Why Image Optimization is an SEO Must
Many internet marketers make the basic mistake that SEO is just about content creation. Adding images is almost considered secondary. However, when done right, image optimization has an enormously powerful impact on SEO. There are several reasons why this is the case, many of which we explore in today’s post. If you haven’t yet optimized images for your website, now is the time for a rethink.
Image optimization is about more than SEO, though. Images bring your content to life. There’s nothing worse than large slabs of text. Think back to when you were a student – some textbooks were bland and difficult to navigate. They didn’t explain the information well and didn’t have any imagery to illustrate essential concepts. The same holds true for blog entries and SEO content in general. Images breathe life into your content.
Images, Web Design and SEO
When drawing up a thoughtful and well-considered web design, it’s essential that images are incorporated throughout the design.
Images should reflect the theme of the website, the subject matter of the page and the concept(s) you wish to convey. By adding imagery and enhancing the brand experience of your website, visitors are likely to stay longer – reducing your bounce rate. Reduction in bounce rate means search engines see your website as something relevant; and, by extension, it results in an increased search engine page rank for your target keywords.
So yes, images play an important role for SEO – they have an aesthetic impact that directly results in an enhanced website experience, convinces visitors to stay longer and improves brand identity. And these benefits come before we even begin image optimization. It’s vital, though, that you only use licensed images. If you don’t have copyright, then don’t use the images. It could result in a hefty, substantial fine.
Building SEO into Images
Let’s now consider what we mean by image optimization.
First things first – search engines cannot “read” images.
Search engines have no idea whether your image is about wine, football, cheese, NFL or Donald Trump. However, we can add keywords to the name of the image file – now search engines can “read” the image and discover what the image is about. Naming images before uploading the file is essential. File names should take the form ‘wine-sales-discount.jpg’ – or whatever keywords your image happens to be about.
As files, images come with their own size. As with human beings, the bigger the size the slower things happen to move. Slower user experience is a big no-no for SEO. Reduce image file size to the size you need. Images uploaded at abnormally large sizes may appear condensed, but the full image size still lingers on. Where your image appears matters, too. Images surrounded by keyword-relevant content adds more SEO value, for example.
Add alt tags and meta descriptions to each image. When you upload an image to WordPress, you can add alt tags and meta descriptions. This is an added opportunity to inform search engines what the image is about. It also means that if images do not load on your website, it informs readers what the image illustrates. Along with the file name, the alt tag and meta description are essential tags for search engines.
Image optimization is simple
Image optimization is both simple and effective.
It remains a valuable opportunity to:
- Add relevant keywords to each page
- To inform search engines what images are about
- Reducing file size to increase page speed load times
- Enhance user experience and reduce bounce rate
At Fusionvegas, we have helped many leading brands throughout Las Vegas with image optimization. It’s a core element of our long-term, comprehensive SEO approach. If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist you with SEO, contact a member of our web development and SEO marketing team today.