When it comes to SEO optimization, images can be just as important as the words that they accompany. Many people spend so much time worrying about making their content SEO friendly that they neglect the images. Here are some helpful tips for strategic use of images in SEO.
Use Descriptive Words When Naming Your Images
When it comes to SEO, it’s important to use acceptable keywords to help your webpage rank on search engines. That is true for your content, but it is also true for your pictures as well. While it might just be easy to keep whatever file name is auto-generated from the image, it won’t benefit you for SEO purposes. Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial for image optimization since search engines not only look through your text but your images as well.
It is also important to think how your customers might search for said picture when naming it. See what phrasing patterns your customers use when they perform searches and try and use those words in the naming of the image.
Optimize Your Alt Tags
Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. The alt tag adds an additional layer of SEO value to your website. Adding appropriate alt tags to the images can help your website achieve better rankings in the search engines by associating keywords with images.
Reduce the File Sizes of the Images
Most consumers wait about 3 seconds for a website to load on a desktop or laptop and 5 seconds on their mobile devises. Google also uses page load time as a factor in their ranking. If you have a slow loading website or webpage, it might be the size of your image or images that is causing the problem. With images, the larger the file size the longer it takes a webpage to load. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your image file size below 70kb. One way you can do this is by using the “Save for Web” command in Adobe Photoshop. If you don’t have Adobe Photoshop there are numerous online tools you can use for image editing.
Know Which Image File Type to Use
There are three common file types that are used to post images: JPEG, GIF, and PNG. JPEG images are an older file type that has become the de facto standard image of the Internet. JPEG images are able to be compressed, which results in quality images with small file sizes. GIFs are lower quality images than JPEGs. They are used for more simple images such as icons and decorative images. GIFs also support animation. PNG images are becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to the GIF. PNGs support many more colors than GIFs, and they don’t degrade over time with re-saves like JPEGs. For the majority of web images, JPEGs are the way to go.
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With a degree in communication from the University of Central Florida, Dan has an extensive background in writing. Dan has written for many different types of entities including television news, newspapers and magazines, and real estate. He enjoys the creative freedom that comes with writing and being able to express his thoughts and ideas to a wide ranging audience.