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 SEO techniques.
Here are some important tips to know for image optimization for better SEO:
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, it still won’t have the same benefit as using 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 images on your site are original and high-quality, the better your user experience will be and the higher you will rank in searches and the SEO will be great. You can get original images either by asking someone at the company to do it in-house or 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
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 it 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 finally choose to have on your site, make sure that it doesn’t break any copyright laws. If a stock photo provider owns the image that you’re using and you haven’t obtained the right license for it, 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 maybe 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 uses lossy data compression, so the image quality can suffer.
In terms of PNG images, you should be using 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, but can also be used for 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 which can 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 text of the website itself. They add context to images and can help search engines understand them. Don’t force the caption if there isn’t one needed, but consider the value they can bring.