In terms of aesthetics, images are an integral part of website design. They provide site visitors with instant visual stimulation. In terms of SEO, images can be optimized and bring additional visitors to a website.
But images are often overlooked in SEO. But if we see next to regular search on a search engine Image Search is the fastest growing vertical search in the space. Compared to shopping, news, blogging, etc., image search has them beat by a mile. However, what’s even more important about image search, is how the search engines are utilizing and incorporating them into their regular search results.
Nowadays images are incorporated in a lot of different ways. You’ll see images coming up with the news one boxes, with descriptions of videos, a group of images could appear at the bottom of a page, as opposed to the top of the page. All of the search engines are striving to make the results more relevant and incorporating images into the results is definitely part of that strategy.
Here are a few tips to optimize your site’s images for the search engines.
Names of the images:
Avoid using any needless, uninformative words such as ‘and’, ‘thus’, ‘or’ and so on because they make your content longer and complicated and make the reader lose interest. Make file names as clear and short as possible. The image name will appear benefit the graphic image in search results. Make the image names of your files match what is actually represented in the file Do not expect your photo editing program’s default settings to give you optimized file names Default names communicate nothing to the search engines on their own. Make sure to set up your own file naming structure in advance. Use dashes between the words of images, rather than underscores. Nobody likes detailed data. Try to think of keywords that usually grab your attention and frame the file names.
Use Alt attribute of the img tag:
Search Engines only know what you tell them. Therefore, if we want a search engine to understand that a graphic is an ad, decorated text or coupon for your services you have to tell it. We do this via ALT (alternative) tags. ALT tags should contain a description of what the image is. It is a labeling device to translate your image into text for search engines. It also translates your image into a textual reference for users with visual handicaps. Finally, if a user has images turned off or a slow connection, they are presented with your textual alternative so your page remains relevant contextual.
The search engine also gives importance to alt tag to determine the page rank of the website. Google indexes the text given in the ALT tags of images. The ALT attribute is also shown when the user passes over the image with his mouse.
Things to keep in mind while preparing alt tags for images:
1. Alt text is the best description of the image.
2. It should be short and simple. Avoid giving unnecessary details using alt tag.
3. If your image is decorative text then just use the same text in alt text.
4. If the image is the bullets we can leave the alt text blank.
5. Use two or three keywords at the most while optimizing images with alt text. Do not use so many keywords.
Alt tag is a useful source to serve the problem of many web browsers displaying the image differently, and some browsers even do not support some types of images in such cases alt tag is very useful.
Ensure that the folder you are storing your images it is not blocked by your robots.txt file. Store your navigational and “structural” type graphics in one folder, and block that from the spiders, store the pictures of products, events, or news related images in another folder and open that one to the spiders.
Keep images fresh. If you’re targeting high popularity keywords it’s worth experimenting with re-uploading images. Image freshness is a contextual clue for the search engines and could affect relevancy. Re-uploading your images to keep them fresh.
Reasonable image file size
The image size also plays an important role while loading the page. If the image is too big the page will take too long to get displayed, always specify the height and width of the image so that the image will be loaded easily.
A limited number of images per page
Do not use too many images in a web page it makes your web page slow.
Check images are not being filtered out in Google Safe Search Filter
Use a Caption for Your Image:
Placing a small caption directly under, on top or on the side of your image will help queue the search engines what the image is about. With a caption, you can be a little more descriptive about the picture than with the alt attribute, but again, make it flow naturally.
Design unique images to differentiate yourself
Include Images With Articles, & Press Releases:
If you are sending out an article or a press release, do not forget to include an image, or a URL to an image that the news outlets can utilize for their version of your news. By supplying the link to the image, it can encourage them to link to the image itself straight from your own website. Adding images to articles and press releases makes them more appealing to the reader. Boost internal linking and traffic by linking images to the relevant articles.