Humans can decipher the contents of an image, but not bots. Search engine bots rely on textual cues to understand website imagery, e.g.: image alt tag. So if you are not leveraging the power of image SEO today, you are leaving something big behind.
On another hand, we have to consider that correctly tagging website image helps with the task of enabling accessibility across your site. Many aspects of optimizing images for SEO have to do with Accessibility and UX.
But let’s go back to SEO observing the ten fundamentals steps to be taken in the following infographic to optimize an image:
Infographic by Digitalico Media
Here’s a summary of the infographic contents:
- Alt Tags : screen readers tell blind users what the alt text says. Search engine crawler are like disabled users. They rely on alt tags to understand for the image is about. Describe the images without stuffing keywords
- Image File name:
Give your photos descriptive names, Eg: mountains-of-alaska.jpg rather than IMG5689.jpg
- Resize and downsample images to improve speed performance, and specify image dimensions
Tip: ImageOptim, Jpeg Mini and PunyPNG are three great services to downsample images
- Image Captions: this is one more opportunity to describe the image and add context
- Responsiveness: Make sure you upload one image for each device you are optimising for, as opposed to delivering a fraction of the image. Your users will appreciate that and your overall UX efforts will improve.
- Uniqueness: Spend enough time in producing unique images or bespoke illustrations for your web project. If that’s not feasible, then opt for “Creative Commons Images from Flickr”. Commercial Stock photos should be the last choice. You should eventually switch to using your photos. Using your images will help you create a unique brand identity and ensure that no one else uses the same visuals as you. If you have a picture on your site that appears on 1000 other sites, Google will not deem it as unique as a picture that appears on just one site. Don’t worry if you’re not a photographer, they don’t have to be perfect.
- Keep your image close to the textual content of an article vs having the image just in a slider or floating around on its own.
- Use Opengraph for Facebook and Pinterest sharing
- Use TwittterCards for Twitter sharing
- Use an XML image sitemap