Optimizing Your Images for Search Engines

From boosting your ranking in search results to increasing your page loading times, image optimization is an important step towards providing successful web pages. Whether you have an online store or a lifestyle blog, using visual content throughout your website gives users valuable information about your business. You can boost your visibility today by climbing the ranks of Google images today!

What makes a successfully optimized image? Here are some key factors towards promoting your visuals on search engines. #ITVibes #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

What is image optimization in SEO? 

Image optimization means creating high-quality images that have a low as possible file size. This helps to reduce page loading time and makes your images rank higher on searches. By following these important steps, you can ensure that your product images and custom graphics are getting the recognition they deserve:

  1. Create a Good File Name 
  2. Use the Right Format 
  3. Optimize Alt Attributes
  4. Choose Relevant Images 
  5. Reduce the Image File Size

1) Create a Good File Name

Most stock photos, once downloaded, are labeled something like “shutterstock_12345.jpg” right off the bat. You’ll want to use plain language to describe your images to your audience. Make sure to use relevant keywords that cater to your target audience so that they can easily come across it. For example, if you have a product image of a vehicle to sell, you’ll want to list the make and manufacturer of the vehicle, it’s color, and the year; “Toyota-Corolla-2017-Silver.jpg”. 

2) Use the Right Format

The three most common file types to post on the web are GIF, JPEG, and PNG. Depending on the type of image you’re creating and where you’re publishing it, you’ll want to select a file format that can be made smaller without compromising the quality. JPEGs typically provide the best quality for smaller file sizes. GIFs don’t have a good means of reducing their large size without losing a significant amount of quality, making them best for thumbnails and decorative images. Most PNGs make great decorative images because of their significantly smaller size.

3) Optimize Alt Attributes

When you hover over a rendered image, you’ll see the alternative text above it. Alt text, or alt tags, are used to add SEO value to your site. You can add relevant keywords to them to make sure they rank higher on search engines. Just like with your file name, you want to describe the alt attribute using plain language. Avoid keyword stuffing when naming your image’s alt attributes. These are especially important for product catalog images with model numbers. 

4) Choose Relevant Images

In recent years, Google switched the “View Image” option on Image Search with “Visit Page”. This is incredibly useful for your website’s SEO. With that being said, it’s important to choose images that are relevant to your page. If a user searches for a product you sell and finds it through image search via the keywords you’ve named it with, they can then go straight to your product catalog to make a purchase from your website. 

Pro Tip: If you can, take your own pictures for your website where stock images aren’t as effective. This way, you can stand out from the crowd with your unique business. 

5) Reduce the Image File Size

It’s no secret that page load time affects your website’s bounce rate. It’s also a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Images that are large in file size will slow your page’s load time, and visitors might not want to wait the extra few seconds or so. You can prevent users from clicking away by decreasing the file size of your images, thus increasing page load speed. Photoshop has an option to “Save for Web”, giving you the lowest file size possible. Just be sure to keep an eye on the image quality. 

Optimizing Your Images for Search Engine Success

Image optimization in SEO shouldn’t be overlooked. Visuals are such an important factor in your content marketing strategy, and they should be optimized for top performance. After all, you don’t want the content you’ve created to go unnoticed! 

Contact our team to learn more about search engine optimization and digital marketing tips!

Alanah Beebee

Alanah Beebee is a Web Content Writer at ITVibes, Inc. She received her B.A. in Mass Communication from Sam Houston State University with an emphasis in film. Alanah found her love for writing throughout her years in college writing essays and research papers, and outside of school while writing film scripts, short stories, and song lyrics. Outside of writing, she enjoys playing guitar, filming and editing YouTube videos, and making polymer clay sculptures.