Optimize images for search … and get more traffic to your website.
In our previous post: Finding Visual Content for Your Blog & Social Media Posts, we listed sites where you can find unique, Creative Common licensed images.
In this post, we will show how to optimize your images for search.
Prepare your images for search
Use descriptive file name for your image
Describe your image using keywords that you want it to rank for and to help search engines find it. But, no keyword stuffing!
The image above was originally named: IMG219958_640.jpg and was renamed: Optimize-Images-for-Search.jpg.
Scale image to the size that you want to show on your blog post
Speed is very important for SEO, large images slow down loading time even when you show them in a smaller size in your post. To resize your image you can use Photoshop if you have the program or use an online tool like PicMonkey.
Reduce file size
It’s recommended to reduce file size to speed up loading time. You can use Photoshop or PicMonkey. If you choose to use PicMonkey to reduce the file size, choose quality: Roger (tiny file size) when you are ready to save your work.
My take on this: I strongly recommend to reduce file size if you have a ecommerce site with multiple product pictures on each page. For a blog post like this one where I only use one picture, I usually go with 100% JPG quality.
JPG or PNG? PNG files are usually larger than JPG’s. So, unless you need the transparent background for your image that a PNG will give you, go with JPG.
What is ALT Text? From Wikipedia “Alternative text is text associated with an image that serves the same purpose and conveys the same essential information as the image. In situations where the image is not available to the reader, perhaps because they have turned off images in their web browser or are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment, the alternative text ensures that no information or functionality is lost.”
ALT text is used by search engines to understand the content of the images. It is important to add descriptive text in ALT but don’t keywords-stuff, it might backfire!
If you use WordPress, you can manually type in the ALT text for each image as you upload it. If you forget, you can always go back and do it.
Now that you know the basics of how to optimize images for search, give it a try. It might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it and see traffic increase to your website, optimizing image files will become part of your overall SEO strategy.
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