How to Optimize Images for Search Engines (SEO)

Optimize your images for search engines using the following strategies:

1. Use the Right Image File Name

Before uploading an image, check its name first. Be careful not to select file names that do not relate to the content of your article. Your image should have a name that contains the keyword of your article.

An image with a keyword-rich file name will rank higher in the search engine results page. For instance, an article on image optimization should have its image file name as “image-optimization.jpg”.

The words of an image file name should be separated by dashes. This is the perfect format for file names besides being legible. In addition, the file name of your image should make sense to the search engines and readers as well.

2. ALT Text

How to Optimize Images for Search EnginesThe ALT text describes the content of the image file. Whenever an image fails to load on a webpage, the ALT text will always appear in its place. Search engines cannot read an image. Therefore the ALT text plays the important role of telling the search engines about the image. So if you do not describe your images using the ALT text, you will miss out on getting lots of traffic. This is because search engines determine the best image using the ALT text. Therefore, use the ALT text to ensure that your image is perfectly optimized.

Your image ALT text should contain the keyword that your article is targeting. This increases the chances of your image ranking higher in the image searches for that particular keyword.

You should never add a description that does not make sense. For example, an image of a house should not be labeled as “image-optimization”. Always use an image that is appropriate for your article and an ALT text that is suitable for that image.

3. Image Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of an image are important optimization factors. If you upload big images, they will become a huge load to your site’s server. As a result, your website will take more time to load which is neither friendly to readers nor to search engines. A webpage loading speed is an important SEO factor that you should not compromise by uploading huge images.

If you want your images to be picked by social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the minimum recommended dimensions are 200 x 200 pixels. But you may have smaller images based on your requirements.

Consider the width of your site’s content area when dealing with huge images. This helps in creating a perfect image that does not exceed the width of your content area.

If you have an image whose dimensions are too large, resize it before uploading. This is because if you upload the image in its original size and then resize it in your post editor, the original dimensions of that image are never altered. As such, when your webpage is loaded, the image will load in its original size and dimensions and then get resized. Consequently, your page loading time is increased.

Use the online image editing tools such as PicMonkey and PicResize to resize your images.

4. Image Compression

High quality images are usually huge in size. An image may have dimensions of 400 x 400 pixels and still be huge in size. In this case, compressing the image is the best option instead of resizing it. You can also compress large images so as to reduce their size. TinyPNG is one of the tools that can help you to compress images.

The good thing about image compression is that its effect on image quality is very minimal. This means you can reduce the size of an image by compressing it without getting the image distorted.

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