Do you need images for your written content? The obvious answer is YES!
The reason is, even newspapers don’t leave captivating stories without throwing some intriguing pictures here and there. Simply put, pictures enhance the user experience and bring your words into life. But, having the wrong type of image amongst your articles will be their downfall.
So, here is some know-how on how to combine digital images and SEO and create top-notch pictures that will bring your content to the next level.
Choose the relevant image
Choosing the optimisable photos for your website or the blog is mandatory. Using your own images such as illustrations over immersion-breaking stock photos is highly recommended. However, if you cannot come across any, websites like Unsplash will help you choose the right one.
Another popular option is animated GIFs. Nevertheless, they can slow down your web page, so going overboard with them is ill-advised.
The key is to incorporate the relevant image that will improve your words and compel visitors to keep reading.
Renaming and choosing the correct image format
Let Google know what your image represents by renaming the file properly. For instance, if your article is about Spain, don’t leave the image file name as DSC5536.jpg. Save it as wonders-of-spain.jpg to push it further up in the image search engines using targeted keywords.
However, remember to optimise your image for both image search engines and humans. For example, wonders-of-spain.jpg can be renamed as 10-wonders-of-spain-you-should-see-in-2021.jpg, which is more descriptive and precise. Make sure to use hyphens to separate the keywords instead of underscores. This way, search engines will be able to recognise them individually.
Image format, on the other hand, is crucial too.
- If your goal is to preserve the quality of larger photos or illustrations with relatively small file size, opt for JPEG.
- PNG will keep the background transparency.
- Using WebP will also provide high-quality results with smaller file sizes. Tools such as Squoosh will support you to convert the images into this format.
Captions and alt text
Usually, visitors scrutinise headings, images and captions while they scroll through a web page. Therefore, adding a caption where it makes sense is smart. In fact, according to KissMetrics, captions under images are 300% more likely to be read on than the body itself. So, not using one might be a massive loss of engagement.
However, don’t over optimise the images by including unnecessary captions throughout the web pages.
The alt text or alt tag, on the other hand, plays a vital role in Image SEO. When these are added, in case the image couldn’t be displayed, a descriptive text will be shown that will ensure no information or functionality is lost.
Imagine if the images on your page don’t load due to a glitch, alternative text can still let the search engines rank your page.
When adding alt text to optimisable photos, remember to include SEO keyphrases when appropriate, and describe what’s in the picture in a way that both the search engines and your visitors can comprehend easily. Read our SEO tips for new websites post to know more about search engine optimisation.
Resizing your images
When it comes to digital images and SEO, the amount of space (e.g. 250 kilobytes) that is taken to store such an image on a server is crucial. In print media, higher resolution wins the game, but on your web page, these images with large dimensions and file sizes slow your page load times.
To keep the initial quality intact and have the images web-friendly, use options such as “save for the web” in Adobe Photoshop, and online image optimisation tools such as Imagecompressor, TinyPNG, etc.
Moreover, you can opt for WordPress plug-ins for image optimisation, including Yoast SEO, WP Smush, or EWWW Image Optimizer.
Once you’re happy with your optimisable photos, make sure your website’s loading speed is up to par with tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, WebPageTest, Pingdom, WebWait, etc.
Now, the users and search engines can easily visit and index your web page.
Adding structured data
Structured data are used by search engines to improve the user experience visually in SERPs. When you add these to your pages, your images will be shown as rich results. For instance, imagine you have certain recipes on your website where you have applied structured data to your images. Then what Google does is, adding a badge to this image, indicating that it belongs to a recipe. This way, structured data improve your presence in the image search engine.
Likewise, Google images favour structured data for Products, Videos and Recipes.
XML image sitemaps
Using image CDN
Content delivery network (CDN) is often used for site speed optimisations. However, some companies are going the extra mile by using them to optimise images as well. An image CDN’s primary task is to transform your photos, optimise and deliver them to your visitor immediately. The best part is, you can customise the options in an image CDN to receive the best outcome from this process. Some image CDNs that you can opt for include Cloudinary, Sirv and Imagekit.
Including images beside your well-written post has more than meets the eye. On the other hand, just loading up a page with optimisable photos doesn’t work if they don’t pair up with the words or enhance their meaning.
The sole purpose behind adding quality images to your web pages is to hook your visitors to keep reading and even take a second look at what you have to say or offer. Therefore, try these above-mentioned steps to infuse digital images and SEO to migrate from mediocre optimisation to impeccable heights of SEO. Read our 5 Important SEO Trends You Need to Know in 2021 post to know more about search engine optimisations.