Optimizing Your Best Images for SEO and Traffic
Search engine optimization remains one of the most effective marketing tools brands can utilize. Given its ability to drive organic traffic to your website with little to no direct costs, it shouldn’t be surprising that websites across all niches continue to target various search engine results pages for such benefits.
Yet all too often, brands become focused on the standard, text-based search results that most of us use. The end result is that competition for search engine real estate is substantially lower in other categories, such as videos and images.
If you want to improve both your SEO and traffic while avoiding some of the competition and hassle, then keep reading to learn how to optimize your images for SEO.
Utilize Captions, Tags and Text
In every situation possible, maximizing the performance of an image in search results revolves around being as descriptive as possible with the image in question. Ultimately, pinging search engines with details about the image lets them determine what exactly the image represents; while visual assessments of images by search engines are evolving, they still largely rely on text to determine intent and meaning.
In any article or page that the image is added to, including captions is essential. Likewise, including as many tags as possible (via alt text and title text) further conveys meaning to search engines. While you don’t want to spam each image with tons of keywords, adding these relevant details will automatically put your images ahead of the majority of images being indexed by search engines today.
Add Images to as Much Content as Possible
Individual images can be individual opportunities for new visitors to find your website via search image results, but finding opportunities to use images in multiple locations can improve performance. The more often a particular image is referenced in content, the more powerful it can become in relevant SERPs. However, much like with tags, avoid unnecessarily spamming the use of any one image in an attempt to abuse this perk.
Likewise, every piece of content you create should feature unique images in the body of the text. Much like each written blog post or page presents opportunity to rank in SERPs, so does each image – and with the option of adding multiple images to a single piece of content, ranking prominently in image results becomes much easier.
Optimize Image Attributes
While text-based optimization remains vital in performing well in image results, so does other optimizations. For example, those who use WordPress have access to responsive image functionality: based on the visitor’s browser and resolution, a specific file size or variation can be served up. By having multiple variations optimized for various devices and browsers, the likelihood of said image appearing for a given user in image results increases.
Another somewhat related optimization pertains to file size. Given that most search engines users now search via mobile devices, smaller file sizes are highly desired by search engines. You can compress and optimize images with little to no loss in quality, reducing its size by 80% or more. The faster an image can load, the more prominently in tends to rank in SERPs.
Improving SEO isn’t just about pinging search engines with blog posts and fleshed-out pages. Multimedia plays an important role as well: by optimizing the text-based and technical aspects of your images and using them as often as possible, you can compete for the same real estate in image results that you’re currently competing for in text-based search results.