Is it necessary to optimize images on websites? And what are the ways you can optimize a site image? You might be hit with several such questions if you are a beginner. It might feel clueless without concrete guidance and resources. Visual elements like images don’t just make content appealing and engage more readers, but they are essential from an SEO point-of-view. With this post, we aim to take you through ways you can optimize images on your site and drive more traffic to your site.
Image Optimization: Understand the Basics
It is the practice of creating and delivering high-resolution images in the required format, size, and resolution to enhance user engagement. It includes tagging images with suitable metadata, equipping search engine crawlers to skim through the content quickly and understand the context in a much better manner. Images take up to 21% of an average web page’s total composition, and therefore they consume more bytes than any other elements of the site. This factor, thus, impacts the image size and composition and highly impacts the site performance.
It is a prerequisite for a site owner to be able to produce high-resolution images without compromising the quality and load time and to multiply the overall user experience. With this approach, the search engine rankings can be improved while enhancing customer engagement, conversions, and client retention.
Here’s a list of actionable ways to optimize your images.
Ways to optimize your site images
Most people confuse image size and file size; image size refers to the dimension of an image, while file size refers to the storage space. Typically, images with larger sizes reduce the page load time significantly. Therefore, it is best practice to scale them down to the required size.
Additionally, it is essential to save images in appropriate format according to the need. Different image formats are PNG, JPEG, GIF, and more. It is crucial to choose the correct compression rate that can positively impact both file size and quality.
Experiment with different file types and compression rates to gauge what works best for an individual image. Several available sets of software have the default option to resize the images suitable for the web.
Optimize file names.
Keep a filename relevant and include descriptive keywords to receive more SEO authority. The best way to include keywords is at the beginning, with hyphens separating them. Remember not to use underscores, as search engines don’t recognize them.
Use a filename that is understandable by both search engines and users. Always use keywords that make it clear. For instance, a file with the name woman-eating-chocolate.jpg is far more understandable than girlchocolate122.jpg.
Mention alt tags.
It is easier for users to understand an image, but crawlers and search engines need hints. This is when the importance of alt tags comes into the picture; without alt tags, search engines are unable to index the content.
An ideal alt tag offers image context and also comes in handy when there are technical errors in loading the page when search engines can go through the alt tag to decide the page’s ranking. Aim to create an alt tag more precisely than a file name.
Make it mobile-friendly.
Google prefers mobile-first indexing to enable crawlers to skim through the site’s mobile version. This makes it crucial for images to be mobile-friendly. The best way to meet this goal is to align images to the website layout and ensure they are responsive to mobile devices.
Specific website templates and builders resize images by default; however, there are features that allow developers to tailor image size based on the viewing device.
Optimize image titles.
If your site is made on WordPress, it derives the image title from the file name; however, other site builders need manual updates of file names with appropriate keywords.
From an SEO perspective, image titles are less important, but they offer the required context to the alt text. Even from a user engagement perspective, it is crucial to add image titles with appropriate CTAs like “buy now” or “shop today.”
Mention image captions.
Again, the image caption may not directly impact SEO, but since they are visible can enhance user experience and help boost engagement metrics.
Use unique pictures.
It might seem practical to get photos from a stock photo collection; however, it might be the same photo that your competitors might use. Therefore, you should prioritize using unique images, just like the unique content. The odds of driving more users to your site increase with both unique content and images.
Make sure the text aligns with it.
Page copy assists search engines in determining the relevancy of images; therefore, it is essential to include ones with detailed information. If your existing page copy doesn’t explain an idea, it is better to expand it for optimization.
Include image structured data.
By doing so, you can enable search engines to display your image as rich results. Google Images prefer structured data for product images, videos, and recipes.
Last but not least, use site maps.
A site map is a file where you can enlist web pages on your site to convey search engines about the site’s content. Simply put, it is a virtual file that includes a map of your site’s content.
This list covers important ways for image optimization.
If you need help to get your site page noticed, play with the mentioned strategies before you upload any image on your site. With this approach, you can make your site image more noticeable and improve the overall site’s performance. Remember that an image with aligned content can do wonders for your website.