Image optimization as essential part of SEO
It is not just the bloggers who write blog posts for the public. The popularity of blog posts, as well as a need for them, is bigger every day. Today, blog posts are a crucial part of a good web. They can bring you serious organic traffic, but they have to be well optimized. Also, they should be easy to read, and people should find them attractive. Image optimization has a great role here, but images should also be related to the article theme, they have to be attractive and interesting to readers.
If you have images, videos, infographic or charts and diagrams, your article will be more vivid, and it will also contribute to the SEO of the entire website. But all those elements should be properly optimized. In this article, our focus is on images, but you can optimize all the other items we have mentioned as well.
Images will contribute to a better readability of your article and what is the most important, Google likes that. It’s always useful to have in mind that images which are the part of the article, are not the only images that should be optimized. The same process should be implemented on all pictures on the web.
How to find the best images for an article?
You can’t take whatever image you like on the Internet. Even that is logical, many people do that, but that way they risk high penalties, and you don’t want that. That is why you should be very careful when it comes to copywrites. So, what are your options? There are a few of them:
Your own photos
The best solution is to have your own photos. You can take them by your camera but keep in mind that you need quality photos. One of the options is to get authors permission to publish the photo someone else (the author) has made.
Depends for what occasion do you need photos, you can hire a professional photographer. For example, if you have a hotel and you are working on a new website, it’s worth to take a professional photographer. In cases like that, where photos have a significant role in attracting visitors, it is crucial to have breathtaking photos. Of course, professional photographers are expensive, so you have to be very careful in evaluation – do you need a photographer or not.
Paid stock photos
If you need professional photos continuously, you can’t pay for photographer all the time. Then your option is to buy some of the pictures from paid stock photo platforms. If you can predict in advance how many pictures you will need (you have a plan of posts), you can pay a fee, depends, on monthly or year basis.
Free stock photos
If none of those options suits you, there are lots of free stock photos you can use. The problem with free photos is in diversity. Many pictures appear on a few different platforms, and if you often publish articles, very soon you will find yourself in a situation that you have nothing to chose, and not because of the quality but because you will realize that most of the pictures they offer, you have already used.
All the images you are using for your articles should be relevant to the theme you are processing. Google won’t penalize duplicated image, but your visitors will. They won’t stay long on your site when they see that you use the same images in different positions and themes. It is important to offer them diversity, something interesting and call to action. Visitors doesn’t like generic images.
How important is the quality of images?
All the images, no matter where they came from, should be high quality. Remember, you will use them on your site, for blog posts, on your Social Media accounts and they should impress your visitors. That is one way of your company presentation. If you allow yourself to post a low-quality image on your site, no matter on what position, ask yourself, what message you are sending to your audience, your current, and future clients. In what way you are representing yourself?
Yes, size of image matters
Site loading speed is a very important factor for Google when it comes to SEO. The user (visitor) is the king for Google, and everything is customized just for them. A user should be able to find what they are looking for in the shortest time possible. When images are too big, the site loading speed is low, so it is logical for users to find that kind of website less attractive. People doesn’t have much time today, so, you have to give them what they are looking for. Otherwise, they will try to find that information somewhere else. The most important fact is that those who left ones because your loading time was too slow, won’t come back. Or at least, it is hard to gain their trust again.
What do you have to know about image optimization?
As we have already mentioned, all images on your website should be optimized, no matter what their position is. That way you build a solid basis for any further steps in building SEO. We will shortly explain here the most important element when it comes to image optimization:
It is the name of the picture while is still in some folder on your computer. For the file name, it is good to use the main keyword if that is your featured image. If it is some of the pictures in the text or somewhere on the web, you can take the keyword from the keyword list that you have made earlier that is related to the theme you try to present to your public. That is a crucial part of the image optimization because Google will recognize that first and according to that interpret what the picture is about.
Also, it is important to remember here to use hyphens between the words, not an underscore. The reason for that lies in the fact that Google “reads” phrases correctly if you use hyphens, and if you use underscore, Google could misunderstand what message you are sending, so you could easily end up with negative SEO image. Also, it is important that you can’t change these information ones you have already uploaded your image in CMS.
Alt text or Alt tag
The role of alt text is to “say” to Google what the image is about. Along with file name, it’s very important element for Google when it comes to SEO. That is why your alt text should contain one of the keywords from the list of keywords. Do not use the same phrase that you have already used in the file name. It is true, you need some time to make quality alt text for all the images on your web, including those in Blog posts, but it is worth it. Although, it is better to have the same alt text as the file name then leave that space empty, don’t take that as a practice. That way you are reducing the chances for a better positioning on Google and other Internet search engines.
It will often happen, depends on what CMS you are using, that title will be automatically copied from the file name, along with hyphens. You can keep that word but remove hyphens, or you can write some phrase which contains that particular keyword.
That is where you will describe the picture. It is good to maintain the keyword from the File name, but the role of the caption is to present picture to the reader, to take his attention. The caption is that one sentence that you will find as an image description in all articles. It doesn’t influence on SEO, but for readers, it is very important.
Like caption, it doesn’t influence on SEO. The primary role is to give users more information about the particular image.