John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen wrote in 1997, “Elements that enhance reading are headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, topic sentences, and tables of contents.”
KissMetric also stated in 1012, “Caption under image is read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.”
And I always say, “An image is equal to a thousand of words”. So, why not you take more advantages from your image optimization for SEO.
Actually, image optimization is a part of SEO. SEO is not a single part. It is combined with lots of important online marketing strategies. When you don’t skip any part of SEO (whether it is major or minor), your overall site’s SEO will be improved. Without optimizing a single part, you cannot expect 100% SEO benefits from your website.
And, when you give attention to the all fields of SEO, you can see a gradual and remarkable ranking of your site.
Anyway, let’s see 6 important SEO benefits you can get from your image optimization. Image optimization for SEO also helps to get ranked your images and lots of visitors from there.
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6 Benefits of Image Optimization for SEO
A relevant and optimized image can make 1000 dull words alive. An optimized image can offer you the following particular SEO benefits for your site or page.
1. Create More Traffics
Images generate more traffics from image based search engines like Google Image. For an instance- you search “image optimization for SEO” in Google Image. Google shows you only those images that are optimized with your searched terms “image optimization for SEO”.
2. Boost Up CTR from Social Sites
You can easily increase your click through rate (CTR), especially when you share your page’s links to the social sharing networks like Facebook, Google+ etc. Facebook and G+ display the title, URL, meta description and featured images. More than 80% users decide to click your link by seeing the featured image. So, features image must be attractive.
3. Keyword Enhancement
You get another chance to enhance your keyword beauty. You can write your keyword in the image file and alt text. This image optimization technique also helps you to detect your page or content by search engines. But, don’t use more than one keyword in an image.
4. Decrease Page Load Time
Page load time is an important fact to get more traffics and rank your site. And last of all, it is good for overall SEO of your site. Small image file size helps to lessen your page load time. A visitor waits just for 3-5 seconds to load a page. If your page does not load in this time, he returns to the search engine result page (SERP). Don’t use unnecessary images and try to keep your images as small as you can. But, don’t compromise the image quality.
5. Cut off Your Page’s Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a vital SEO point of search engine ranking factors. A visitor or searcher clicks on your page from the SERP and goes back to the SERP again if what he is looking for is not available in your page or he is not satisfied with your pages at a glance. As a result, the bounce rate becomes increased. It is bad for ranking your site. In this case, a unique image with highlighted caption can be used close to the title of your content or page. Because, images are the most viewed parts of a page or content. This idea helps you to lose your bounce rate. A visitor decides in 3-5 seconds whether he reads your content. A well-groomed image can hold instantly the attention of a visitor.
6. And Finally, What You Will Get
Although image does not affect directly to rank your site, but the above benefits are considered by Google as search engine ranking factors. So, image optimization adds an extra dimension to your page’s SEO. And, the above benefits are good signs to rank your site by search engine algorithm.
Friends, now let’s see
How to Optimize Image for Search Engine Ranking
The marketers do many things to break out SEO aspects. But, often they neglect image optimization for SEO aspects. It is not a wise job for a marketer. He should consider everything directly or indirectly related to SEO enhancement. Image optimization is a major fact of onpage SEO optimization. When your onpage SEO is 100% accurate, it will empower your offpage SEO techniques. Okay, the ways how you can easily optimize an image for SEO:
1. First Collect Relevant Image
Image should be collected based on your page’s content or texts. For an example- your content’s keyword or topic is “black hat SEO vs white hat SEO”. Your image should reflect these terms clearly.
2. Name Your Image File
Don’t put your image file name naked or automatic. You should write image’s file name according to your keywords, texts, contents or articles. Suppose- your keyword is “black hat SEO techniques”. So, you can name your image file with this term. Or, for what keyword you want to see your image rank, you can name your image’s file with that keyword. Don’t write file name more than 27 characters. And, avoid keyword stuffing in file name.
- Bad Image File Name: Image01.jpg
- SEO Optimized Image File Name: black-hat-SEO-techniques.jpg
3. Image File Type
JPEG/JPG and PNG are most common image file formats for web. First choice JPEG/JPG and second choice PNG.
4. Keep Your Image File Size Small
Page loading is a great SEO fact to rank your site. So, keep your image size as small as possible. But, don’t compromise image quality. You can use Photoshop or online image optimizers like Shrink Pictures, picresize etc.
Now time to load your image into your pages.
5. Alt Text
After seeing an image you can understand the boy is running. But, Google cannot understand what the image is about. And, alt text is that tells the Google or search engines about your image. Search engine robots cannot recognize your images without texts. Alt text helps the robots to recognize your images. The code of adding alt text is:
<img src=”boy-running.jpg” alt=”Boy Running” />If you use WordPress theme, you need not write like the above. You will get simple and easy option to write alt text while uploading your images. Write alt text 5-15 words. Shorter alt text means faster page loading.
6. Title Text
You may also get option in the image to add title text. It is not essential for SEO. Most of the marketers keep it empty. I also keep it vacant. Or you can copy the keyword/alt text directly in the title text.
7. Write Caption
Caption means some important words about the image under that image. Caption is read 300 times more than the other text of your content. It is like the newspaper article’s caption. I think more than 80% of people first read the caption of the newspaper’s article. If any text of caption makes the readers more interested, they read the body article or texts. So, avoiding caption means to avoid lots of reading of your content.
8. Add Image Close To Relevant Text
Adding image is just for adding image does not bring any significant advantages for your content or page. If any piece of texts demands earnestly an image, then you must add image around that piece of texts.
9. Don’t Break Left-Hand Reading Style
It is not clever enough to add image in the left hand side. As all the languages start from the left side except Arabic, all the people feel more comfort and are used to read from the left side. You can align your small-sized image in the right side and big image in the central point.
10. Don’t Set Image Size While Uploading
For an instance- your image size is “1800×1400 pixels”. It is a big size image. So, you set it “400×250 pixels” during uploading the image to keep your image size small. For your remembrance, it does not minimize your image file size. It just makes the image size look small in the browser. Page load time is not also minimized, because your image size is still “1800×1400 pixels”. The browser first loads the “1800×1400 pixels” image, then it shows the image as “400×250 pixels”. So, the browser takes more times to show the original image. By this time, your visitor bounces back to the SERP.
11. Set Images in XML Sitemaps
If you are not a developer, you would be wonder. We generally add image-featured tags to the sitemap to inform Google or search engines about our images. You can add images to a different sitemap or to the existing sitemap. Actually, indicating images to XML sitemap helps you to index your images by Google or other search engines. So, it should be done right. Better to ask help for other who have good knowledge on it.
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Last of all, as a marketer, you should not neglect a single option of onpage SEO because a good combination of all SEO aspects will only help you to boost up your site. Don’t forget to share your techniques of image optimization for SEO enhancement in comment section. The others may also learn from your techniques.