Recently we have been focusing on improving SEO on our blog. We have read and studied, researched and compared…One important fact: your IMAGES also need to be optimized to rank higher in search engines.
Why is optimizing images for SEO important?
First of all, having your images optimized will make your site run faster and more smoothly. This means that when a visitor comes to your site, all of your information will load more quickly and there is less chance of losing that visitor simply because your site is taking too long to come up.
Another reason that you want your images to be optimized for SEO is because when your site runs faster, it will rank higher in search engines because search engines love a fast site.
Finally, a fast site with compressed images does not use up as much bandwidth as a site with large, slow-loading ones. Using large amounts of data can cost you $$ in the long run.
How do we optimize images for SEO?
1. Resize the images.
Larger file sizes take longer to load than smaller file sizes. If a picture has not already been uploaded to your site, resize it or compress it before uploading. There are plugins that do this: WP Smush or Compress JPEG and PNG Images. There are other tools that accomplish this as well: Jpeg Mini and Imageoptim. Many of these will compress the image after you have uploaded it as well.
2. Save images in JPEG or PNG for best results.
JPEG is a perfect format to use for photographs while PNG works best for graphics and text.
3. Use alt text.
Each image must have alt text which is a shortened way to say “alternate text.” Alt text helps search engines understand what the image is about since search engines can’t actually see it. A keyword-rich description of your images helps search engines understand what your website is trying to convey. It is important, however, not to add TOO MANY keywords. Four to seven words is the perfect number.
4. Give your images a title.
Always give your images a title. Not a random letters/numbers combination but a title that actually relates to the image. For example, after uploading to your computer from your camera, the title might be “IMG_1990” or something similar. Change the title to “take perfect photo” or whatever title makes sense for that particular photo.
5. Give your images a caption and a description.
Captions can be added in the same place that you add the alt text. A keyword-rich description goes here as well but the same rule applies: Not too many words.
6. The technical part:
In WordPress, alt text can be added in the Media section when uploading. Or go to the Media tab, click “Library” and then “edit” to add alt text. Title, Caption and Description can all be added in this section as well.
Formatting in this way will help your site to rank higher in search engines and will also enhance the user-experience of your readers by enabling your site to load much faster. Anything we can do to improve our SEO and the reader experience is a priority for bloggers!
Your entire blog should be optimized for search engine optimization. For tips, read this post: SEO: HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG FOR SEARCH ENGINES