Do you realize images are just as important for SEO as text and keywords? Not only do they play a key role in improving user experience, but they can also help you gain an edge over your competition on the SERPs. A user is unlikely to stay on your page if they click through and find nothing but text on a white background. It so happens that user experience is a big part of the Google algorithm and this is why it monitors user behavior. Here are some tips on how to optimize images for SEO.
1. High Quality and Relevant
You don’t want to use an image that is unrelated to the content on the page. This is because it will confuse your visitors and cause them to leave the page thinking it’s not what they were looking for. Using poor quality images, on the other hand, will make your page look unprofessional. Select your images carefully and make a point of using only high-quality images.
2. Custom Filenames
This is probably the easiest step and many people fail to do it. Rename all your images to something that’s relevant to the target page and include your target keywords. While most visitors won’t see the filename, search engines will gather this information and use it to determine what the page is about.
3. Alt. Tags
Just like filenames, search engine crawlers also see the alt tags used in images. Add some alt text for every image added to your website. This is what will show up in case your image fails to load giving the user an idea of what the image was about. The text also gives search engines an idea of what the page is all about. This is how to optimize images for SEO.
4. Quality vs Size
The higher the quality of the image, the bigger it’s size. Using very big images will tend to slow down your site since they can take a while to load. A slow loading site is bad for user experience and SEO by extension. For this reason, you need to strike a balance between image size and quality. You can fiddle with the size of the image by using image processing software or compress the file size using tools such as JPEGmini and TingPNG.
5. File Type
JPG is the most popular image file type used online due to its small file size. It is also widely supported. However, image quality isn’t nearly as good as PNG and does not support transparent backgrounds. The downside with PNG is its larger file sizes. GIF doesn’t support as wide a color range as PNG and JPG but works well for simpler images. Remember that load times and image quality will affect your SEO efforts so make sure to strike the right balance when selecting image file types.
6. Host the Images on Your Site
It’s tempting to host your images with a 3rd party in a bid to save on space on your website. However, this can be risky. Whenever the 3rd party is overloaded with traffic, your site speed will tend to suffer. Instead of taking this route, you should instead go with a reliable hosting provider to guarantee speed and uptimes that will keep your website running smoothly most of the time. Talk to an SEO Expert at www.seovancouver.ca to recommend a reliable hosting provider.