To say that an image is worth a thousand words might be a cliché, but it’s also true. People are more visual than ever before, so it’s extremely important to know how to optimize the images on your site with image SEO techniques.
Here are some important tips to know for image optimization for better SEO:
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1. Don’t use stock images
Your images should stand out on your site, and if you’re using stock imagery, all you’re achieving is making your site look generic, like thousands of others.
There are so many websites out there that use stock photos, from corporate and firm websites to businesses, all using the same business people smiling. Even if you have these images perfectly optimized, they won’t have the same benefit as original and high-quality images.
2. Use images that are original and high-quality
This point is important, so it’s worth reinforcing. The more original and high-quality images on your site, the better your user experience will be, the higher you will rank in searches, and the image SEO will be great. You can get original images either by asking someone at the company to do it in-house or by hiring a professional photographer. These images will make your site stand out, show your personality, and attract more prospective clients instead of getting ignored, like stock photos.
3. Use images with a purpose for image SEO
Your images should be there for a reason, to help tell a story or explain an idea. People are mostly visual learners so images can have a much bigger impact than just text. At the same time, you don’t always need to add images if it doesn’t fit in well, so don’t force them by adding any kind of image. Screenshots are another great way to showcase material on your site, especially if the subject you’re writing about is harder to grasp.
4. Don’t break copyright laws
Whatever image you choose on your site, make sure that it doesn’t break any copyright laws. If a stock photo provider owns the image you’re using, and you haven’t obtained the right license, you might face a big lawsuit. There are a lot of free images online, which you can find out about through Google Images filters. If you’re not willing to pay for images, that may be your best option.
5. Use tools to make your images better
Once you find the right photos that you want to use, get a tool like Canva that allows the user to modify it with text, personality, and filters and make it more appealing and engaging for users. Canva allows you to turn a stock image into a more personalized photo. You can also use a tool to make an infographic or social media image post.
6. Follow best practices
You should be aware of different image file types. For optimization, you should familiarize yourself with JPEG. JPEG is the best option for compressing or resizing an image without losing quality. It’s the most used phototype and uses colors, shadows, and more to keep the image high-resolution. The issue with JPEG is that it uses lossy data compression so that the image quality can suffer.
In terms of PNG images, you should use this format by working with Adobe Photoshop. PNG is better for images with transparency and is the best option for logos because images are small yet still high quality.
GIFs are also an option if you’re working with small images, but you shouldn’t be using GIFs, so product images. It’s best used for little animations and some website page elements because it’s a very small file.
7. Choose the right file size
Images are one of the main reasons that a website loads slowly. If you find that your site is not fast enough, consider whether you can reduce the file size of your images via compression and resizing. Your image size shouldn’t be bigger than what you need. Adobe Photoshop has a “save for web” option to save images in the right file size. If you’re using other tools, look online for compression tools that can change the image size without quality loss.
8. Write caption descriptions
The captions are more likely to be read than the website’s text. They add context to images and can help search engines understand them. Don’t force the caption if one isn’t needed, but consider the value they can bring.
9. Bonus tip
Don’t forget about Alt Tags for the images on your site. Search engines check the uniqueness of images, but they cannot analyze their thematic belonging. Therefore, if you want the robot to categorize the image, it must compose the text for the alt tag. You can check all alt tags on your site using the Alt Text Tester by Sitechecker tool.