Most SEO experts will tell you that it is crucial to optimize your images. However, with lots of other important SEO issues, just how important is optimizing images? In recent years, more website builders have started to offer out of the box optimization including automatically formatted images, so photo optimization should be considered an essential component of your on-site optimization, particularly if your images are a central element of your content strategy. If you’re still unsure, here, we’ll explore why it is so important for your website.
Why Image Optimization?
Before we explore why it is so important, we’ll cover why you should “optimize” all your images. This includes any images on your site from “featured” and header images to the embedded images in all your blog posts. There are three significant reasons for this including:
Site Speed: Images are a bigger file than basic design elements or written content, or they can be. All of the space taken up can have a significant impact on your site speed. So, if someone tries to visit your site, their browser can become bogged down with massive images, meaning it will take time to get to your site content. This will compromise user experience and could increase your click away ratio.
Image Search: If your images are properly formatted with titles including relevant phrasing, they will be more likely to show up in a related image search. This will increase the visibility of your brand and the amount of traffic to your site. Unless you have some great original content, this won’t be a massive gain, but it is worth taking the few minutes to optimize your images as it has the potential to make a massive difference in monthly traffic.
Loading Issues: If someone is reading your article and can only see blank spots where your images should be, it will compromise their user experience.
How to Optimize Images:
Optimizing the images on your site doesn’t need to be difficult. Firstly, you’ll need to condense your images, so that they will load at a reasonable speed. High-resolution images can be several megabytes, and when a lot of your visitors are using mobile devices or laptops, this resolution is not necessary. To maintain a decent quality while shaving off some of the file size, try scaling down your images. You should also strip them of metadata and ensure that each image is properly formatted for the internet, such as JPG, PNG or GIF file types.
You should also ensure that you include an appropriate title. Stock images tend to have a long string of numbers and letters, affecting how it is indexed. Try to title your images with a brief and accurate description, and only use keywords if they are relevant.
You should also include alt tags for your picture and create a caption that describes the photo for the Google search index.
Finally, ensure that the image is strategically aligned with your content rather than just being dropped between two paragraphs.
In the big picture of your SEO strategy, image optimization isn’t usually at the top of the priority list, but it should still be considered. Even if you are not looking to increase traffic from the image search results, but you should make some amendments to ensure that your site runs faster.