SEO as a whole involves several different parts that work in tandem to help you take small steps to strengthen your website’s visibility. You will need to pay attention to the steps that other sites may be overlooking. One such immediate action you can perform is SEO image optimization which will make your website more competitive in the search engines.
Are Images Really That Important for SEO?
When we talk about SEO, we’re usually very involved in text and keyword searches, often overlooking images which also play a crucial role. Images are very important as a part of the user experience. Imagine a plain text website which just looks like a word document. You will feel that such a website lacks credibility. You will be wasting a valuable SEO asset if you aren’t using SEO image optimization correctly. What factors are important to ensure your images come up quickly in search results and don’t slow down your site?
Compress Your Images
Web pages that have heavy images will take a long time to load. As it is, images already take up an average of 20% of a website’s weight. That is why it is important to compress your images before uploading them to your site. You can use various online tools to do this. Alternatively, you can outsource SEO services to a reputed agency. They will be able to guide you and implement the best SEO tools and standards to ensure that your page is quick to load. If you are still unsure of how images are affecting your page’s loading speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Choose the Right Format
It is important to understand the formats that are supported by most browsers. PNG, JPG and GIF are the most common formats. PNG images are generally of higher quality but come with a larger file size. It is best suited for complex images and those that include text. With JPEG, you may end up losing image quality, but you have the option to adjust the quality level to find a reasonable balance. GIF files do not support a wide color range as the other two, but can be used successfully for simpler images. You can connect with a virtual SEO expert to decide on which formats would be better suited for your application. For photos, JPEG would work well. For designed graphics, GIF and PNG could be used. For higher quality, PNG is the best format.
Customize File Names
This is one of those steps that is so easy to do and it is amazing that not everybody does this. Before adding an image file to your website, take a little time to customize the file name. Change it to something that is relevant to your page which will also include one of your keywords for that page. If your webpage is about a cycle that you sell, the image can be renamed something like brandname-cycle.jpg. Image file names alert search engine crawlers and Google about the subject matter of the image. It is unlikely that many visitors will see the file name. But when your virtual SEO expert includes this step, it will give you a way to provide the search engines with a little extra information about the best keywords to associate with it and about what is on the page.
Use SEO-Friendly Alt Text
This is also a part of the webpage that most online visitors will not see, but something that search engine crawlers will. Alt tags are a text alternative to images that appear when a browser fails to properly render images. You may have noticed that on some webpages, when images do not load, you will see an image box with the alt tag present in the top left corner. You will need to ensure that they fit with the image and make the picture relevant. Alt text is also required under the American Disabilities Act for the benefit of individuals who are unable to view images themselves.
SEO image optimization is relatively simple. You can give the extra edge in search engines by committing a little extra time to find the right images and optimize them for search every time you add a page to your website. Also, read how to get top rankings of website by hiring virtual SEO expert
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