When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), one of the most underlooked optimization tactics is image optimization.
Why should you focus on search engine optimizing your images?
- Improve your article rankings
- Drive traffic through clicks on Google Images
Those are the two main benefits. Now that you know them, let’s hop right into how you can do the optimization.
Search Engine Optimising Images
There are two facets of optimisation: speed and readability. Speed and how Google Crawlers interpret your website are primary pillars of SEO.
Those two things mean you need to optimise your images:
- File size
- File name
- Image “alt” text
Let’s go over what exactly those mean and how to execute on those tasks.
When it comes to images, one of the things that makes file sizes unnecessarily large is inflated dimensions.
You will almost never need an image size with larger dimensions than 1200 pixels wide, yet people frequently upload images with 2000, 3000 and more.
This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. It can mean the difference between hundreds of KB’s of data – which is more for your servers to process and serve to your website visitors.
That additional data means slower loading. Another side of this is how data is interpreted.
Also try to upload your photos in the final dimensions you want them to show.
If you drop a large photo and tell WordPress to show it as small, that will create a bunch “code” that it has to serve to the Google Crawlers. Again resulting in increased loading time.
When saving your image, you will need to ensure it is optimised for file size. Again we are dealing with the data your servers have to process and load.
Basically, most images have a ton of unnecessary data, making the file bigger than it needs to be.
There are some great programs to fix this issue. They will make your file size much smaller without reducing your image quality whatsoever.
Once you save your image with the correct dimensions, head on over to a lossy/lossless compressor.
TinyJPG/PNG is great for this. Sometimes they’ll reduce your file size by up to 80%, meaning if it’s 200kb’s to start, it’ll be 40kb’s afterwards.
If you’re on WordPress, you can also download their plug-in which helps as well.
File Name & Alt Text
In the file name and alt-text you’ll want to target your primary keyword (a.k.a search term) target. For this article for example, we could use “seo-image-optimisation” as ours.
Basically, you just name your file with your keyword, and then drop the keyword into alt-text which is easily accessible in WordPress if you have Yoast.
You’re now ready to tackle the search engine optimisation of your images! So go get started on your first article.
Remember that speed is one of the most important factors of SEO. Good web hosting is crucial.
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