3 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Images for SEO

SEO, Web Design + Blogging

June 1, 2017

3 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Images for SEO

After a training session with a local photographer this week, I realized just how helpful SEO content would be for our audience on QFYC. The original post was one of our most read pieces on Shoobie Media’s blog (our sister brand), and we received tons of comments and positive feedback from readers. So today, we’re sharing a new and improved version with all of you!

Why You Need to Optimize Your Website Images for SEO

If you have a business, you should have a website. And if you have a website, you should have images on your website. Common sense, right?3 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Images for SEO

But here’s the catch: most people who are using images on their website and blog are missing on some huge opportunities.

Images are not only a powerful way to convey information and create a better user experience, but they can also be great tools for boosting your website’s Search Engine Optimization.

Today we’re sharing 3 simple ways that you can implement today to start optimizing your images for better SEO.

1. Give Your Images Descriptive and Relevant File Names

Essentially, your images’ file names describe to Google and other search engines the nature of your image.

Each image should be saved on your computer with a unique, descriptive file name. Instead of the standard “IMG403”, use something like “Quarter for Your Crisis Logo” or “Engagement Session Philadelphia Longwood Gardens” (this one’s for you, Kate!).

Try to make the file name as relevant as possible. The description shouldn’t spam your images with the name of your company or the search terms you want to rank for; instead, it should explain what the image is showing.

For example, a file name of “Web design social media facebook ads small business marketing” would be a poor file name for one of our images. Google is not a fan of keyword spamming, so be sure to keep it relevant to your image as well as the context of the page or website the image is on.

Our file names change depending on whether they are the blog post featured image, one of our free resources, or an image on one of our main navigation pages.

That being said, your images’ file names and alt tags (see tip #2!) are great opportunities to insert keywords that may help your SEO as it relates to a certain geographic area, service, industry, etc.

If you want to rank competitively in the Philly wedding photography business, for example, make sure the venue location and (relevant – need we say it again) wedding keywords are in the file name of your image.

2. Give Your Images Descriptive and Relevant Alt Tags

This one goes hand in hand with tip #1. The alt attribute is used to describe the content of an image file. Similar to the file name, the alternative text provides Google with helpful information regarding the subject matter of the image. When someone is searching for an image in Google, the alt text and filenames will have an impact on which images Google determines are most relevant to return for the user’s query.

Additionally, alt tags are very important for users with visual impairments using screen readers or even those with low-band width connections that may not be able to see all images on a web page. The descriptive text used for the alt tag will provide this information to the user in place of the image.

For most website platforms, there is a space dedicated to adding alternative text for an image. If your website is built on WordPress, when you edit an image you will see something similar to the screenshot below. The “Alternative Text” box is where you want to add the alt tag:

how to use alt text for your images on your wordpress website

*ps: If you want to learn how to build your own website on WordPress without pulling your hair out (or spending a bagillion dollars), we wrote an entire blog post about it!

3. Watch Your Image File Sizes

The size of your file also plays an important role in how fast (or slow) your website loads. And since site speed is an important factor in SEO, we want to make sure our image files are not gigantic but are also large enough to load on high resolutions screens. This is why compressing and resizing your files are both important.

You can use free online services like CompressNow, ResizeImage.net or ResizeMyImg to reduce your file and image sizes before uploading them to your website.

Google also has a great (totally free) tool to check how fast or slow your pages load. Not only does PageSpeed Insights give you a score for both your mobile and desktop sites, it provides recommendations for how you can increase your speed and user experience.

Google PageSpeed Insights


So there you have it: 3 easy tips you can implement each time you upload a new image to your website that should help to boost your organic search presence!

Now we want to know – which tip did you find most helpful?

 

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