Virtually every element of a website has something to contribute to search engine optimization, the process of enhancing your site to make it more visible in the most popular search engines. One area that people often miss, however, is optimizing blog images.
Just like your pages, anchor text, headers, and everything else, the images in your blog can also be adjusted for maximum search impact. By optimizing your images, you make it far more likely that you’ll get organic traffic from relevant image searches.
Luckily, optimizing blog images isn’t nearly as complex or precise as optimizing site pages.
Here are the steps to follow:
Use Descriptive Filenames
Google is getting better at determining what an image is by its contents, but images with default filenames are much less likely to be associated with organic search queries. Ideally, each image’s filename should be aligned with at least one of your targeted search keywords.
Optimize Alt Tags
Alt tags are visible on mouseover and will also appear whenever an image fails to load. They are useful for many reasons – like a page’s meta description, they make it easier to figure out an image’s context when searching. They are also used by programs that enhance accessibility for the vision impaired.
Use Multiple Angles and Related Imagery
If you are selling a physical product, don’t hesitate to use as many images as necessary for a complete view. And remember: Static images are more search-friendly than sophisticated widgets that zoom and rotate, so try to incorporate some even if you’re using a gallery or “virtual tour.”
Focus on High-Performance Images
It only takes about three seconds for a user to notice a load delay and decide that something must be wrong. Even if you don’t have image editing software, you can usually reduce load time for your images by using a compression tool.
Use Effective Thumbnails
Thumbnails make your website more engaging and also reduce load on your Web server – since they give users the choice of which images to access at full size. Since thumbnails appear in multiple places, keeping them small and varying their alt text are both important steps.
Use Image Sitemaps
Visitors learn a lot about any page from just a few seconds of looking at its images. The human factor is essential, but it’s not the only thing that happens in those crucial instants. By optimizing your blog images, you make them both more helpful to users and more enticing to search engines.