What Is Image SEO? And how does it Help?

What Is Image SEO? And how does it Help?

18 Jan 2024
What Is Image SEO? And how does it Help?

What Is Image SEO?

Image SEO refers to the process of optimizing images so they can rank better in Google image search results. It involves using proper image filenames, alt text, titles, captions, tags, and more to help search engines understand the content of an image.

Appropriate Image SEO enables you to appear in Google Images for relevant keyword searches and increases the volume of targeted visitors to your website.

Why Image SEO Matters

Google receives about 3.5 billion searches per day, with picture searches accounting for a sizable share of all queries. With its Images index, Google really processes more than 6 billion photos.

You can meet this need and improve discoverability by optimizing your photographs for search. Users also tend to click on visual results in search results rather than text-only results.

Moreover, individuals are inclined to click on images rather than just text in search results.

It would help if you gave image SEO enhancements top priority as part of your overall SEO plan.

Key Elements of Image SEO

Here are some key elements to focus on for effective image optimization:

  1. 1. Use Keywords in Filenames

To assist in clarifying what is in your images, include descriptive keywords and phrases in the filenames. For a dog photo, "cute-puppy.jpg" is better than "image123.jpg".

Verify that the file names you use are succinct, descriptive, and contain several keywords. Replace spaces with hyphens and underscores.

  1. 2. Write Useful Alt Text

Written descriptions of pictures are included in the alt text attribute. Since photographs are not visible to search engines, alt text is employed to assess the relevancy and substance of images.

Include keywords in your alt text wherever appropriate, and make sure it highlights the primary idea or message of the image. Keep it short and descriptive.

  1. 3. Add Titles and Captions

Image titles and captions provide additional context to search engines. Having a title helps summarize what the image contains using relevant keywords and phrases.

Image captions can describe the image in more detail, tell a story, or convey a message.

  1. 4. Use File Compression

Compress your image files to optimize their file size. Page load time is a ranking criterion that is adversely affected by large Image file sizes.

Aim for the smallest file size possible without compromising image quality. JPEG is recommended for photos, and PNG for logos and illustrations.

  1. 5. Optimize File Dimensions

Resize and crop images to optimize their dimensions without distorting or stretching them. Using the proper size ensures images look sharp on your site.

For the web, standard dimensions are:

  • * Hero Images: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • * Featured Images: 800 x 450 pixels
  • * Article Images: 690 x 460 pixels

Check image requirements for social platforms, too.

  1. 6. Add Image Tags

Tags enhance semantic relevance by providing additional metadata that describes the content of an image with keywords.

Some platforms like WordPress allow you to input tags when uploading images. Tags help search engines connect images with related content.

  1. 7. Include Images in Sitemaps

Construct a sitemap for images and upload it to Google Search Console. An image sitemap includes extra metadata and notifies Google of every image on your website.

This helps Google discover new images and prioritize which ones to index. Image sitemaps improve overall indexation.

How Image SEO Helps Your Website

Optimizing Iamges for search has a number of advantages that can improve your site's performance and traffic. Here are some of the major ways it helps:

  1. 1. Increased Organic Reach

By targeting relevant image-based queries, you expand the number of keywords and searches your site can potentially rank for. This increases organic search reach and discoverability.

  1. 2. Higher Click-Through Rates

Images stand out more than plain text in search results, naturally drawing more attention and clicks from searchers. Increased click-through rate from image searches helps drive more qualified visitors.

  1. 3. Improved User Experience

Properly sized and compressed images enhance page speed and loading times. Fast load times improve user experience, which boosts conversions and lowers bounce rates.

  1. 4. Social Media Engagement

Optimized images are more visibly engaging on social media, helping increase shares, likes, and engagement. This expands reach through social channels.

  1. 5. Brand Building

Ranking in image search results provides more opportunities to display your brand visibly. It reinforces brand authority and awareness organically.

Actionable Image SEO Tips

Here are some actionable tips to further improve your image SEO efforts:

  • * Use image SEO tools like Google Search Console to analyze how your images are performing and identify issues.
  • * Perform an image content audit to identify and fix images with suboptimal file names, alt text, titles, etc.
  • * Include your target keyword in the first part of image filenames and alt text.
  • * Make alt text and titles match when using the same image in multiple places on your site.
  • * Use ALT tags on decorative images that say [Decorative Image] so search engines can ignore them.
  • * Resize and compress images before uploading to reduce file size.
  • * Take new, original, high-quality images to differentiate your content from competitors.
  • * Add schema.org metadata to showcase images and Rich Results in Google.

The time you invest in improving image SEO can pay off exponentially in terms of increased qualified traffic, brand visibility, and organic growth.

Conclusion

Optimizing images should be an integral part of your SEO and content strategy. Image SEO includes using keyword-rich filenames, alt text, tags, and more to help search engines understand and index your images better.

It helps you tap into rising image search demand while improving user experience and branding. Focus on file size, dimensions, original images, metadata, and more to maximize impact. Improving image discoverability and click-through rates leads to more qualified organic traffic.

What aspects of image SEO do you think are most important? Let me know what image optimization tactics work well for your website!