Not optimizing your images for the web means you are loosing out on potential visitors and when people arrive they may not stay.
Do you provide the relevant information to Google to ensure that images are indexed correctly?
Are your images too big so it takes too much time to download?
In this article we’ll discuss the best way of optimizing your images for the web. This article is the third article in a series about images.
Why Optimize your images?
When you optimize a page on your website you are helping Google index your content correctly. Google can’t read a picture so it needs to understand what the picture is about. This naming and ‘tagging’ of the picture will help with the overall optimization of pages.
Google users quite often do an image search also but generally this is not a good source of traffic, particularly with the recent changes to image search.
1. Give the image a good title
When you upload an image you can give it a ‘title’. This is not important for optimizaion for Google but your website visitor will see this name if they move the mouse over the image. So your title should be descriptive and give good information about what the image is about.
Tip: Still try to include relevant keywords that you are trying to optimize on. Just because Google doesn’t use the title now that doesn’t mean to say they won’t use it in the future.
2. Give the picture an Alt Tag
An ‘Alt Tag’ is something that Google reads to find out how to index the image. It also helps as part of the overall indexing of the web page.
The alt tag of main image for this page is ‘Optimizing Images for the Web’. This is because that is what we want to rank on for this post.
3. Create a good caption
As we want people to stay on our site and read your content you want to make sure they understand the image that is displayed. The caption is text that appears below the image which describes what the image is about.
The majority of content management systems will let you enter the details for any image you upload. You enter in the Title, Caption and Alt Tag (sometimes called Alt text). In the example below there is a description field. This is not used by Google so only enter it if you want to track more information about the image.
3. Create a reasonable filename
When you are uploading an image make sure to change it from abc135.img to something with relevant keywords in it. This does not effect SEO but when users are searching for images the filename can also be displayed so it’s useful to include relevant keywords.
4. Don’t have an image that is too big!
In a previous post on image size we mentioned a tool called Smush.it where you could reduce the size of your images (Click here to read more). This tool automatically reduces the size of the image without reducing the quality.
If your images are too large your page download speed will be slow which will mean visitors won’t wait around. This will also effect Google.
5. Consider other Image platforms
We now have to consider how we get our images shared on other platforms. If Pinterest is relevant to our brand we may include text on the image itself. If someone shares this image on Pinterest then it’s more likely to stand out because of the text and this may lead to more clicks back to your website. Read the post about how to optimize images for Pinterest.
There are just some practical tips to optimize images for the web. Useful? Any more to add?
The other 2 articles are: