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How to Optimise Your Images for SEO

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How to Optimise Your Images for SEO

Optimising your images can generate a lot of traffic from image search engines, like Google’s. Whether you want this traffic or not is up to you to decide. Ranking for images is similar to ranking for pages in the sense that there are clear guidelines explaining what you should do.

Define Your Alt Text

Perhaps the most common best practice for image optimisation is defining your alt text. When you see a picture of beach volleyball, you recognize that it is beach volleyball. The search engine, unfortunately, cannot. You have to tell it what’s going on in the picture, or what the picture is about, by using alt text. All you have to do is simply add alt=”put your alt text here” into the image tag. For example:

beach-volleyball

This is made a lot simpler with content management systems such as WordPress, which requires no HTML or coding skills. Also, remember that your (human) readers will not be able to see the alt text.

Optimise Your File Name

Rename your images before you upload them to a descriptive name—usually the keyword that you want then to rank for. Think of it like choose your domain name. Although Google says that keyword in the domain name don’t affect rankings, we all know that they have some level of influence.  Look at the file name of the image ranking first for the search “beach volleyball”:

 

Monitor Your File Size

The time it takes for a page to load affects how high it is ranked. Make sure your images aren’t too large because it will make page load times longer. Keep the file sizes as small as possible while maintaining quality.

Also, do not let your browser resize images for you. When you let height and width tags alter the image, the webpage still has to load the full size image and resize it after. Make sure the actual file you upload is the correct size.

Make the Most of Your Image Captions

Image captions do not influence search engine rankings. However, a bounce off an image search counts as a bounce off your website. Having no/poor captions can affect your website’s bounce rate and image captions are read far more often than you might think. Failing to use them can mean lower time on page, and higher bounce rates. Remember, you are optimising your image captions for your reader – keep them interesting and to the point.

These are four simple tasks you should keep in mind next time you’re posting an image to your website. If you’ve spent time writing up a whole post, you might as well spend one extra minute making sure your images are ranking, too.