Images are a really important part of SEO. There are some key things you should do to optimise images for SEO and your web traffic, plus some important things you need to do to keep yourself out of trouble.
- Use copyright free images (create your own if you can)
- Compress them
- Customise file names
- Write alt text
- Consider the file structure
- Optimise your page
- Define dimensions
- Add them to your sitemap
- Make them responsive
Are Images Important For SEO?
Images are really important for SEO. Because images are important for people, and people are important for SEO.
Ok, let me explain.
Images improve the overall look and usability of a website. And that, in turn, keeps people on your site for longer and keeps them coming back for more. That helps your SEO.
Not only that, but your images are another way to get your keyword into the page in a natural way.
How To Optimise Images For SEO
Cue top of the pops theme tune.
Use copyright free images (create your own if you can)
Do not rip images off the internet that have copyright attached to them. You can get a hefty fine. Bots crawl the internet looking for images that have been used without permission so don’t think you won’t ever get caught.
Creating bespoke images is much better. Professional photography doesn’t cost a fortune, amateur photography is fine too if the resolution is high enough.
Use photoshop to compress your images. If your website is built in something like WordPress you can install a plug in that will automatically do it for you as you upload them. This helps to speed up your website, which is important for SEO.
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.
Customise file names
Image files names tell Google what the image is about, so making it relevant to your keyword is really important and helps your SEO.
- Write alt text
Alt text displays when an image can’t load and is used to help visually impaired people understand the image.
What’s more, it helps Google understand the image.
Again, use a keyword (if it is natural) in your alt text but don’t stuff them in.
So, for example, you might have ‘image depicting a very intelligent woman with a very ugly dog who wrote a great article on optimising images for SEO’ on this image.
Consider the file structure
Just like file name, the file path is important for SEO.
Google uses the URL path as well as the file name to help it understand your images. Consider organizing your image content so that URLs are constructed logically.
For example, you might want to organise your images into folders such as furniture/gardenfurniture or furniture/livingroomfurniture
Optimise your page
Make sure you take every opportunity to tell Google what your page is about. So if you have an image on a page and you want the image to rank in image search (which you do, especially if you have an e-commerce site) optimising your page is crucial.
Have a look here if for a super easy guide to on-page optimisation.
This is also important for increasing page load time. Google core web vitals mean the faster a page loads, the better. And the less jumping around the on-page content does, the better. This is called Cumulative Layout Shift, and it is really important that you get your head around it if you care about ranking factors.
Specifying the size of your images makes it faster to load and means they load the right size, instead of jumping to suit screen size.
Add them to your sitemap
Adding your images to your site map means they will get crawled too. This makes all that effort putting a proper title and organising them into folders worth it.
You want your images to be discovered and indexed by Google. You can do this via the SEO plugin. Yoast, if you are using WordPress. If not, you can generate an XML sitemap online and upload it to search console.
Make them responsive
When you are optimising images for SEO, be sure to make them responsive. That means no matter what size screen someone is viewing them on, they still look great. A lot of WordPress page builders do this automatically, but you can use CSS to do it.
Here you can find a great explanation, but essentially you need to set the maximum screen widths for each image in the code.
It might look like this:
<img srcset=”relevant-image-name-480w.jpg 480w,
sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 480px,
alt=”A relevant image with a great name”>
Baffled? I was too. Seriously, check out the link above. It explains it really well.
Need Help Optimising Your Images For SEO?
If you would like some help, we have loads of ways you can get in touch with us.
- Email [email protected]
- Phone us on 0161 706 0012.
- Fill in our contact form here.
- Hit us up on all the socials.
We can also do on-page SEO for you. Prices start at £15 a page.
See you next time.