One of the most frequently asked questions I receive when discussing SEO (search engine optimization) is “How can I optimize my images to rank better in image searches?” With just over 10% of overall searches being done via an image search, it’s a good question.
When properly executed, it can help not only to get your images ranked, but also help you with search in general. Google has stated before that pages and or posts that contain images are considered more relevant when ranking against pages that do not contain images, especially when those images provide context and/or create a better user experience. Combine this with the chance that your images can be ranked on images.google.com as a search themselves and you can see how it is in your best interest to optimize your images for better SEO.
Let’s take a look at 10 tips to help you achieve better search results for your website pages and posts that contain images, and also how to optimize the images so they rank in image searches as well.
(1) Provide Context. Make sure the images on the page or post are relevant to your content. You should also make sure that your page title and heading are relevant to the image or images as well.
(2) Optimize your design for placement. You should place your most important image at the top of your post. You should also place the image near relevant text.
(3) Don’t embed text or add text on the image (with the exception of a watermark). Always include the text on the page or post.
(4) Use alt-attributes on your images. If you are not familiar with alt attributes, they are contextual information added to the code of your website to add context and create a better accessibility.
(5) Use high quality images. This does not mean your images need to be ultra high resolution, but you should always optimize your image size and resolution for fast page loading. This refers to the quality of the image being used.
(6) Make sure your images render well across all devices. A properly coded, responsive designed website will help you with this.
(7) Choose good image titles. Your image will have a home on your website so it will therefore have a URL, that URL will be created using the title of your image, make sure you name your images well.
(8) Avoid changing your images’ URLs once they have been added to your site. If you have to, be sure to create a 301 redirect link. Your web developer can help with this.
(9) Optimize your images for fast loading. Text loads fast, images (and media) are the main contributing factor to slowing down a page’s load time. Use image compression and lazy loading techniques.
(10) Add image licensing markup. Google announced last year that you can include licensing rights and details via meta tags. This licensing markup will be recognized by Google and added to your image in search results.