How to optimize images for SEO purposes
Ever wonder which of your website images drives the most traffic or why your images don’t show up in image searches? Well the answer is easy, the solution might be as easy as properly optimizing your images.
3 Easy ways to optimize your images
1) Image Name
When uploading images to your website or the internet make sure you change the default file name to represent the image correctly, that image being appropriately label will make a big difference when ranking in search engines. A good rule of thumb is to label the image how you think people would search for the item, looking at your website analytics would help you determine if you need to re-evaluate your naming process.
We name this image below as “china-house-with-water-fall-in-the-mountains.jpg“
Making reference of what the image is about will help your website rank higher in search results.
2) Image Format
Search engines like Google are extremely focused on offering “user experience”. Which means that your website should offer fast downloading to provide it to the user. According to studies if you do not capture the visitor’s attention in the first 5 seconds they are most likely to click away. If you don’t want traffic to be bounced off to another website, consider your websites image download time. The easiest way to make sure your images load fast is to reduce its size.
PNG image format supports transparency (No background color) which increases its file size therefore loading slower in web browsers. Use .png file extensions only when transparency is really needed.
JPG image format is the most used in web development because of its quality and small file size. Some cameras and phones will save the image as .png format and therefore changing the file extension may be needed.
When you need to convert an image file to another format, the easiest solution is often to use your operating system’s default image editing software like Paint, Preview, etc or to use free software like Gimp. Just open the image and navigate to Save as –> change the file extension -> Click save.
The size in pixels of your images also need to be suitable for the platforms in which you want them to appear. For example, for an ecommerce, product images should be in the 500 px size range while banners, sliders and other larger images should be in the 1600 – 1900 pixels range.
Among other techniques you can use to improve your image driven traffic is by testing your images periodically. Make sure they work property and they drive visitors towards your website. That gives you the best idea of where you stand. Proper labeling and sizing can make a significant difference in your sales and search engine ranking.
3) Alt Tag and Title Tag
The alt tag attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it because of slow connection, server problems, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader.
The title attribute appears in a popup when a user takes the mouse over to an image. This attribute provides extra information to the user giving a better user experience.
Optimized Images can boost your rankings in search engines giving you more exposure and visitors which in return provide more sales.