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Ranking your site higher has become a chore, thanks to immense competition. You need to employ innovative strategies to outshine others. This is where image SEO or image search comes in handy.
In addition to links, modern users try new ways to surf the web. According to a study, around 36% search using images. That’s an enormous potency of engagement for businesses. As a smart website owner, you need to employ the image optimization process to get found in user search results. The good news is not all entrepreneurs pay heed to images. So, you can tap on this aspect and grow your visibility online. Let’s delve deeper to get valuable insights on optimizing images for betterment.
What Is Image SEO?
Many site owners are aware of the relevance of using images. They know that eye-catching images can compel visitors to stay on the site and navigate the content. However, most of them don’t optimize images. So, their images don’t garner much attention in Google image search and fail to make up on top of search results. Image SEO resolves this issue. It affects the way how Google images rank your pictures. Additionally, it impacts your organic search potency in search engines. In a nutshell, image optimization gives wings to your SEO campaigns.
Why Is Image SEO Important?
Many issues related to images hurt your ranking potential. As an informed marketer, you’d like to get rid of the downsides associated with images and turn the tables in your favor. Well-optimized images bring a slew of benefits as detailed below.
Page Load Speed
It has been observed that heavy graphics increase the page loading time, thus hurting your rankings. The Image optimization process, by using a suitable image format and image file size, fortifies this issue. Your web page loads faster in search results. That decreases the bounce rate, which is a good sign of positive image SEO too.
Search engines give negative marks to slow-loading pages. If most of your web pages take too much time to load, your whole website could find itself in a sandbox – a situation where your site won’t rank higher for a long time. Optimizing images reduces loading time and increases search rankings.
Once your site starts getting higher rankings due to image SEO, it’s likely to get more visits from potential targets. When targeted customers check your website, they might be motivated to review your products. If your items stand competitive and are useful, you can enjoy higher conversions.
Enhance User Engagement
Visual content will attract users and will give them a better user experience. An attractive image can direct organic traffic to your site through an image search result. It also enhances user engagement. There is a good chance of content with engaging images being shared among their peers.
Image Optimization for User Experience
While any site owner wants his site to rank higher, providing a better user experience (UX) stands equally important. Without better UX, you can’t count on engagement and conversions. The better the user experience, the better the results will be.
Many marketers just embed a couple of images on their site at random places. However, the placement of the image plays a key role in influencing context and its relevance. Place images close to relevant texts for better context and enriched image SEO.
High-Quality and Unique Images
Stock images are used by every site creator. They won’t do any good. Just like fresh content, users love new and quality images. Ensure that your image quality meets user expectations. So, create unique images. At the same time, see to it that the pictures are of the highest quality.
Today, more than 50 percent of people surf the web on mobile devices. So, mobile-friendliness should be a part of your image optimization process. After embedding images, check your site on mobile devices. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out mistakes concerning images and optimization. Making sure that your site is enabled for responsive images will increase your search engine visibility.
Only providing quality images won’t bring in the desired results. You need to ensure that the content is fresh and engaging. Also, check other parameters (such as value, security, trustworthiness, content organization, and navigation) that go into making a quality site.
8 Steps to Optimize Images for SEO
Images are vital to ensure your content is easily accessible, appealing, and engaging to end-users. So, any business should pay heed to the optimization process. Here are the crucial steps of image SEO.
#1 Resize Your Images
Image size means the dimensions of an image (example – 1024 x 680 pixels). Images with larger dimensions and higher resolutions work fine for print reproduction, but they slow down the page loading time. So, resize images to ensure they work well on your web page online.
Pick the Right File Format
GIF, JPEG, and PNG are different formats. Each option has unique benefits. Use PNG for simple images. For pictures with more colors, JPEG stands as a better option.
Choose the Right Compression Rate
Compressing the image too much leads to poor quality. A lower compression rate delivers higher quality, but the image gets bigger, and that hurts image SEO. So, work with each file type and use different compression rates to find the best option to balance quality and file size.
Test Optimization for Speed
Once you optimize your images, check the page loading time. If the page loads slowly, compress the image to attain optimum loading time while balancing quality.
#2 Optimize Image File Names
Choose the correct image file name; it adds to image SEO points. Use descriptive and relevant keywords for naming image files. Also, make sure that the names make sense to humans as well as search engines.
#3 Use Alt Tags
Visitors can understand what a picture is about. However, search engine crawlers have no clue about this unless you use alt text that gives context. So, don’t forget to add alt tags to your image optimization process.
#4 Optimize the Image Title
Just like titles for content, use correct image titles. The title must be short, to the point, and relevant to the image. Also, include keywords in the image title.
#5 Include Captions
Captions are words beneath your images. While they may not impact image SEO directly, they’re visible on the web page and thus add to a better user experience. So, use a short but relevant image caption.
#6 Ensure That Your Text Complements the Images
The copy on your web page helps search engines determine the relevance of your images. So, include images that align with the text.
#7 Add Image Structured Data
Structured data portrays your images as rich results. Also, Google image search gives importance to structured data for videos, recipes, and images. So, don’t forget to tap this option.
#8 Use Site Maps
A site map lists your web pages and informs search crawlers about the organization of our content. In the process, it makes your site’s individual pages visible online. Include the names of images with short descriptions in the image sitemap for image SEO.
Image SEO goes a long way in boosting your rankings and enjoying higher conversions. So, don’t get lagged here. Follow the above advice on the image optimization process. Over time, you could see visible results in the form of better user engagement and higher conversions.
Many website owners run short of time for image SEO. If you come into this category, turn to an expert SEO firm. With a reliable SEO professional by your side, you could reap the perks of well-optimized images.