Daily million of image searches are performed in giant search engines which generate a good traffic. Image optimization is among those SEO factors which directly increases your sites traffic. Take an example of a site which is highly SEO optimized and gets lot of traffic from web search but what if he start getting even half a percent more traffic from image search. Isn't it an awesome deal? Sure it is. This factor refers to the techniques which are used to bring those images in front of user which he is searching. You might wonder how Google opens exactly those images which you search. You all know that search engine crawlers can read text only and they don't understand what is hidden in images that's why they cannot recognize image until you tell crawlers about them. In this article, we will cover the image optimization aspects for acquiring better image rankings.
How Image Optimization Works In SEO:Enhancing images works in following ways.
- Instructing crawlers about the image.
- Telling humans about the image.
- Improving image format
- Maximum quality with minimum size
Now we move forward to methods used for this purpose.
1. Choose A Descriptive File Name:File name must be relevant to your image. Usually images which are downloaded from internet or taken from camera are denoted by numerical strings like 0024420551752520.jpg. This type of name won't help in SEO. Keep in mind that image file name has also an impact on image searches so select a distinguishable name. For example, you have posted an image which contains a comic of Spiderman in jpg format. Best method of naming it would be "comic-spiderman.jpg".
Choose relevant keywords in image name and separate those keywords with dashes or hyphens. Don't trying to separate with underscore because search engines don't consider it a separator. Below you can see how Google reads dashes and underscores.
- Comic-Spiderman will be read as Comic Spiderman
- Comic_Spiderman will be read as ComicSpiderman.
2. Use Of "alt" Attribute:Image tag in HTML uses some attributes which define an image. Among them "alt" attribute is that which tells crawlers and human about the image. It tells what the image contains in it and has direct relation with SEO. Below is the example that how alt attribute is used in image HTML.
<img alt="this-is-alt-text" src="helpitx/icon.png" />Search engines read this text to know what is the image about so write a descriptive alt text relevant to image. Don't exceed 150 characters because after 150 characters, Google don't read the text.
In addition to SEO, alt tag has another function which we see when the images are disabled in browser settings. The alt text is displayed in the empty image box which tells users what is inside this image box actually. Descriptive alt text helps both users and crawlers understand content of your image.
3. Give A Descriptive Title To Image:A user watches title of your image too which helps him decide whether he should click on image or not. A relevant and descriptive title is better for getting traffic from images. Use "title" attribute in image tag to make an image's title. For example see below.
<img title="this-is-title-text" alt="this-is-alt-text" src="helpitx/icon.png" />Title text is basically for humans, not for bots so write it in a manner that it attracts humans. Relevancy like all other factors is important along with descriptiveness.
Title text is also displayed when someone hovers mouse pointer to an image. So like alt text, it also tells about image. Some site owners keep alt text and title text same. It isn't a bad practice too.
4. Reduce Image Size:Site speed is among important SEO factors. Slow sites are not indexed higher by Google. Heavy images reduce site speed thus effecting index rankings so always reduce the size of heavy images before posing them. Paint.net, MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop etc programs can be used to crop, size reduction and modify the image. Another important thing is maximum image quality with minimum size. You can use imageoptimizer, tinypng, jpeg-optimizer etc to reduce image size without effecting the quality. Low sized images have great impact on site's index rankings.
These are some methods to optimize images for SEO rankings. If you have further questions, feel free to ask in comments.