How to Optimize Photos for Greater SEO Impact

Man editing and optimizing photos on computer in his home office

Most people understand by now that it is incredibly important to use images on your business website:

  • Images visually tell your brand’s story.
  • Our brains process images at a speed much faster than text.
  • Images break up text to keep visitors engaged.

Images also provide a great opportunity to boost your on-site optimization efforts. Here are seven ways you can optimize your images for greater SEO impact.

7 Tips for Improving Image Optimization

  1. Name your images in a way that describes the subject. Don’t keep the name that your camera assigns. If you don’t do this, you are passing up a great opportunity to get the search engines to crawl the image.
  2. Use alt tags that link your keywords and images. Doing this consistently for every product can improve your rankings in the search engines. For example, if you are selling used laptops, create an alt tag that gives the brand name, model number and other relevant information. In fact, it’s great if your file name and your alt tag are similar.
  3. Have multiple images for each product, and create alt tags for each view. To continue the laptop example, have an alt tag for the keyboard, the screen, the carrying case and any other feature that will help a prospective buyer decide in favor of your laptop.
  4. Make sure that pages with images load quickly. Studies have shown that web users are not patient when it comes to page loading. If loading takes more than a few seconds, your potential visitor will move on to the next site. Moreover, Google uses page load time in its rankings. How do you help your pages load more quickly? Some platforms do this for you. Some software packages, such as Adobe Photoshop, have a save feature specifically for web usage. Other image editing tools with similar features are also available, including plugins for WordPress websites.
  5. Use the right file type. The standard for web images is the JPG format. This format allows you to compress the file size and retain the quality of the image. GIF format is usually best for logos, symbols and images with few colors. The PNG file format supports more colors. However, they can be too large for quick loading, so use them sparingly.
  6. Create an image sitemap. If an image is not in the site map, the crawlers cannot find it, no matter how good your optimization is. The result: poor rankings in the SERPS.
  7. Be mindful of decorative images. Keep file sizes small for buttons, background images, badges, wallpaper, borders, patterns, frames, and other elements that are not product-related. Remember, GIFs are fine for design elements.

Get Help With Image Optimization

Optimizing images takes time. Working with an experienced search engine optimization consultant can help. Call our firm today to learn how we can help you with adding images to your website.