Image optimization is one of the common overlooked SEO methods by most of the sites. Almost 5% of searches on Google are regarding images. Images are shown in the search engine results page for many keywords when a search is done. So ignoring proper image optimization can cost business loss of traffic as well as it results in bad user experience. In online world, a picture is worth more than 1000 words, if it SEO optimized expertly.
As search engines can’t read images, so you have to help them with understanding the images better using different elements.
Image file name:
Image file name should describe the image and be keywords-focused. Image file names just containing the typical random digits are not recommended for SEO at all. A hyphen (‘-‘) is a recommended separator among different words in file name.
If you are a local business, do include the area name if it makes sense to the users.
Image alt tags
Image alt tag is an alternative to an image if it cannot be loaded properly. Adding an appropriate image alt tag, assists search engines to understand your image better which improves SEO and bring in relevant traffic through image search as well.
Image alt tag should be descriptive (2-5 words long) and describe the image as well as reinforce the topic of the page. Too long or keyword stuffed image alt tags can be considered a spammy technique by search engines.
‘Alt’ tags are also used to improve website accessibility which indirectly helps with SEO.
Image size should not be too big as it may slow down the page loading speed. Page speed is one of SEO ranking raking factors and their importance is even more in the age of smartphone and mobile internet. On the other hand image quality is important for user experience. So it is always recommended to go for a mix of image quality and size to find the balance between two.
Image caption/ title
Image caption or title is a debatable issue in SEO world as its direct impacts are not confirmed as yet. Regardless of if it has direct impact on image ranking or not, it is useful tag to have which, if not directly, may help SEO indirectly while helping users directly for improved browsing.
Image should be unique as search engines do not like duplication of content.
Related Page copy:
All image optimization go in vein if it is not in line with the page copy or page copy contains duplicate material. An image well inline with an optimized page is very much more likely to rank than just an image with no page copy.
So for optimizing an image properly, file name of the unique image should be adjusted to meet the SEO needs- proper image alt tag should be there while image size should not be too big and image caption and unique page copy can further strengthen the things.
Image optimization must not be overlooked and must be given attention like any other SEO element to get most out of your SEO efforts.