Search engine optimization is one of the most extensive internet marketing strategies that can either take your site to the heights of popularity or could lead to a sudden drop. With SEO, you can expect your website to get increased visibility over search engines. Optimizing the content is something that almost each of us is performing but what about the images? One must note that it is not only the content but also the images that need to be optimized for garnering traffic. Image optimization is something that is important yet discussed rarely.
Poor image SEO is actually making you lose a major traffic. To keep the traffic level in control, you will have to understand how all search engines work and what the best way to format your images is. Here are some tips that might follow to get started.
Tip 1: Make use of Alt Text
The first thing that you need to start with is the image alt tags. Set image alt tags as it the need of hour as per the SEO trends. In this case, IMG is the tag and ALT is its attribute i.e. a short text that describes your image. It is the image alt text that lets helps Google in suggesting image suggestions when the user searches for something in the search engine. Without you offering alt text, it is actually going to get difficult for Google to differentiate between the images. Below specified are the points that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you are using alt text in an appropriate way.
- Keywords usage: Make use you add relevant keywords in the alt texts too.
- Keep it short: The length of alt text should be less than 125 characters with minimal keywords in it. Search engines might skip alt texts that are lengthy and even worse the search engines might ignore the images.
- Limited use of alt text: Make sure that you are using alt text only for the images that you wish to get indexed by search engines.
Tip 2: Naming Files
Just like alt texts, it is important that you take in to consideration the file names. File names describe the images, hence making it easy for the search engines to identify them. Take this example, suppose the image of a yellow teddy that you took from your camera has a name IMG_20140201.jpg. Now, would you be able to guess its name. Is it an apple or a car? Things would be easy when the file name is Yellow_teddy.jpg. Whenever you start uploading images, make sure you change the name of file. With the process of changing names being easy and requiring little effort, you should never hesitate from renaming the images. The guidelines that you need to follow are as follows:
- Keywords: Again: It is important that you make use of keywords. Just like alt tags, keywords too aid Google to contextualize the image. Keep in mind that the image file names are also visible in the URLs.
- Hyphens Work: SEO experts know it very well how to distinguish file name keywords through hyphens (-).
- Keep it Unique: The keywords that are same as the file name should not be used more than 4 times in the file name.
Tip 3: File Size
Google made it clear a few years ago that page loading speed will be considered as a major factor in determining the search rankings. When a comparison is made between two sites of equal value, Google prefers the one that is faster. Images are a major factor determining the page load speed. So, it is best when you make use of faster-loading images. The best that you can do for reducing the image uploading speed is to reduce the file size. This can be done by changing the format of image to some other format that is optimized for the web.
For instance, PNG is the most preferred image format considering the fact that it supports transparency and is smaller in size. One could also make use of compression tools for resizing the PNG images. Also, JPG is a standard format used for photographs that have millions of colors infused in them. Similarly, GIF format is well suited for animated as well as static images than have less than 256 colors.