents become automatically more memorable. According to studies, the likelihood of people reading content with images included is 80% more than something that is just bare text. Also, it appears that 64% of the readers tend to remember content with images afterward. Images contribute very heavily to the user experience, and it is normal for users to have fewer bounce rates, spend more time on web pages that have attractive and relevant images. According to https://www.searchenginejournal.com, the use of images can improve learning by up to four times. The reduced bounce rate and increased dwell times are very strong SEO signals for Google to boost the page ranking. Some useful tips for improving image SEO:
Use High-Quality, Original, and Relevant Images
The very purpose of inserting images into the webpage is to elevate the user experience and lend added value to the text content. This makes it essential for the images to be not only interesting and relevant to the context but also very high quality as well as the original. Images that are blurred, irrelevant, or lifted from a stock image library cannot add value to the contents and please the users. The best thing to do is to have the photos shot by a professional photographer which will ensure that apart from the quality is topnotch, the presentation of the subject will also be done interestingly and compellingly. It is important not to use images that you do not have the copyright because mere duplication of the images can lead to Google being confused and driving the webpage down on account of duplicate content. A leading Toronto SEO Services company recommends avoiding using stock images because users are accustomed to seeing them all over the place, they invariably lack the desired freshness and originality. Remember, you do not have to use too many images to make your content look appealing – even a single well-chosen high-quality interesting image can work wonders for enhancing the user experience.
Customize the Image Filename
This is perhaps one of the easiest steps, but amazingly, most people do not get around to doing it. The file name ideally should be something relevant to the webpage and contain at least one target keyword. The structure of the file name should be as near to a normal sentence as possible without any special characters and codes that only confuse search engines. Even though users never get to see the image filename, it is a very good way to inform the search engine something more about the image.
Use Alt Tags
Although hidden from the sight of users, alt tags are very helpful in informing the search engine bots the relevance and subject of the image. Google processes this information to understand more about the nature of the image and its relevance to the page contents. Alt tags should ideally contain a relevant target keyword and in some way describe the page.
Decide on the Ideal Quality-to-Size Ratio
While it is necessary to use high-quality images to attract the attention of users, the problem is that the file sizes of these images tend to be very large, making the webpage slow to load. Since speed is a very important SEO factor, a slow loading page can spoil the user experience and compel him to abandon the page. To avoid this, you need to resize the images in such a way that the quality remains high but the file dimensions get reduced. This is possible using any of a large number of tools available on all operating systems and also online. After the resizing exercise, you can compress the image file size using any popular online tool so that the pages load fast.
Choose the Correct File Format
There are quite a few image file formats and understanding their differences can help you to choose the right one. While JPG is one of the most popular, the quality of the image is poorer than that of PNG images, which also support transparent backgrounds making them easier to use. However, PNG file sizes tend to be larger than JPG files or GIF files but are usually the best option when there is a need to use complex images and include text. PNG images also support the images text description that is very handy for SEO. GIF images are very good for simple images- the file size is small and you can use transparent backgrounds. While GPG works well for photos, PNG and GIF are great for designed graphics, however, when you need high quality, PNG is the best choice.
As far as SEO goes, image SEO is relatively simple to execute with just an extra investment in time. The focus should be on finding the right kind of images that can support the text content and then optimizing them with proper file names, alt tags, compression, and file type.