Optimize images for SEO

How to optimize images for SEO

A blogger who writes articles for his blog or someone else's blog,newspaper or magazine,he always comes across this problem : addition of a search engine optimized the image to his article. In this post, I am going to explain about how to optimize your blog pictures for SEO. Like all other aspects of On-page SEO ,images also have their importance.

Why are images/pictures necessary for an article ?

  1. Images/pictures make the idea of your article clearer.
  2. They help the reader to understand the topic of your article.Pictures make your article more appealing. 
  3. Images/pictures if properly used can drive targeted traffic to your blog or forum. 
  4. Last but not the least,appropriate images makes the reader read the article and also stay in touch with your website. 
  5. Images make your posts longer.In a way, it is helpful when writing a short post. 
Someone has rightly said :
A picture is worth a thousand words

How to choose the right image for the blog ?

  1. Firstly,you can upload your own image as an avatar,if you don,t have one.
  2. The image you choose for your article must have "similar subject" to the topic of the article.If You are writing a tutorial ,then your images should be illustrative.If you post a burger photo in your SEO article then you are doing it absolutely wrong, my friend.

How to place images in an article ?

  1. You should use your images/pictures near the text for which you have added the image.It is because an image that is surrounded by related text, ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.
  2. If you don't find your own images,then you can use image hosting sites to get images for your article.

Don't use images from google image search:

Yes,If you are optimizing your blog for SEO,never use the images from google images search.
Because :
  • They might be copyrighted

Use Royalty-Free Images :

For SEO point of view,use royalty free (Images which don't need attribution for usage or any other sort of credit) images from sites like Flickr.com etc. 
Besides pictures you can also use animated GIFs in your article to make your article more attractive, as GIFs seem to become more and more popular these days.From sites like Giphy.
Like in this example post :

How to Prepare your images for use in the article ?

After finding the right image, either an illustration,photo or chart , the next step is to optimize that image for use on your website. You should take the following steps :

1-Choose the right file name for image :

Image SEO starts with the right file name.Before uploading,rename your image and ensure that your file name has the title keywords which are the main keywords.For example, if your article is on the weather of Islamabad.Your main keywords for your image are weather and Islamabad.The file name shouldn’t be DSC4234.jpg, but weather-of-azad-kashmir.jpg.

2-Image size and SEO :

The time taken by your web pages to load is an important UX and hence important from SEO point. The faster your web pages load, the easier to visit and index a page. Images can immensely affect loading times,especially when you load a large sized image and show it really small, like using a 3500×2500 pixels image and showing it at 350×250 pixels size. The entire image will still have to be loaded. WordPress helps by providing the image in multiple sizes after upload already. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the file size is optimized as well, that’s just the image size.
By file size, I mean in Mb's and by size I mean in pixels.

3-Reduce image file size :

Reduction of file size is the next step in image SEO.There are websites for that like tiny png (for png),PunyPNG (for png,gif, and jpg) etc.

  1. Optimize jpg images/pictures file size using websites like JPEGMini etc.
  2. You can use tools like ImageOptim,Kraken.io etc.
  3. You can also reduce the file size of huge images by removing the EXIF data.

4-How to tell that your images are optimized :

After uploading the image, you can use tools like YSlow(is you use chrome browser)to tell if your images are SEO optimized or not.

5-Use Captions :

The caption of the image is the text that accompanies the image.It usually is placed just below the image. Why is the caption text important for image SEO as well? People use the caption in scanning an article. Next to headings, people tend to scan the image and include the caption as well in that scan.

Nielsen wrote back in 1997:

Elements that enhance scanning include headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, topic sentences, and tables of contents.

In 2012, KissMetric stated :

Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.

Do we add captions to all images? No,we are not that much caring. Keeping over-optimization in mind, I’d say you should add a caption if it would make sense to the visitor if that caption is added. Think about the reader first, don’t add a caption only for image SEO.

6-Alt text and title text for SEO :

Alt text is crucial for image SEO.The alt (Alternative  text) is text a visitor will see, in place of the image,when he is unable to see the image for whatever reason.You can find the best explanation of alt text from Wikipedia:

In situations where the image is not available to the reader, perhaps because they have turned off images in their web browser or are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment, the alternative text ensures that no information or functionality is lost.
Here is The Video of Matt Cutt's Discussing Alt text and How bots use Alt text to understand images :

Be sure to add alt texts. Make sure the alt text includes your SEO keywords and relates to describes the image.

Title Text :

When hovering an image, IE shows the alt text as a ‘tooltip’. Chrome show the title text like it was intended. Title text for images is similar and a lot of people that use these simply copy the alt text. More and more people simply leave these out. What is it for? “The title attribute can be very useful, but it is not a safe way of providing crucial information. Instead, it offers a good way to provide non-essential information, for example, the mood of the image, or what it means in context. it’s nice to have information indeed, but title text isn’t that important for image SEO.

Using Open Graph tags :

Use of open graph tags in your template or theme is very important from SEO point when you or someone shares content to social sites like facebook,twitter or google + .In simple words. I will say
The open graph allows your web page to have the same functionality as on facebook,twitter or google+.

Check this article for best explanation of open graph meta tags :

XML image sitemaps :

If you are a web developer, you might think about XML image sitemaps. I’d rather say:include images in XML sitemaps. Google has said about XML sitemaps that:

To give Google information about images on your site, you’ll need to add image-specific tags to a sitemap. You can use a separate sitemap to list images, or you can add image information to an existing sitemap. Use the method that works for you!

Last Thoughts on image SEO :

I am pretty sure you liked  this post on image optimization for SEO and properly understood Its importance. Do share this article on social media to thank Blog Rabbit.Give your tips in the comment box below.Thanks
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