How to optimize the images for better SEO

07 Jan 2022 12 min read

Images are the essential components ensuring that the content is more accessible, attractive, and engaging to users, which is also equally important in the context of SEO.


Image Optimization


Image optimization is the process to ensure that the images which are integrated on a website do not decrease the page speed, must contain appropriate tags, optimal file size, and type. This helps with the accurate image of the search engine. The major objective of image optimization is to complement other on-page optimization efforts, to help in attaining a better ranking for web pages, and to ensure the visibility of images in the vertical image search section of Google.


Importance of Image Optimization


It is a known fact that image optimization helps in improving page speed, strengthening the user experience. It is one of the best on-page SEO techniques which directly impact the ranking of a webpage. Also, organic sessions to your website increase, if the image ranks well in the image search section of Google, which ultimately helps in increasing the traffic from organic search.


Better page speed

Since every webpage should take minimum time to load as much as possible as keeping users waiting for media-loaded web pages can drive them away from the page increasing the bounce rate. So, image optimization plays an important role in reducing page-load speed. Image optimization is the technique that serves high-quality images in the correct format while still maintaining the image with its small possible size.


Improved User Experience

By now it is familiar that users are prone to leave the website if the page takes too long to load than it normally does so image optimization is important to improve the user experience. If your website has proper image optimization implemented, then the loading time of the website will be almost the same across all the devices. For users to stay longer on your website, you need to ensure that your website loads fast not only on computers but on other small devices too.


Enhanced SEO Ranking

It is a verified fact that page load speed is the significant factor that determines the search engine rankings for websites. Any digital marketer at present knows the importance that a good search engine ranking carries for any website. With high SEO rankings, your website not only has a better chance of being clicked on but also has a chance to make a positive impact on users by offering a holistic user experience, which has its significance.


Improved Conversions

The direct link of good search engine ranking is that the traffic on your website increases significantly which means that you are gaining more leads to your website, the number of users is increasing, and this ultimately means more opportunities for conversions. In a nutshell, if your website is well optimized and has good quality content (including graphic content), users are more likely to share it with others who might share similar interests which result in more visitors to the website and improve the chances of more conversions.


Learn how to fully optimize an image for SEO and provides some pointers on using images for the best user experience.


Image Placement

Considering where you place an image on a webpage influences context and relevance the most. By throwing the images in random sections of their web page end up confusing and distracting your audience. Images should be placed near the most relevant text to provide context to the users.


Resize your images

Images with higher resolution and larger dimensions slow your page load times considerably. They might work well for print reproduction, but you need to scale down the file size without losing too much quality for them to work well on the web. With file format, PNG, JPEG, and GIF are all popular. However, WebP format is making a headway in the image format recently. The image format developed by Google uses both lossy and lossless compression. WebP images are usually smaller than their counterparts, but with the same quality. It means that using WebP images will make the site run faster and reduce the data storage at the same time.


Mobile friendly

Mobile users generates for over 50% of all web traffic, so it is important that you make your images mobile-friendly. Google offers a mobile-friendly test that scans your web page and tests it for mobile use, advicing you on how you can better optimize your images. Basically, a combination of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, are used to serve the correct size of image based on the device. 


Site Quality

Image optimization is one part of ensuring a great user experience. With having other high-quality content on your web page further increases its relevance and usefulness. Google looks forward to many different factors when considering site quality, including security, expertise, value, trustworthiness, and organization. 


Image Name

Though Google has advanced with machine learning, it does help Google if we add context to our images using the file name. For example, if the image created is related to "Image Optimization", it is recommended to name the file as "image-optimization.jpg" and not autosave file name which is usually in the form of "img123.jpg". Rename an image using the keyword for which you want the image to rank and search for.


Image Alt Tag

Image alt text or alternative text is another attribute which helps in indicating the context of an image to the search engines. It is mostly used by the screen readers which helps people with visual impairment to browse the web and get displayed when there are issues with rendering of the images. Site optimization tools or third party crawlers can help in identifying the images which do not have alt text or have alt text with more than 100 characters.


Optimize the image title

If you use Wordpress, the image title is usually taken from the name of the file, but if you don't or title doesn't explain the image, rename it with the appropriate keywords in the same way as file names. Image titles are less important for SEO, but they can provide additional context to the alt text. Image titles are helpful in terms of user engagement.


Image Sitemap

Having an XML Sitemap is a common point in various technical SEO checklists. It is highly recommended to have an image sitemap to increase the likelihood of your website image's to appear in the vertical image search of Google. You can create a different sitemap to list all the images, or you can add the information in the existing sitemap.


Use CDN

A content Delivery Network is a geographically distributed set of servers where data can be stored and used right when a user in its proximity needs it on the page. If you are not using a CDN or a platform that looks after this, you are more likely hosting the images on the same server alongside other website components. By switching image hosting to CDN, you can increase the loading speed and enhance the browsing experience. If you are hosting hundreds or thousands of visitors from different geographies, a CDN will make image loading more efficient.


Browser Caching

Caching is the method of storing temporary files on the user's system. When the user visits your website, you can call these files, save bandwidth, and provide a custom experience. If you are not using browser caching for image optimization, the user would end up loading the image from scratch everytime they visit your website. 


The image optimization techniques make sure that the image name, path, alt, and title tag provide the right context about the image to the search engines. Also, select the image file type based on what you want to achieve with the image and have a look at the file size.