6 Useful Tips to Optimize Images for SEO

Illuminate Digital Cedar Rapids SEO Provider
Illuminate Digital Cedar Rapids SEO Provider

SEO is one of the most important aspects of a website. It can make or break a site when it comes to visibility and organic traffic. While the text is more important for SEO, images are also a factor that should not be overlooked.

Optimizing images with the correct file name, alt text, and description can help your website rank higher. Adding relevant images also helps break up content, make it more visually appealing, and improve your site's optimization.

However, most people snag a few stock photos, upload them to their website's backend, and call it a day. But it is not that simple!

Image SEO is a whole domain; neglecting its vital aspects can hurt your website's ranking.

Luckily, image SEO is not so complicated. All you need are the right plugins and knowledge of image optimization factors to bank on this SEO aspect. Read this guide to learn the strategies.

1. Start with Keyword Research

Similar to textual SEO, a vital aspect of image SEO is using relevant keywords. You'll use these keywords sporadically while filling in information for your images. This helps people search for your images and helps Google index them appropriately.

When you're looking for keywords, think about what people might search for when they're looking for content like yours. Say you have a picture of a sunset over the ocean; someone might search for "sunset," "ocean," or "beach."

Once you've found some relevant keywords, sprinkle them throughout the information you provide for your images. This will help people find your images and help Google index them properly.

2. Use The Right File Format

You have downloaded some pretty pictures, and it's time to upload them so that you can tick other image SEO tasks off. But which image format will suit your site the best? Find this question's answer before anything else. Here's what you should know about image formats:

When it comes to image file formats, there are three leading contenders: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each format has its advantages and drawbacks, so the best choice for your website will depend on your specific needs.

● JPEGs are the most common image file type and are ideal for photos or images with lots of detail. They're also relatively small, which is essential for improving load times.

● PNGs are a good choice for line art, logos, or images with transparent backgrounds. They're slightly heavier than JPEGs but support transparency and can be compressed without losing quality.

● GIFs are primarily used for animation or images with only a few colors. They don't support transparency, but you can compress them to tiny file sizes.

When selecting a file format for your images, consider the type of image you're using, the desired quality levels, and the potential file size. By carefully picking a file format, you can ensure that your images are optimized for search engines and users.

3. Compress & Resize Images

Images added to any webpage should be sized appropriately for both performance and visual appeal. Heavy images can weigh down your site and reduce its loading speed; you don't want that. On the other hand, extra small images can appear blurry and pixelated, serving virtually no useful purpose - and your SEO goals won't like that either.

In addition, search engines consider an image's file size, dimensions, and the amount of text surrounding it when determining how to rank it in search results.

So, resizing images according to their details and weight is best. Sure, you don't want to lose image quality and details, but uploading without compression is not smart. Tools like Wix image-resizer, TinyPNG and WP Smush will help you out here.

For these reasons, it's important to understand ideal image dimensions before uploading them. Generally speaking, you should aim for a file size of less than 100kbs and dimensions of 1200x630px. However, remember that these numbers may vary depending on the specific requirements of your website.

4. Use Descriptive Filenames

When you upload images to your website, choosing descriptive filenames is important. This will help search engines understand what the images are and how they relate to the rest of your site.

For example, if an image is named "IMG_8675309.jpg," it doesn't tell the search engine anything about what's in the image. However, if the image is named "flower-garden.jpg," it's immediately apparent that the image contains flowers and is probably related to gardening.

Including keywords in your filenames will also help search engines find your images when people are searching for those keywords. So, don't just go "qwertyuiop" on your keyboard when uploading images to your website. Instead, choose a proper filename.

5. Include Alt Text And Tags

The alt text or alt tag appears when a picture cannot be displayed for some reason. Alt text is essential for image optimization because they help search engines index your images and determine what your site is about.

Include keyword-rich alt tags when uploading images to your website.

For example, for a photo of a dog, the alt tag can say "stray dog" to tell search engines what your visual is about. This will also help visually impaired visitors using screen readers understand the context.

6. Use Image Sitemaps

A sitemap is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to web crawlers or users. It is generally in the form of an XML file that contains links to all the pages on a website. This sitemap lets search engines index all the pages on a website and allows users to easily navigate the website.

Adding images to your sitemap can help to strengthen your image optimization goals. By adding images in your sitemap, you are telling search engines which images you want them to index and crawl.

Wrap Up

Optimizing your images for better SEO is a proactive way to improve your website's visibility. Including keywords in your file names and using ALT tags ensures that search engines index your images.

Additionally, using descriptive captions and providing context for your images will help to improve your website's ranking in image search results. Taking the time to prepare your images for SEO can lead to increased website traffic and better customer engagement.

If you don't want to leave any SEO front unattended, invest time, research, and money in image optimization. After all, around 20% of web searches happen on Google images, and missing out on that is so not cool!

To learn more about how Illuminate Digital includes Image optimization with our website designs or if you would like to visit with us about building you a new website visit our website at

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