Images are an essential part of your website and your SEO. Picture marketing has become a major trend for all websites since aesthetic visuals are proven to be more engaging. From attracting prospects to your content to reducing load time or ranking higher in search engine results, image optimization is something you should not neglect.
This article is going to give you easy tricks to optimize your images for SEO.
1. Fill out your Alt tags
Alt tag is an alternative text that adds extra value to your SEO. It actually attributes extra keywords to your images and can increase your ranking. As your image name, fill out your alt tag in plain English. If the alt tag helps your SEO, do not stuff it with over-optimized keywords, it will be penalized.
2. Build your image sitemap
Google offers new possibilities with site maps by including support for images. You are now able to add a caption, geolocation, title, and license for each image. However, be careful to not use your thumbnail images.
3. Name your images properly
It could be seen as more convenient to keep the default image file name. But in terms of SEO that is a terrible idea. It is essential to name your images with qualitative keywords to better rank your image on search engines. Crawlers do not only index your text but are also looking for keywords within your image filenames. Also, prefer to use the English language to rename the image as it is the most common language for search engines.
Moreover, think about what your visitors are likely to search. It will increase your SEO.
4. Use the right format for the right image
There are two common file types used for images on the Internet, JPEG, and PNG. JPEG has become the file standard for the Internet. They offer a high rate of compression while keeping good image quality. It provides a low file size with good image quality. PNG is preferred for smaller images with fewer details and colors like logos or small icons. It has the advantage of offering images with very low file sizes. In general, try to avoid using gifs if possible, use png instead.
5. Use unique images
Duplicate content is badly penalized by Google. And it works the same for images! If you are using stock images that have been seen multiple times on websites, Google will not take the time to rank them. Matt Cutts has stated that duplicate images will not be ranked or have a significant impact on your ranking but it will be seen as a signal of quality if you are using unique pictures.
6. Avoid cookies
Cookies are small pieces of data sent from a website and kept in a user’s web browser while he is visiting the website. Cookies are often used to store session state, etc. Images also contain cookies and it is useless since it slows down the page load and lowers the user experience. Ideally, images should be hosted under a cookieless domain like image.yourwebsite.com. This is pretty accurate for the mobile website where load time is higher.
7.Reduce your images size
The average page load time is about 3 seconds on a laptop or desktop and about 5 seconds on mobile devices. Knowing that Google is taking into account your page speed to rank your website and that Amazon has found out they are losing 1.6 billion a year if their pages slow down by 1 second, you should not underestimate it.
Loading your images depends on how large they are. If you have Photoshop, you can use the “save for web” command. It will adjust the image for web resolution without cropping the image quality.
If you do not have Photoshop, you can use the free alternative Gimp, an open-source image editing software available on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
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