SEO: Images - 6 Value-Adding Tips You Should Never Overlook

Are you looking for ways to optimize the visual content on your webpage so you show up on search engines like Google?

Well, good news for you…

With the proper web image optimization SEO, your ideal readers can find you online.

In this guide, we will introduce you to our top six tips to ensure your on-page SEO is maximized through images.

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What is Image Optimization in SEO?

Before you learn how to make images SEO friendly, it is important to understand what it means.

What is image optimization and how does it relate to SEO?

Image optimization in SEO is taking steps to choose  search engine friendly photos, name the web images, and tag them in a way that adds value to Google’s algorithm.

Why does it matter?

Every time you upload an image onto your website, taking the time to properly optimize the image ensures that you are taking advantage of valuable SEO benefits like:

  • Higher ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo
  • Creating a better user experience for your website visitors
  • Faster page load times for your website

Ensuring all of your website photos are optimized for SEO can be time-consuming. Portland SEO Growth can help.

Do Images Help with SEO?

Images can be valuable for SEO because online readers prefer to have visuals to accompany written content on the website.

For example, blog content with images has 94% more readers than blog content that does not include images, according to MDG Advertising.

Images help with SEO because:

  • Content is more likely to be shared on social media 
  • Search engines want to help users find relevant content
  • Google will give preference to your content

How to Add On-Page Value With Image Optimization: SEO Focus

Now that you understand the importance of image optimization for SEO, you can move into doing it to add on-page value with your images.

If you are ready to learn how to optimize your images, the following three steps will give you a “behind the scenes” look of effective on-page SEO strategies.

Tip #1: Naming Images for SEO

Every image that you intend to upload to your website must be saved as a file and when you save your chosen image, you have to name it.

It’s just like when you save an Excel spreadsheet or Word document and save it.

But unlike typical files, how you name and save your image can affect your SEO.

Typically, when you download or create an image, the default name of the file is not optimized.  

For example, a file name that reads as “image001.jpg”, “1234abc.png”, or any random string of words, letters, and/or numbers that are not relevant to your image means it is not optimized. 

Unless you name your images for SEO, your image files will not tell Google or any other search engine anything about that image.

You need to name your image files in a way that makes sense to search engines.

How to Name Images for SEO

Consider using the related keywords to your main content’s keyword as the file name. 

Here is an example…

Let’s say that you decided to write a blog post on “melting chocolate in the microwave” (main keyword). 

You could use the related keyword “melted chocolate recipes” in naming your image.

Essentially, an image file name connected to the target keyword tells search engines that the image is related to a user’s search.

This can boost your rankings, which in turn allows those who are looking for your content to find you online.

Please note that file names should be written with “dashes” in-between each word: “melted-chocolate-recipes.”

Tip #2: Alternative Text for Images: SEO

Each image also needs to have alternative text, also known as alt text

Alt text is used to help the visually impaired interact with images on a screen

It is simply a short line of written content that appears in place of an image that may fail to load on a webpage.

Alt text is also read by search engines like Google, which can help your website rank better on the search engine results page (SERP).

As you can see, you need to add target keywords to the alt text of your images for SEO purposes.

How to Use Alt Text for SEO

Your content management system (CMS), like WordPress or Squarespace, makes it simple for you to add alt text to your images:

  • Upload an image to the media library
  • Select the image you want to add alt text for by clicking on it
  • Find the “alt text” field box
  • Type your alt text in and save

Be sure that your alt text describes your image very specifically while including your target keyword. 

For instance, if you are showing a picture of melted chocolate, you can enter “a professional chef picking up a clear bowl showing how melting chocolate in the microwave is a simple task” as your alt text.

If someone were unable to see your image, anyone would be able to know what image was supposed to be there because you clearly described it through alt text.

Tip #3: Geotagging an Image: SEO

The last tip for optimizing your images for your website is to use geotagging

What is geotagging?

According to Techopedia, geotagging is used with web photos and is commonly used to locate where a picture was taken.

It is especially helpful for small businesses looking for local foot traffic.

Images can be geotagged to specific physical addresses, which Google picks up as it crawls the internet.

Essentially, geotagging makes businesses hyper-locally relevant to those who are searching for these local businesses. These businesses can then be found on Google Maps.

How to Tag Images for SEO

When you take photos on your smartphone, your phone’s settings typically automatically include geotagging each of your images.

However, if you want to be sure, you can do the following to geotag your images for SEO:

  • Find a geotagging tool online to help you 
  • Upload your photos on the geotagging tool
  • Locate your business’s the latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Enter your latitude and longitude on the geotagging tool and save

Your image can now be downloaded with geotags for SEO.

Instead of going through all of the images that you have already uploaded and painstakingly going through to optimize each one, let Portland SEO Growth help.

How to Optimize Images for SEO: Additional Tips

If you want to further ensure that you optimize images for SEO, there are a few more tricks you can implement within your content.

Check out the following additional three tips that are sure to help you.

Tip #4: SEO Image: Placement

When you are ready to place your image within your content, it is important to remember…

Online users want an answer that is relevant to their search intent.

Studies find that they want to see that valuable information in the content as soon as possible. 

You want to be strategic about where you place your images on your webpages.

How can you be strategic about where you place your images?

As a best practice for SEO image placement, avoid placing an image “above the fold.” 

This will force users to look at a bit of the relevant content that they were searching for first.

If the image is above the fold, the user may scroll past the image before seeing an intro or other important content that will keep them on the page. 

Another consideration for image placement includes aligning your images on the page that ensure positive user experiences while being aesthetically pleasing.

Tip #5: SEO Image: Size

You will also need to pay attention to the size of your images for SEO purposes.

Why is this important?

Because if your image file size is too large, it can negatively impact your webpage load time – which is not favorable in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

What size should images or image files be? 

Typically, you should try to save your image file size at 100 Kb or less.

If you find that to be a challenge, you can always compress your images, which reduces your file size without compromising its quality.

Also, be sure the dimensions of your images are:

Tip #6: SEO Image: Stock vs. Original

Did you know that using stock images in your content can hurt your SEO?

Yes, it is true.

According to Backlinko, webpages that used original images ranked higher than web pages that used stock photos.

Why does that happen?

When you upload stock photography, you have to remember that the same image you used could be on hundreds (or even thousands) of other websites.

Why does that matter?

Anytime your website is crawled by Google, and it picks up the fact that you have duplicate content (including images), your SEO is affected negatively.

Using stock photography takes a load off of the content creating process, but it may be affecting your organic traffic.

Therefore, you should consider using relevant original images to accompany the content on your website.

Need Assistance Leveraging Your SEO Images? Portland SEO Growth Can Help

Here at Portland SEO Growth, we take pride in knowing what it takes to leverage SEO for images on your website.

Rest assured, with our SEO specialists, you’re in great hands. 

When we’re done, you can be sure that we’ve done all the necessary work to optimize your photos by implementing the following:

  • Implementing an SEO-focused strategy
  • Executing effective keyword research
  • Managing the technical aspects of on-page SEO

…and so much more.

Now you are faced with an important decision to make for your business:

  1. Take all the information in the guide and begin implementing all the SEO image tips, which takes you away from other important matters of your business; or

  2. Trust the professional SEO experts at Portland SEO Growth to do the work for you with a well-executed image optimization strategy.

You can trust that Portland SEO Growth is here to help your rank on Google with our proven experience.

We want to help your business gain more visibility online. Visit our website and learn more about Portland SEO Growth and how we can help your business here.