Most of the people are aware of the term Search Engine Optimisation merely known as SEO and in the world of blogging if we talk about SEO the first thing, that came into our mind is on-page SEO, off-page SEO.
Almost every person is concentrating on ranking factors like keywords, backlinks, domain authority, etc but nobody talks about a secret term that can drive thousands of visitors to your website, and now you might be wondering about the term.
The answer is in one word and that term is called Image SEO, some of you might have heard about Image SEO, and some of you thinking what Image SEO is and how can you optimize an image for search engines. Relax, don’t overthink in the coming lines of my blog, I will provide you information about why image SEO is important for your website and how image SEO works.
Besides this, I will also tell you about some important aspects and secrets that will help you in optimizing your image better as compare to your competitors. So, let’s start by moving towards what Image SEO is and why is it important for your blog.
What is Image SEO and Why is it Important?
Image SEO refers to a term that we can use on on-page SEO, or we can easily relate it with optimization of the image file. If you talk about the practicality, image SEO use in providing the ranking to your photos in google photos and helps to improve the visibility of your website.
Do you know Google has the largest database of photos? and in image SEO you cover all the components of graphics which include file name, size, the position of the image, and last but not the least ranking of your website.
Most of us are aware of this “A picture is worth than a thousand words”, this sentence implements when you have written a monotonous article and you want to elevate it by using images that will boost the significance of that article.
Everyone who has knowledge about blogging will always recommend you to use pictures in your article because when you use pictures in your article it looks impeccable and connecting to the content you have written.
Just imagine one of your images who have used in your article getting ranked on the front page of google photos. How many visitors this do picture drag to your website? A lot.
How Image SEO works?
If you are familiar with On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO, then you must have known that those practices of SEO are not fully dependent on a single thing. There are various aspects or techniques that support one another that makes On-Page SEO or Off-Page SEO works.
Similar to this, Image SEO isn’t only dependent on a single aspect. There are many practices that make your Image SEO great. Some of the various aspects are Name of your Image, Size of Your Image, Format of Your Image, Text Above and Below the Image, Alternate or Alt Text of the Image and many more.
When a crawler starts to crawl your page for google indexing and it confronts an image, sometimes the crawler easily understands the image and indexes it but this is not the case most of the times.
When the Google Crawler isn’t able to understand what’s on the image, it sees the alt text of your image. For you who basically don’t know that an alt text is, it is basically an HTML tag that tells Google what you are trying to tell from this image or what this image is really about. We will learn about the alt text more later in this blog.
But sometimes, an alt text isn’t the only thing that the search crawler sees. Your title of the image, what you are describing the description, you caption you have written under the image to provide value to the user or what text you have written above or below your image also gives an indication to search crawlers whether the image should be ranked or not.
So these various aspects of Image SEO are very important. So let’s learn more about them as I’ve explained each and everything below that you should know before optimizing your image for the search engines.
Different Aspects of Image SEO
1) Size (2 parts- Size, Dimension)
Have you ever noticed the articles in which there are high definition images, you spend a lot of time in those articles and same is the case with the visitors who are visiting your website.
So always prefer to use high definition images in your article but I recommend you to use the pictures who have height and width over 600 pixels.
But using an HD image will always result in increasing the pace size of your website. So, let’s talk about how you can properly optimize your images.
Size of the image matters a lot in an article, first thing we can do before we are uploading images is to compress the images so it can serve in the smallest possible size.
Most of the time page limit is less and if we are using large images it takes time to load and leaves a bad impression in the mind of the reader and within seconds reader leaves your site.
Generally, and HD image of over 500KB to 1MB but I will always recommend you use those images that have size under 150KB.
So, now the main question is that who you will optimize your 1MB to 150KB image. There are several platforms from where you can optimize your images, I’ve mentioned some of my favourite platforms below:
What if you are using WordPress as CMS then you can also try different plugins like
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization
- EWWW Image Optimizer
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- Compress JPEG & PNG images by TinyPNG.
But WordPress resizes your image automatically, it will show you the multiple sizes. But it doesn’t mean the file is optimized, it is just the displayed size of the image. So, you have to use these platforms that I’ve mentioned to optimize your image.
Every image that we upload on our website is not in the same format. For example, images have an extension of JPG or PNG, vector images have the extensions of SVG and GIF.
So, let’s talk more about these extensions.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG)
JPG format is one of the best-known formats used for images because it uses small images. But it is not acceptable if we talk about the quality, it might not be best. Each time a JPG image Is saved over and over, compression algorithms reduce the size.
Moreover, it is the most frequently used format for quality and weight of an image, it deals to use on our websites since it does not occupy much space and compatible for our website.
Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
It is one of the transparent backgrounds used in image SEO. We compare it with other formats it is known as the best format but it occupies more memory than others. Wes should keep one thing in mind that if your page takes a long time to load it will create a negative impact on the reader and on SEO also.
Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)
It takes less space than other formats but the maximum colors that can be used are 256. It is ideal for the situation when we use a simple image. This format is compatible with transparent backgrounds. We can use it in a dynamic and a static way. It is perfect for advertising banners.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
This format is not familiar to most of us but the advantage of using this format is a vector image file released in 2001, it is more powerful than the three previous ones. However, you can increase the image resolution and the image will remain sharp.
If we talk about the relevancy in Image SEO, it plays a vital role because the information we are writing in an article is not related to the images creates a bad impact google will put your website in spam.
For example: If we are writing a food blog and images we choose in that blog are of travelling is not suitable.
Image relevancy is important for an article because most of the people, even me also see the pictures first used in the article then read the blog.
4) Name of the Image
Name of the image is as important as the name of a human because if we are using images in an article with different keywords it will help our article in ranking and providing a better position in google photos.
Use “_” to separate your keywords, it will create a clear image in the mind of the reader if your images are loading.
If you are uploading several images under the same topic or related to the same topic, name them with numbers at the end of keywords because google crawlers get confused about the title if we are not using numbers in the end.
Let’s take an example to easily understand this situation when we are in school if there are three persons with the same name what our teachers do is call them with their roll numbers same is the case here.
Let’s make an assumption if you uploading a photo on Instagram without describing the picture will you upload that picture same is the case with Image SEO if you will describe the image in the description box google crawlers will come to know about the image and what things your image signifies.
Now you will come to how crucial role a caption plays in an article because it will help you tell a visitor what is happening in the image or what you are trying to tell from the image.
If you are also taking the image from any third party source, you can also mention the source of the image in the caption. It’ll help you build credibility in the eyes of your visitor and the google crawler as you are mentioning a high authority website in your blog.
It is also proved that people tend to see those images more that have a caption as compared to those who don’t have it. So not using captions correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.”
7) Alt Text
It is the most important thing which is used in Image SEO. So, it will be unfair to explain the most important segment of Image SEO in three or four lines, I will explain each and every part of Alt Text. let’s see what is alt text and its importance in Image SEO.
What is an Alt text?
Most people think that Alternative text, ALT text, ALT Tag, ALT attribute, ALT have different meanings but let’s clear this unusual thought, all these terminologies have the same meaning.
If we talk about the rightest term which we can use it is ” Alternative Text Attribute” it refers to the alternative text of an image. It describes the function of an image and represents what is on your image. Google algorithm says that each time when you use an image in your blog, you must use alt text in it.
Source code of HTML alt text is :
<img src="dancingworld.gif" alt="Classical dance">
Why Alt Text is important?
Now, we are here to see the importance of alt text, let me ask you one question whenever we search images on google and it takes time to load, there is something written on the image while it is loading? any guesses what is written on that image, don’t worry I will tell you it is an alt text If your image is not loaded but user can predict what is in the image.
Let’s make one more assumption, If we are crawling on a blog and we are not able to judge the images from where we can see the main purpose of images? I think you have guessed yes answer is alt text.
The main key points of Alt Text are roaming around the things like what kind of caption, text, title you have written, and google also judge your images from the paragraphs that you have written above and below the images.
Format of Alt Text
Now, let’s talk about how proper alt text looks like.
Example 1 :
<img src=”example.jpg” alt=” “>
We are aware of this phrase that we can not find the goods easily but we can easily find the flaws, same is the case with the alt text that I have mentioned above we can easily see that I haven’t mentioned anything in the alt tag and this type of alt text is not recommended. This kind of alt text is recommended because google can not find what you have written and it will not improve your rankings through images.
Example 2 :
<img src=”example.jpg” alt=”digital marketing “>
As you can see I have written digital marketing in alt tag but this kind of alt tag is also not acceptable because it is not specific about the topic that I am talking about.
Example 3 :
<img src=”example.jpg” alt=”digital marketing course in Jammu “>
This is the perfect example of alt text because it not big and not less and shows the image with some specification on which keyword we want to rank the image.
Example 4 :
<img src=”example.jpg” alt=” from where you can learn digital marketing course in Jammu “>
This kind of alt text is also not acceptable because this alt text is too big and there are many keywords used in this alt text and it shows spamming also.
Now, if you will implement all the things in your blog you will come to know how important Image SEO is and before this you have no knowledge about this. Now you realize the importance of Image SEO and when you implement all these things and if think I missed something tell me in the comments.
-By Ashwi Mahajan