Many bloggers definitely do not give enough importance to images for their posts, but images can be a good source for search engine traffic when properly optimized. Images also have a good impact on page load time, so proper optimizing of images and reducing image size before publishing any post is a must. So I have written this quick guide on how to optimize images for SEO and better ranking.
How to Optimize Images
To optimize image you need to keep concentration on few factors. This may seem a boring job but if you do it regularly you will get accustomed to it. In fact what we are doing is to get more visitors from search engine, right?
A file with the name like DSC526458.jpg or MSC398768998.jpg doesn’t make any sense to search engine crawlers. To optimize image, you need to rename the image file including your keyword in it, as it will help to get search engine visitors when the image is rank for related keywords. Several factors to consider while renaming your file.
- JPG is the best format to be used for your blog image rather than GIF and PNG.
- If you are writing a blog post on Thesis Theme, rename your image as thesis-theme or thesis-theme-interface like this, keeping in mind that your primary keyword is within your image name.
- Always use hyphen “-” between words while renaming your image file. You can also use delimiters for renaming, but can expect better result to optimize images with hyphens.
- If you are having multiple images on the same object, my suggestion is to add “-1” or “-2” at the end of the file.
Search engines cannot read images. It cannot read text inside images also. It can only read the text behind the image.
For example, if you include an image for a T-Shirt with a message “I love my country”, search engine crawler will neither understand that it is a T-Shirt picture nor read the message “I love my country”. But in order to optimize images for web, if you use a Alt Text like “Picture of T-shirt with text I love my country”, search engine can understand what this picture is for.
To optimize graphics images, you should include Alt Text for every single image you use in your post and once your blog grows you can expect a good number of traffic through search engine image sources.
Title and Caption
Some people may argue but I do not like to spend much time on image Title. I sometimes leave it blank and concentrate on Alt text only. Caption is also not important to search engine and do not necessarily need to include.
Before using image, you should know the exact width of your post column. Yes some premium themes like Thesis can auto adjust images to fit the width and some people tend to take this benefit by living their image size larger than the post column width, but these larger images occupy more space and effect on page load time.
For example, if your post column width is 600px and you want your image to be centered, then you can resize your images as 550px or less. If you use image to the right or left, then the size should be kept within 200px~300px to make it lucrative.
You can download and use the Image Optimizer tool to resize as well as to reduce image size by eliminating unnecessary bytes from image.
If you follow the proper guide to optimize images then it can be a good source to get organic search engine visitors. Use at least 1 image for a standard post and if you write a longer post, better to add couple of images. If you write review of a product or software, try to use as many images of the look and interface of the product, as potential buyers might want to have a close idea about the product.