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14 important Image SEO tips you need to know

Images are one of the best marketing tools around. It’s no surprise that you see the same images everywhere. With SEO for images, you can create and share compelling images across social media, web, email, etc.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what SEO for images is and how it can help you promote your brand and generate leads. Plus, we’ll talk about using SEO for images to promote your products with authority.

Yes. You can help position your website/blog/e-commerce with images.

And is that many times we overlook it, but it is as important as any other action of SEO on a page: SEO for images.

And you will ask yourself: why are images so important for my SEO positioning strategy?

  • Google image results represent 22% of the total share of searches made.
  • Images appear for nearly 30% of all searches.
  • Conversions drop by an average of 4.42% for every additional second of load time (0-5s), and the big culprit is slow loading images. 
  • 62 % of young consumers ( like me, who am young and beautiful and without wrinkles) want more visible results ( if it is not read anymore ), and Google has already hinted that it will improve in the future. Next visual search. 

So, unless you want to stop getting organic traffic and conversions to your website, it’s time you gave image SEO some serious attention. 

Many people search for responsive images with keywords and then go to the web for their found image. Please see our images and come to our website! Do you not?

Also, in Google’s universal search, a few images appear at the beginning of any search without clicking on the images tab! Wouldn’t you like the images on your website to appear in the first positions so that more people would enter your page through them?

Can you. You are improving your SEO for images and making them rank better in the search engine.

Don’t know how to do it? Here we give you 14 TOP tips to do SEO for images and optimize the positioning of your website.

By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have the tools you need to increase page speed, boost rankings, and get more traffic and conversions to your website from image search results.

Long live image SEO!

What is SEO for images?

Image SEO is the practice of optimizing image size, dimensions, filenames, captions, markup, and alt text to ensure images load quickly and are easier to find in search engines.

Image optimization generally falls under On-Page SEO.

Why is image SEO important?

Image optimization ( image SEO ) offers numerous SEO benefits:

  • Improves page speed ( since we reduce file size ).
  • Boost organic rankings ( because we improve the page speed of the web ).
  • Increase conversions ( slow pages lose visitors and customers, you know ).
  • Add quality to your content ( complementing Text with images ).
  • Create a better user experience (UX) for everyone, even the visually impaired.

SEO for images: How to improve the positioning of your website

Basically, to improve SEO on your images and make your organic rankings take off like a rocket, you need to take all of these into account:

1. Create a good user experience first

I won’t get tired of repeating it: what is good for the user ( aka yourself ) is good for Google.

And it is that Google itself already says: “Create pages designed primarily for users, not for search engines .”

When we talk about images ( which is why you are in an SEO post for images, right? ), keep in mind the following UX principles:

  • Enrich the content and offer the right context: Make sure that the images are relevant and contribute to a better understanding of the content. Do not put random images because yes. That we know each other
  • Optimize placements – Wherever possible, place images close to relevant Text and leave the most important image near the top of the page if it doesn’t lose meaning.
  • Provide high-quality information – According to Google, good content is just as important as good images because it provides context and makes search results more “actionable.” If your content is not exhaustive and informative (hello, poor content), forget about positioning your images.  
  • Do not insert important Text in images: at least for image titles/subtitles and important text elements. Why? Because Google cannot easily read the Text designed on a graphic (such as the cover image that we have in this post). Yeah, Google isn’t infallible, baby. Better to keep the important elements (and the keywords) in HTML. 
  • Frequently includes images: How many? Well, as many as necessary. This will make users spend more time on your page, which will increase SEO.
  • Define a good structure of URLs in your images: Google takes advantage of the path of the URLs and the name of the files to interpret your images, so these URLs should have a logical organizational structure.

2. Optimize the image quality to the maximum 

Have you seen any pixelated images in Google search results? I doubt it.

And it is that Google does not like low-quality images (blurred or pixelated), that is why it does not include them in the results.

From Google: “High-quality images attract users more than blurry, unclear images. In the results thumbnail, if the images are sharp, they also attract more users, thus increasing the probability of receiving traffic from these users.”

Make sure your images aren’t blurry or pixelated on behalf of Google and user experience ( and myself! ).

3. Give your images a relevant name

Let’s start with the principle of SEO for images: the most essential, the crux of everything that we will explain below. The name of the image file has to represent the content of the image. Names such as “image24“, “caption2” or “Screenshot 2022-06-25 at 11.25.36” are not valid. No sir.

The name that you should give your images has to be descriptive (explain what the image is about) and concise – it is unnecessary to put “stop words” such as the, and, the… – and it must contain the main keyword of the content from the image. And remember, use hyphens to separate words.

Think that the file’s name is an indicator of the image’s content so that Google, firsthand, will know how to relate your image to a category. The more specific the name, the more chances we have that Google understands our content and can display the image in a better position.

4. Make sure to write the ALTerative Text (alt)

Although they are constantly improving and implementing techniques to do so, Google cannot interpret the information offered by web images – that is, it does not know how to read them. That is why it is so important that we use the ALT ( alternative Text) attribute so that search engines understand what we are talking about. That is the text that describes the images.

