You know you can’t rank on Google without content, right? When we say content, we usually mean text content, but, did you know that images also play a huge role in your SEO?
Images make your content much more attractive, easier to consume, and they help people stay longer on your website, which is always a good thing 👌
But in order to really help your SEO, you need to do more than just upload a nice cat photo to your blog. You need to do some SEO image optimization.
Image optimization is actually one of the easiest on-page tasks you can do that will improve your SEO, so let’s get on with it…
Yes, this is actually important! When setting the filename of the image, try to use a keyword that identifies what the image is about and use hyphens to separate the words so Google can understand it. white-cat-ham.jpg is much better than IMG00021459.jpg 🤷
The HTML alt tag is the most important piece of data search engines use to figure out what the image is about. The filename may give it a hint, but it’s the alt tag that helps Google understand the subject matter of the image.
Even though there is no hard limit on how long an alt tag text should be, it’s common practice to keep it under 140 characters. That should be more than enough to describe the image. You can, and should, include keywords in your alt tag, but don’t overdo it.
“White cat looking at a slice of ham on the kitchen counter” would be a good alt tag for the following image.
Something important to keep in mind is that, if you add a link to your image, the alt text will be seen as the anchor text of the link.
XML Image Sitemap
Just like you have a sitemap for your website’s pages and posts, you should also have an image sitemap.
This will help Google discover all your images, and it will also provide additional data like the page URL where the image is displayed and the date of creation.
An image sitemap also helps improve image indexing, which gives you better chances of showing up on Google Image searches.
The worst thing you can do is upload an image as it was exported from Photoshop or as it was downloaded from a stock site.
If the section of your website where it will be shown is 800px wide, then don’t just upload your 4000px wide photo!
Of course, keep responsive dimensions in mind, but for most cases, there’s a limit of how wide the image will be shown.
For example, the width of this layout is a little over 650px. So instead of uploading the cat photo at its original 4948×3299 pixel size, I resized it to 800×533 (gave it some wiggle room).
Resizing your images to the optimal dimensions will make the file size smaller, which will help the page load much faster.
Usually, when you take a photo with your high-end camera or download an image from a stock website, it will come with the highest quality possible. This is great, but not ideal for website use.
That’s why you need to do image compression, which is the process of encoding or converting an image file in such a way that it consumes less space than the original file.
For example, after compressing the cat photo I was able to reduce the image file size by 14kb. It may not seem like much, but when you have several images on your page, the savings add up nicely.
Use the best image file format for each type of image. For regular photos, use JPG. For images that have text or vector graphics, use PNG or GIF.
JPG, PNG and GIF are fine, but ideally, you should use a next-gen image format like WebP, which uses superior compression and lower file size, without compromising quality.
The image compression tools mentioned above can also help you convert your images to WebP format.
Optimizing your images seems simple because it is! And the benefits for SEO are undeniable, so start SEOing your images today 🚀
Are there any specific topics you would want me to cover in the coming weeks? DM me on Twitter and let me know!
Images can do wonders for your content, but on social media, where people are endlessly scrolling, images are of crucial importance.
Images help you to communicate better with your audience, earn attention and even convey a wide array of emotions. The problem is that creating branded images for social media can be time-consuming and complicated if you are not good at using graphic design tools.
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It has awesome features like 3d effects, annotations, mockups, custom backgrounds, watermarks, and much more!
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Optimize your images will help your pages load faster, improve rankings and provide a better experience for your website visitors.
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