February 15, 2021 Last updated February 15th, 2021 1,141 Reads share

Image SEO: What You Need to Know

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You must have heard about image SEO and the first thing that comes to mind is alt tags optimization. But, is this all one needs to know about image SEO? Definitely not. In itself, image SEO is a viable tool for driving significant organic traffic to eCommerce sites.

According to research, 90% of total data transmitted by a brain is visual and 65% of visual content can be correctly recalled even after 3 days. That just goes to prove that image SEO is a great contributor to business growth.

About Image SEO

A human brain processes an image roughly at the same amount of time as it takes it to process a thousand words. Amazing, isn’t it? So, with image SEO, you can spread information about your services, content, etc., and effectively pull in more organic traffic.

Sadly, we see that many businesses fail to take advantage of this great tool for business growth. Perhaps, it is because they are in the dark about what image SEO is and how it works.

Image SEO is an aspect of on-page SEO that deals primarily with image files. The end game is to improve your website’s visibility and rank in the Google images search. It achieves this objective by making images on your site easy to read and find by search engines.

Importance of Image SEO

Articles with visual content have a 94% chance of being viewed, and non-stock images have a conversion rate of 34%. Image SEO is an important skill to be mastered by everyone, particularly those who run an online business. By image SEO, we don’t just mean random uploads of poor-quality pictures.

Its importance for business growth range, right from attracting organic traffic to improving site load time and overall site user experience. Find a few of these benefits below:

  • Image SEO helps to drive more organic traffic to your site via image search.
  • Improve site ranking.
  • Reduce bounce rate and consequently increase site conversion rate.
  • It makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your site.
  • Improves your user experience because your page looks more engaging.
  • Makes it easy for users to gather the information they need swiftly.
  • Improve visibility since high-quality images are displayed in organic Google SERPs.
  • Improves the relevance of your topic and content.

Best Image SEO Techniques

Many people design sites with large images and nondescript file names, and assume that such images are optimized. Such a terrible image can ruin your site’s search engine ranking, increase your bounce rate, and ultimately drive off valuable organic traffic. Proper image SEO involves more than just putting up images on your web page.

You have to pay attention to the image size, type, load time, image name, etc. Now you get the picture. These tips and techniques will help ensure your images are optimized.

Adding a Minimum of One Image on Each Page

A great image SEO technique ensures that each page has at least one image or graphic added. Images show search engines that the page is engaging and has contents your searchers will find valuable. They make your site more appealing to search engines and thus boost site visibility.

Be sure to use high-quality images as the audience generally find them more interesting and engaging. Where possible, create custom graphics peculiar to your page. If you decide to go with stock graphics, ensure that you have the relevant permission to avoid copyright infringement.

Selecting an Appropriate File Type

The basic course on image SEO barely talks about is the relevance of file type to webpages. To help you understand the file type best for each image, we will break them all down.

  • JPGs are used mainly for photos.
  • SVG for custom logos and graphics to be viewed in various sizes while retaining top-notch quality.
  • PNG is used mainly for custom logos, screenshots, and graphics. This file type has a white background.

Using the Correct File Size

The size of images on a website affects the sites’ loading speed. Larger images increase the loading time of the site. This slow loading time can increase bounce rate, poor user experience, and terrible long-term SEO goals. To avoid this, we advise that you resize and compress all images before uploading them to the website.

Include and Optimize Image Alt Tag

Image alt tags play a huge role in image SEO. They help search engine crawlers to read and understand the uploaded image. Alt tags also help users understand what an image is all about. This comes in handy when users have a weak internet connection, have their visual display turned off, or using a screen-reader.

More Tips for Image SEO?

There are further rules for attaching images. Follow them to ensure your images and graphics are correctly optimized:
Pay Attention to Image Description – All attached images should be described in clear and concise language. Be sure to use the relevant keywords. One tip for coming up with the perfect description is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Please find out the common terms they use to describe certain services and products.

For example, users searching for soda makers may use these search terms “Best Soda maker of 2020”, “Great Soda makers that are Durable,” etc.

Optimize Your Alt Attribute

Your alt attribute is a great alternative to your actual image. Imagine a situation where your image fails to load, a carefully written alt attribute saves the day. Here are some rules to help you write a great alt attribute:

  • Fill out the alt attribute for every product on your site.
  • Describe your images in clear English
  • Use keywords in your alt attribute but be sure to avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Avoid using alt descriptions for decorative images because search engines may penalize you.

Let’s look at this example to put what you’ve learnt into perspective.

A great way to save this image file is 2020-Ford-Figo-BS6-Red.jpg.

An optimized alt description in this case would be: <img src=”2020-Ford-Figo-BS6-Red.jpg.” alt=”2020 Ford Figo BS6 Red”

Remember to keep your description short and to the point. Avoid keyword overstuffing.

Choose Your Image Angles and Dimensions – It is quite common to add several views of your products. For example, if your site is into selling cars, you may need to show off the interior, exterior, engine, rearview, etc. While adding these views, ensure you do not go overboard with the dimensions.

We must remind you that the higher the size, the longer it takes your site to load. 50% of your customers will not wait 3 seconds for your site to load. Thus, you must avoid large image files.

An example of a description to optimize this image is 2020-Ford-Figo-BS6-Red-Leather-Interior.jpg. The alt attribute: alt=”2020 Ford Figo BS6 Red Leather Interior”.

Optimize Your Thumbnails – Thumbnails are a great way to showcase your products easily. However, you should take care to optimize your thumbnails so that they do not prevent your category pages from loading swiftly. To help, make the size of your thumbnails as small as they can be.

Test Your Images – The whole deal about image SEO is to boost site ranking and your business’s overall growth. One way to ensure it is to test all the images on your site to see which ones boast the highest conversion rate.

Your test may reveal to you that pages with reduced images have higher click rates and conversion. It’s also possible that attaching several images may translate into an improved user experience. Whichever the case may be, use the feedback to your advantage.

Common Mistakes With Image SEO

Images will do you little good if you fail to understand how to optimize them. In your quest for optimized images, you must be sure to avoid the following:

  • Broken Internal and External Images – Broken images, whether external or internal, reduce your user experience quality. These broken images are graphics and pictures that fail to load when opened. You can fix or eliminate them using a site audit tool.
  • Images Lacking an Alt Attribute – Images and graphics with no alt description are not optimized. These images show up when you run the site audit report. This way, you can easily attach the appropriate alt attributes and have your images properly optimized.

Effect of Google Page Experience on Image SEO

Recently, Google announced its plans to unveil its page experience update in 2021. The update will take into account a lot of factors that affect site ranking. These factors include mobile-friendly updates, safe browsing penalty, Core Web Vital, HTTP, page speed update, etc. What all of this grammar means is that Google will rank mobile-friendly higher sites.

Common things the update aims to tackle include the largest contentful paint or LCP. LCP indicates how your page feels to an outsider. Another is CSL or cumulative layout shift, which documents what happens after the person has donated/contributed money to optimize your web images.

Final Thoughts

Image SEO is more than just randomly uploading images and graphics to your web page. With the right techniques, it can help you boost your site’s ranking and conversion rate. Take note of key points like image size and quality, image angle and dimensions, alt description, etc. For more information on image SEO, read this article.

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Grace P.

Grace P.

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