Image SEO: 12 Actionable Tips For More Organic Traffic


If you want to dive deeper into SEO, it is important to know that SEO is not limited to words and written content. Images play an important role in SEO as well. No one likes staying on a website with only words and no images to complement what is written. In many cases, images help you enhance the content of your website by providing better information to the visitors as they land on your page. This is what makes image SEO important for digital marketers around the world.

So, what is image SEO?

What Is Image SEO?

Image SEO is the practice of optimizing the images added to your website to make it easier for search engines to index your site based on the searches made. Just like using the right keywords, using the right images allows your audience to locate your website easily on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Image SEO involves adding images with an ideal size, resolution, and relevance on your website for search engines to rank it better on the SERPs. In most cases, it revolves around reducing the size and resolution of images to make them easier to load when a visitor is on your site to enhance their browsing experience. If you build web pages using images that are not optimized for SEO, it will reduce the loading speed of your website, negatively affecting its footfall.

Why Is Image SEO Important?

Here are a few reasons why adding the right images to your website is important for successful SEO:

Reducing Site Loading Time

Adding SEO-optimized images to your website will reduce the time it takes for your website and web pages to load. In the age of immense competition and multiple alternatives on the internet, you cannot expect your audience to wait for your website to load, irrespective of how good the content is. Better site loading speed prevents visitors from bouncing to another site.

Better Image Search Rank

Along with written content, Google displays images relevant to the searches made via Google Images. Image SEO allows Google to crawl your website, understand the relevance of your images, and rank them better in the image searches made by internet users. Your audience can reach your images, increasing their chances of visiting your website.

Enhanced User Experience

People generally prefer reading and consuming content that is an ideal combination of words and images. Moreover, there are sectors where you cannot afford to miss adding images to your website for better SEO. For example, you own an Interior design company in Pune and have worked with an SEO company to market your offerings better. In that case, the professionals will ask you to add relevant images that support your website content through image SEO.

Actionable Image SEO Tips To Generate More Organic Traffic

SEO is all about generating organic traffic and authentically reaching your audience. Here are some actionable image SEO tips to keep in mind for generating more organic traffic for your site:

1. Select An Ideal Image Format

One of the most basic yet important aspects to consider while doing SEO for images is the format in which they are added to your site. Make sure you choose the right image format before adding any picture to your website. Even if you add quality content and image to your website, posting images in inappropriate format would affect the ranking of your website.

The three most commonly used image formats while adding pictures on websites are PNG, JPEG, and WebP. PNG allows you to add better-quality pictures but increase the images' size. JPEG may lead to a slight loss of image quality, but you can adjust the same to find an ideal balance. Finally, WebP is a modern image format that facilitates lossless and lossy compression of images. The format allows you to create smaller, richer images to be added to your website.

While PNG is often the most preferred image format, converting your image into WebP before adding it to your website is advisable. This would allow you to add a quality image in a smaller size.

2. Compress Your Images

Images constitute a big chunk of your website's weight. Naturally, images are heavier than written content and must be compressed for successful image SEO. While crawling your sites, search engines consider the size of the images used and wouldn't index it high if your images are too heavy for your website. Adding bulky images would hamper your site's performance and the visitors' browsing experience.

Please choose the right plugin or tool for compressing the images before adding them to your website. This will keep your site lighter and help search engines rank it high on the SERPs.

3. Add Original Images

While doing SEO for images, always ensure that you add original and unique images. If you end up posting stock images or pictures taken from elsewhere, it will affect your site's rank on the SERPs. This is because the crawlers would realize that the images posted on your website exist in multiple locations. Just like adding unique written content, it is advisable to create unique images for better image SEO.

4. Stay Away From Copyrighted Images

The creators protect many images on the internet by getting copyrights for the same. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, if you end up adding images with copyright to your website, you risk your site getting taken down due to violation.

If you cannot create unique images for your website, you can always take pictures from stock image providers. Moreover, Google Images provides a filter that helps you identify images that can be reused.

5. Use SEO-optimized Alt Text

Alt text is a brief title for the images added to your website. The title appears in a box when an image fails to load on a website. When you write an alt text for an image, make sure it is relevant to the image and describes it perfectly. Crawlers look for alt-text relevance while scanning and indexing websites.

Moreover, ensure that your image's alt text is in sync with your on-page SEO strategy. Optimizing this text for SEO using the right keywords and unique content would help your site rank better on the SERPs.

6. Write Customized Image File Names

Ideally, an image file name would read something like "IMG_76724". If you plan to add certain images to your website, make sure you change their names and name them based on what they show. Just like adding the right alt text to your image, adding suitable file names to images helps search engines rank your website better. Giving your image file a name that is relevant to what is shown in the picture helps search engines understand the image better.

7. Focus On File Path And File Structure

According to the new guidelines by Google, the search engine considers the file path and structure while scanning your images and indexing your website. Keeping this in mind, keep all your images organized by creating relevant sub-folders instead of randomly adding all your images in a single folder.

8. Work On Your Page Title And Description

Google states that on-page SEO factors like page titles and descriptions affect the image search algorithm. If you want to get your images indexed better along with your website, focus on on-page SEO factors like metadata, header tags, structured data, page description, and more.

9. Define Image Dimensions

Defining your images' dimensions (height and width) allows the browsers to size them before the CSS is loaded, preventing the concerned webpage from jumping once loaded.

10. Add Mobile-friendly Images

A lot of Google searches are made using mobile devices daily. If your image is not optimized for mobile searches, your site may not reach your audience using mobile devices. Therefore, it is advisable to create responsive images that scale depending on the website's size.

11. Have Images In Your Sitemap

Whether you add images to your existing sitemap or create a separate sitemap for images, it is advisable to have images in your sitemap. This allows search engines to index your site better and increase the traffic to your website.

12. Opt For Lazy Loading

If you opt for lazy loading for your website, it will load the images on the site as the visitors reach specific sections. These images are not loaded until the reader scrolls down to the section where they are added. This allows you to increase the loading speed of your website, thereby reducing the bounce rate and increasing site traffic.

The Final Word

These were some of the most important and actionable image SEO tips to keep in mind as you optimize your website for SEO. The key to a fruitful SEO campaign is to consider every form of content added to your website and optimize the same for the search engines to rank your site better.

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