Similar to content, your website should be visually optimized for search engines.
A website with a concrete image SEO directly translates to more organic traffic. Images with high-quality and relevant alt-text descriptions help readers get a better idea of what your product is about.
But high-resolution images on your website mean you are compromising loading time. This factor can drop your website’s position in search engine rankings, making the optimized images useless.
In this post, I’ll show you five ways you can optimize images for search engines that bring in more traffic
1. Optimize Image Size for Greater Visibility
Image size should be just as small or big to result in optimal web performance.
The maximum upload size is 20MB with a resolution of 1024 x 1024.
However, using an image less than 500 KB is what I recommend.
Google’s crawler is unable to read an image beyond this size limit.
A greater size could also delay your web upload speed, which shouldn’t exceed more than three seconds.
How to Enlarge an Image without Losing Quality?
If an image on a website is too small, it will fail to convey the appropriate message. Customers will have to struggle to understand what the image is trying to show.
If you have taken a photo using a simple mobile camera and can’t afford a DSLR professional photoshoot, the photos will most likely suffer from digital noise and distortion.
Thankfully, you can now use a high quality free AI image upscaling tool to enlarge small-sized image files without losing any quality.
The tool allows you to upscale any photo by up to 8x easily. As a result, these images come out more refined and enhanced.
What about Oversized Images?
On the other hand, images that are too large slow down a website’s loading speed. It’s best to compress them to ensure viewers have a web-friendly experience while viewing your website.
2. Optimize Image File Name
The name of the image should describe in text form what is being visualized.
Both search engines and humans should be able to make perfect sense of the name.
Phone images and those you download online have different coded names like DCM0004.jpg.
Instead of using those, make the name more meaningful and search engine friendly. For instance, ‘‘SEO-Image-optimization.jpg” is a better name for an image.
File names should be concise but make sure they don’t miss any critical piece of information.
3. Make Images Responsive to Different Screen Sizes
A website’s fluid layout allows the image size to adjust when viewed and downloaded on varying mediums.
A 720 pixel image results in 2 problems for users when viewed over a phone with a display of 320 pixels:
- Consumes internet bandwidth
- Website load time
This doesn’t mean you need to upload various sized images to make them screen responsive. You can upload a single image and have them automatically adjust to different displays by
So a 1000×600 image can be squished down to somewhere close to 300 x 250 when someone views it on a mobile.
This single step will considerably boost loading speeds.
4. Optimize Image Alt Text
Alt-text is the second most crucial image description one finds after the image file name.
Alt text is also interchangeably used for terms like alt description/alt tags/ alt attributes.
Why Does an Image Need Alt Text?
Well, sometimes, a filename is not loaded correctly. In this case, alt text provides an accurate description of the image in the text.
Alt text was initially designed for visually impaired users who use screen readers to understand images.
Google image crawlers also use it to index an image properly.
The focus keyword in the example above is ”Black Bag”.
However, if you want to earn a Google ranking for an image, it is wise to supplement the alt text with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords.
LSI Keywords allows Google to understand your overall content in depth. They are closely related to the main keyword, and no, they are NOT synonyms of your focus keyword.
Where Can You Find LSI Keywords?
Several tools generate LSI keywords.
We suggest using Google Suggest long-tail keywords as the source for LSI keywords.
This is found at the bottom of Google search results for any keywords. For instance, if you search for “black bag”, Google Suggest provides these phrases:
- Black shoulder bag
- Black bag plastic
- Black crossbody bag
- Black handbags Zara
- Black handbag with zip
- Black bag for ladies
- Tote bag
Using one of these phrases in the alt text of images can make a whole lot of difference to where your image appears when someone does a relevant search. Google pushes an image higher in the SERPs when it finds the description closely related to a query.
5. Image Position should be Identifiable
Google updated its Image Search algorithm in 2018 with regards to an image’s placement and still uses the same approach:
“It wasn’t long ago that if you visited an image’s web page, it might be hard to find the specific image you were looking for when you got there. We now prioritize sites where the image is central to the page and higher up.
So if you’re looking to buy a specific pair of shoes, a product page dedicated to that pair of shoes will be prioritized above, say, a category page showing a range of shoe styles.”
Search engines tend to rank an image for a particular topic and place it on top of your content.
Google prefers an image that is near the title or below the first subheading. This image summarizes your entire post in one look.
Add value to images with relevant and specific alt text, captions, and titles to make it easier for Google to ”read” your photos.
When optimizing images for Google, know that it only reads the associated information in written form (image size, name, alt text, caption, title, position).
I hope my guide helped you sort out how to optimize an image to rank it on Google and provide an overall user-friendly experience.