The image ALT tags are the Text that search engines use to know what an image is displaying. In addition, it is the Text that is displayed if the browser cannot display the image – so, if you cannot see the image, at least you can read the ALT text, to know what it is about -.

And also the Text that screen readers will read aloud for people with some vision problems.

In the ALT attribute, we must write a concise description of the image with the keywords you want to position yourself. As Google tells us: “focus on creating content that is useful and rich in information, that uses keywords appropriately, and that matches the page’s content. Do not include too many keywords in the alt attributes, as it causes a bad user experience and can cause your site to be considered spam.

5. Fill in the TITLE tag

Every image must have a title that introduces it. The TITLE tag text will be displayed when you hover over the photo. It must be descriptive and contain the keyword you want to position yourself.

Also, in image search results, this title will appear below the image so that users better understand the context of the image and decide whether to click on it or not.

6. Add a Description to your images

To improve the positioning of an image, you must add a description of it, well done, summarize, and contain the keywords that interest us. This description has to be more literal and longer than the ALT attribute.

7. Whenever you can, add a caption to the image

Although there is no great correlation between writing image captions and an increase in SEO ranking on the web, you must add captions to your images to help your readers know what the web page is about quickly.

Think about the following: a reader who enters your website through an image that has appeared on Google when searching for a term will want to check, in a matter of seconds, if the website he has entered is going to give him what you search. The first thing this reader will do is check if the image they have clicked on is found on the web and look at the Text around it to see if they have found what they were looking for.

A good caption can tell the reader, “Stop! My article deals with this topic, as you can see in the image you clicked, so keep reading and don’t leave; I don’t want you to increase my bounce rate“.

8. Surround the image with related and quality content

It is one of the most relevant factors in terms of improving the SEO of your website. You must surround your images with content that adds value, is of quality, and is related to the images. That is, the theme of the image must match the Text that surrounds it.

This Text must contain keywords, phrases in bold or titles, and headings, as they will increase the image’s relevance. Remember that legends are also very important!

9. Use jpg, png, or gif formats

The best formats to do SEO for images are the most typical: .jpg, .png. And .gif, so feel free to use them. Don’t upload images with weird formats like .bmp or .tiff because you won’t be doing Google or your ranking any favors.

JPG – ideal for images with details and many colors, although it is a compression format that loses quality to reduce size. However, its quality is more than enough for websites.

PNG – ideal for flat images or images with large white spaces – such as screenshots, logos, etc. -. It has higher image quality than .jpg.

GIF – we will only use it for animated images.

To adapt them to the format you want, you can use the Online-Convert tool.

10. Watch the size of the images – the less weight, the better.

The loading speed of a website is a very important factor in the positioning that Google will give you since the great search engine does not like slow websites at all – neither he nor anyone else! -. Among other factors, heavy images are responsible for slowing down a website, so you should reduce your images as much as possible without losing quality.

Although WordPress and other CMS will resize the image once uploaded, could you not do it? Get used to reducing your image to the exact measurements you need before uploading it to your blog/web/eCommerce because when you insert an image and change its height and weight in the CMS to make it smaller, the browser downloads the image first. Large size – the one you have uploaded – to later display it in the reduced size that you have specified.

And, always always always, compress the images before uploading them

The ideal size of web images would be 70kb-100kb ( or less ), although we know that it is very difficult to achieve. Try to reduce the size of your image as much as possible, always taking care of its quality.

To compress your images, you can use TinyPng, Compressor.ioILoveIMGJPG-Optimizer, or Image Compressor.

11. Add image structured data

Why? Google Image search can display your images as rich snippets and include a featured badge. 

In this way, you provide users with essential information about your page, and this page receives visits from a more suitable audience segment. Google Images supports structured data of the following types:

  • Product
  • Video
  • Recipe

Yes, you do have to follow the general structured data guidelines and the specific guidelines for your type of structured data ( product, video, recipe ). Otherwise, they may not be included when displaying a rich result on Google Images.

12. Send search engine image sitemap

All the images that appear on your website have to be in the search engine index to appear in the search; that is why, if the search engine does not find your image files, it can’t register them.

It would help if you created an images sitemap, as this will help search engines find and index your images. These image filenames include the URL of each image on your website, the title, the license, and the caption.

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, don’t worry. The SEO optimization plugin by Yoast already includes the images within the XML Sitemaps function without you having to do anything.

13. Be neat

Please get in the habit of sorting your images and keeping them all in the same folder on the server, called /images/. This small detail makes the Googlebot (GoogleBot) work faster.

14. Link builds with images

The more links pointing to the image of your website, the more relevance, and popularity it will receive so that it will be in a better position. Just as you try to get quality links when you carry out a Link-building strategy, do the same but with image platforms such as Pinterest or Flickr to get incoming links to your website through photographs.

So far, my picture SEO post has 14 recommendations for improving the placement of your website/blog/e-commerce using photos.

What do you think? Did you already follow all the SEO tips for images, or have you learned something new? Comment below and tell me your impressions.

And if you liked the blog, why not share it with your friends and colleagues?

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