SEO for Images
Image Optimization for Search Engines
Optimizing images in your site is as equivalent as optimizing your content and HTML tags. An attractive image can easily engage the users to read your content and mostly users use image search to find interested things in the web rather than web search.
Social networking sites like Pinterest and Instagram also using images to connect the interesting users around the world. Hence, it is a potential opportunity for webmasters to optimize the images in their site for search engines and pull traffic from it.
The below points are to be considered when you use images in your site.
1. Name of an image
Add a caption or name to every image on your site. This helps users to understand the image better and also easy for you to maintain the images especially when you are migrating a site from one platform to another.
2. Alternative Text (Alt attribute)
Providing alternate text to images is the most important thing you need to ensure. HTML alt attribute allows you to provide an alternate text for an image within <img> tag as "<img src="image.jpg" alt="SEO For Images">".
Alt text is useful in two scenarios – one is for the browser support and the other is for search engines. When a browser does not support your image for whatsoever reason the alt text is displayed instead of an image. This will help users to understand the possible image supposed to be displayed and continue reading without much disruption.
As search engines can’t completely understand the meaning of an image, they use alt text as the text equivalent of an image. So effective use of alt text increases the possibility of the site’s visibility on search results especially on image searches.
3. Size of an image
Use appropriate size for the image so that users can see it clearly. Providing very small or very big image make the user embarrassed and leave your site.
4. Placement of the image
Display your images in a place where users can see it easily related to the content. Displaying unrelated images or displaying it in inappropriate place will make the user confused about the purpose of the image. This is also applicable for the image ads if you display ads on your site.
5. Structuring image folder
Organize all the images on your site under the same folder instead of spreading over in too many folders. This helps search engines to look and grab all the images of your site from once place rather than looking in different places. It is also recommended to classify the images under monthly subfolders for the purpose of filtering. Some of the content management systems like WordPress offer this feature by default making the housekeeping easy for webmasters.
6. Appropriate image type
Use generally supported image types like PNG, JPEG, GIF and BMP. Each image type serves different purpose and suitable for different occasions so check the quality and size of the images on your site and optimize accordingly.
7. Image Sitemap
If you use image as a primary source in your site then it’s a good idea to generate an image Sitemap and submit to search engines similar to normal XML Sitemap.
Serving Images from Subdomain
Though it is easy to convey a bigger message with single image instead of paragraph of texts, using multiple images on a page will drastically increases the page loading time. Each image on a page will send a separate http request to the server and make the loading slower than the text content.
The possible solution to improve page loading speed is to serve all your images from different domain or subdomain. This helps the images loading in parallel and improves the page loading speed.
Dos and Don't with Images:
|Use descriptive name and alt text related to your content||Generic filenames like “untitles.bmp” or "image1.jpg"|
|Provide alt text for image links||Extremely lengthy filename and alt text|
|Submit an image sitemap to search engines||Keyword stuffing into alt text|
|Using Image links only when required||Extremely using image links for navigation|
|Using large number of uncompressed images on a page.|