If you have a website or blog, you will know the importance of using not only high-quality images but also optimising those images for SEO.
With a few simple actions, you can improve your image search position and generate more traffic to your website. Today, I’m sharing with you the 4 important things you need to do with your website images.
1 // NAME YOUR FILES PROPERLY
You may not give much thought to the names of the images you add to your website pages and posts. Not a lot of people do. It’s easy just to upload them with the default image file name. But by using a file name that is more descriptive you will certainly improve its search engine appeal.
So, why is that the case? Well no one is searching for ‘IMG3405.jpg’, they are more likely using a phrase or certain keywords to find what they are looking for.
This is what you can use to your advantage. Say, for example, you have written a post and within that post, you have images to break up the text. Instead of using the default image name, rename all the files to something more relevant to the subject.
Quick tip – Be sure to add dashes between the words rather than join them up or leave spaces between.
2 // ADD ALT TEXT
Alt text it is text you add to describe the image and make it readable. Search engines cannot see what the image is and therefore uses the alt text as a reference to list on the search results.
The alt text is also incredibly useful to those with vision issues who use a screen reader as it provides a description of the image being displayed.
- No alt text – <img src=”a-green-apple.jpg” alt=””/>
- Ideal alt text – <img src=”a-green-apple.jpg” alt=”A green apple in a fruit bowl”/>
Google recommends giving as much descriptive information as you possibly can without being spammy and chucking a whole bunch of keywords in the text.
Adding alt text to each of your images will help add valuable SEO to your page or post and increase the chance of you listing on the image searches.
If you are using WordPress it is simple to add ALT text to your images. Simply click on the image and on the ‘image details’ window enter the text description in the ‘Alternative Text’ box.
As a double bonus also include a description in the ‘Image Title Attribute’.
3 // WATCH THE SIZE OF YOUR IMAGES
The file size of your images plays a part in the SEO of your website. If you have gigantic images included on your pages or in your blog posts – it’s going to slow down the load time.
And slow load time can lead to visitors clicking away without enjoying your content. This, in turn, increases your bounce rate.
By reducing the size of your images before uploading you reduce the potential for them dragging down your site speed. There are a number of image optimisation plugins available, like WP Smush.
4 // USE IMAGE SITEMAPS
As well as having XML sitemaps for your pages and posts, you can also have image sitemaps.
Adding an image sitemap to your website and submitting to Google will ensure that they find all your images. In addition, the image sitemap increases the chances of your images showing on the image search results page.
Google has provided valuable information on the best practices to use for setting up an image sitemap.
Instead of your images being just a pretty addition to your website pages and posts you can have them boosting your SEO too.
By taking the simple steps I have discussed today, you will set up your website to be looked at more favorably by search engines. And in turn, increase the chances of your content appearing in the search results in a decent position.