Images are a huge part of the user experience these days. They help people quickly understand ideas and concepts, or to simply provide visual delight. Images are not that important for SEO. This is mostly because search engines generally can’t read images very well yet. But, they are still an important part of the modern Web pages you create.
Google has its own image search, along with other search engines like Bing, which blend in normal results as well as image results according to each individual engine’s capacity (Grimmelmann). Image-heavy sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr often rank high on the first page of Google Image searches (Wagner). Since users generally trust Google more than any other site on the Internet, this makes Pinterest and Tumblr popular sites for people to search when they want to find images rather than normal text results.
This means that any images relevant to your business or organization should be optimized for image searches, not just general Web searches (Hayes). This is because your site will show up in the first page of Google Image Search results even if it doesn’t rank in the top 10 Web Search results (Wagner).
Articles with Useful Images Rank Better
In an experiment by Socialbakers , they used a similar article on 11 different Facebook pages over a span of 7 months. On average, articles which included at least one image generated 27% more engagement than those without. translates into better rankings for your Web pages on search engines (Hayes).
There are many different ways to optimize images for SEO. The most basic way is to simply always use an ALT tag on your images which describes what’s in the image, not just “image” or some other generic term (Grimmelmann) . Furthermore, each file name of each image should be descriptive and relevant to the content on the page; this helps both images and text rank together (Wagner). You can also use more advanced tactics like inserting links into photos, using dynamic keyword insertion in images, including links in large, high-resolution displays of text which lets you have multiple keywords per phrase for SEO purposes. You can even insert hidden text into your images for more indexed hits (Dalby).
File Name Tips
The file name of an image is incredibly important because it helps search engines index the file in which case, it can be crawled and recognized by the search engine. Search engines like Google don’t read images; they look at their file names and where they are on a Web page (Hayes). It is also helpful to name each image based on what it contains. “Image1” or “samplepic” doesn’t really tell you anything about the photo, but something like “image-of-smiling-girl-at-beach.png” tells you everything you need to know (Grimmelmann).
Once you have written your article, list out several keywords or keyword phrases which are relevant to the content of your page. Once you’ve done that, insert them once in the body text and again in the ALT tag (Hayes). This way, Google will know to index both instances of these keywords rather than just the one instance where they appear first (Grimmelmann).
Don’t Overdo It
After writing an article with images on it, there is no need to go back and re-optimize every single image for SEO purposes. Search engines will find all pages related to your site over time. It also doesn’t do much good to keep adding keywords to something which appears in the image and has already been indexed (Hayes).
Image size and format also matter; if you’re planning on uploading your images to your site, it’s generally best to use a scale between 600-1000 pixels wide. This ensures that your images are large enough for people to view when they click on them, but small enough so that they load quickly (Grimmelmann) . Finally, if you want an image optimized for SEO purposes, it should be saved in PNG or JPG format with a low amount of compression [ARTICLE END]
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