The Complete Guide to Optimising Website Images for SEO
If you own a website, you already know by now that you need to have search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in place so people can find your website easily. And with SEO, every effort counts! When working on your SEO strategies, did you know that you also need to pay attention to the images you use in your website?
Why it's Important
Optimising website images for SEO offers heaps of benefits. First, it makes it easier for search engine crawlers to understand your website’s contents, improving your website's overall visibility. With over 8 billion searches on Google Lens a month, ensuring that your website’s images are optimised prepares your website to be found on the results page.
Additionally, optimising images enhances user experience, as faster-loading images lead to reduced bounce rates and increased engagement. One of the things you should aim for is speed, because it takes under 1 minute for an average Google search session.
Overall, when your website images are SEO-friendly, they have a higher chance of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), ultimately driving more organic traffic to your site.
How to Optimise Images for SEO
Optimising website images for SEO is crucial for improving user experience, increasing search rankings, and driving organic traffic. When your website's images follow SEO best practices, search engine crawlers can interpret them effectively, leading to enhanced visibility. Here are the essential steps to optimise your website images, ensuring they are search engine-friendly while maintaining their visual appeal.
Pick File Format - Description of Each File Type:
The choice of file format for your images plays a significant role in SEO optimisation because it pays in terms of better speed. Website speed is an important factor for algorithms. Here's a brief overview of the most common file types:
1. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group):
JPEG is ideal for photographs and images with a wide range of colors and complexities. It supports compression without significant loss of quality. This format strikes a balance between file size and image quality, making it widely used for web images.
2. PNG (Portable Network Graphics):
PNG is suitable for images with transparency or simple graphics. It preserves more details compared to JPEG but often results in larger file sizes. If you require transparent backgrounds or crisp graphics, PNG is the way to go.
WEBP is a newer image format developed by Google, offering good compression and high image quality. Although not commonly used at this stage, it is supported by modern web browsers. Consider utilizing WEBP for web images in the future as browser support continues to expand.
Resize Images for Use
Resizing images to fit your website's requirements is another important step for your website’s optimal performance and ranking. When you don’t resize an image properly, it may end up stretched, blurry and just unprofessional looking. Clear images are, simply put, more appealing when they appear on search results.
Canva, a popular online design tool, makes the process quick and simple. Here's how to resize images using Canva:
1. Visit Canva and create a new account if you don't have one already.
2. On the right side of the dashboard, click on "What will you design today?" and select "Custom Design."
3. Enter the required dimensions for your image and click "Create Custom Design."
4. Add the image to the canvas and adjust it accordingly to fit the desired dimensions.
5. Once you're satisfied with the resized image, download it in JPEG format for web usage.
Reduce File Size by Compressing
Large image file sizes can significantly impact your website's loading speed as well. When your website uses image files that are just too big, it affects the loading time and in turn leads to a poor user experience and potential SEO penalties.
Compressing your images using tools like TinyJPG or TinyPNG can help mitigate this issue. Follow these steps to compress your images:
1. Visit tinyjpg.com or tinypng.com.
2. Upload the image you want to compress by dragging and dropping it into the upload area.
3. Wait for the compression process to complete. The tool will analyze and optimize your image while maintaining visual quality.
4. Download the compressed image, which now has a reduced file size without a noticeable loss in quality.
Geo-Tag Your Images
Although it’s uncertain whether geo-tagging images makes a huge impact on your search engine rankings, it’s still a measure that won’t hurt to be observed. To geo-tag your images, follow these steps:
1. Use a geotagging tool or software that allows you to embed GPS coordinates into the image's metadata.
2. Enter the relevant location information for each image, such as city, state, or landmark.
3. Save the changes to embed the geo-tags into the image's metadata.
Properly naming your images is helpful for search engines when they crawl through your website and determine whether the images you use are relevant and helpful. Follow these guidelines when naming your images:
1. Group the images for a specific section of your website in a dedicated folder.
2. Rename each image using a descriptive name with five words or less.
3. Use hyphens instead of spaces to separate words, for example, "melbourne-interior-designer.jpg."
4. Avoid unnecessary keyword stuffing in the image file name. Focus on creating clear and concise names that accurately describe the image.
With at least 2.2 billion people having near or distance vision impairments globally; adding alternative text (alt-text) to your images is not only crucial for SEO, it’s a necessity for internet users. It’s what enables people with visual impairments to get around using the internet a little more easily. Here's how to add alt-text to images:
1. Access the backend of your website, such as Webflow, where you can manage your content.
2. Navigate to the section where you want to upload the image, such as blogs, portfolios, or the "About Us" section.
3. Upload the image and select it within the content editor.
4. Look for the icon resembling an adjustable spanner in the mini toolbar and click on it.
5. Ensure the alt-text is set to "Custom" and enter a concise and accurate description of the image.
6. Save the changes by clicking "Save Draft" or publish the content to make the alt-text live on your website.
The Bottom Line
Optimising website images for SEO is a critical aspect of enhancing your online presence. By following these steps and best practices, you can ensure that your images are search engine-friendly, providing improved visibility, enhanced user experience, and increased organic traffic.
Remember to choose the appropriate file format, resize images as needed, compress files to reduce loading time, geo-tag images for local SEO, name images descriptively, and add alt-text for accessibility and SEO optimization. By implementing these strategies, you'll be on your way to optimising your website's images and reaping the benefits of higher search engine rankings.