By Lee Wilson
geralt / Pixabay
The role of visual content in SEO is bigger than many marketers fully understand. It’s widely accepted that Google prefers content which includes visuals and we know it makes things more engaging for users. This has a knock-on effect with other SEO signals like time on site, bounce rate and shares.
Sadly, this only counts if you optimise your visuals for search engines to interpret these signals correctly. Chances are you’re paying good money to produce those images and videos so it would be a waste to settle for anything less than the best performance.
How to optimise your images for search
To give you an idea what it takes to optimise images for search, here’s a run through of some key steps you should be taking.
1. Choose your images carefully
Too many publishers get off to a poor start by choosing weak images to support their content. Yes, Google favours pages that include images, but not as much as it likes pages that demonstrate strong engagement factors.
Which means your images need to contribute to this engagement by being relevant and contributing something to the page.
2. Optimise images for the web
Optimising images for the web is something of a balancing act. The larger your image files are, the longer they’ll take to load and page speed is an important UX and ranking factor you need to manage.
The balance you need to find is reducing your file sizes as much as possible with the minimum impact on image quality. Smaller sizes also mean less detail – especially on larger displays – so you’ll have to find the best compromise.
You can optimise your images for the web with most photo editing software (like Photoshop) and there are plenty of WordPress plugins that simplify the process, too.
3. Create descriptive file names
Make your image file names as concise and descriptive as possible. This helps search engines interpret their relevance to your content and rank them individually in Google Images.
This also makes your images easier for screen readers to interpret them and easier for you to manage in general.
4. Make the most of alt text
This is one of the most important steps for optimising images for search engines. Aside from giving Google and other search engines additional context about your images, they play a number of important UX roles:
- Your alt text shows when users hover their mouse over an image
- Screen readers “read” your alt text for users
- Your alt text shows when there are problems with rendering your image in the browser (eg: slow connection)
These may sound like small details, but Google appreciates how important they can be for users. Again, the key is to make these as descriptive as possible and provide as much context as you can. If it’s appropriate to include your main keyword, then go for it – but don’t force them in.
Context is the main thing here. Search engines want to know your image is relevant to the topic(s) on your page Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community