What is Image Optimization in SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has a pivotal role to a successful digital marketing project and image optimization is one of the key factors to keep in mind when you’re optimizing a website.
What is image optimization?
Simply put, image optimization is the process of optimizing the high-quality images that you use on your website with the right dimension, size, and format.
It’s important to understand that image optimization doesn’t end with adding title and alt to your images.
A comprehensive SEO campaign should have a strategic plan for creating images that effectively connect with your audience and still remains relevant to your content.
Optimizing your website for on-site and off-site SEO will help increase your website’s chances of ranking in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). Images give your website more appeal. After all, what Fred R. Barnard said is true, that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
When a web user searches a keyword into Google, the search engine provides relevant images, websites, videos, and news. Therefore, if your website images aren’t optimized, Google will not properly prioritize them for search.
What is the importance of image optimization in SEO?
Google has stated that hundreds of million people are using Google images to explore and discover content on the web every day, and as the search engine giant innovates its technology in terms of its picture object recognition, it is also important to pay attention to image optimization.
Here are some reasons why image optimization is important for your website:
1. Improves page load time
Your website’s page loading speed depends on factors such as your host, layout, and design.
If you are optimizing your website’s images it will improve your pages’ loading speed and will definitely increase your user experience — with this, your users would browse through your products or services more.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insight to receive detailed page speed insights pertaining to your website.
2. Improves your website’s SEO ranking
Your page loading speed is considered a major ranking factor, and both Google and your users don’t like slow loading websites. According to Matt Cutts, former head of search quality at Google, “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”
This concludes that faster loading websites rank better in search engine results compared to slower sites.
3. It boosts your website’s conversions
An improved search ranking means getting more users and can possibly lead to more conversions. A report from Kissmetrics says, “79% of shoppers who are not satisfied with a website’s loading speed don’t purchase from the same site again.”
4. It enhances user engagement
A happy customer is a loyal customer. Providing an excellent user experience increases their engagement, and you can do this by both optimizing images and improving your website’s loading speed.
Websites with pages loading for 2.4 seconds have a 24% bounce rate — this means that a faster page loading speed increases your users’ returning rate.
5 simple tips on optimizing images on your website:
1. Use original and high-quality images
Using original and high-quality images gives your users a better experience and it also increases your chance of ranking on relevant searches.
Images give your users an excellent look into your brand and products. Use this to your advantage by attracting more traffic to your website.
2. Improve your images using tools
A tool like Canva allows you to add uniqueness, personality, and text to your images — enhancing its overall appeal.
This tool can also help you create an infographic from a template or a customized social media post.
3. Reduce your image file size
Reducing your image file size increases page speed which is important for mobile browsing. Nowadays, users are almost always on their mobile devices searching the web.
You can use a smaller high-resolution version of your product image and provide the option to view it as an enlarged version.
4. Include a descriptive caption
A caption is a text that appears, usually below the images. It is a description of what your users see on the image.
This is important because captions get 16% more readership than text, according to Poynter research.
5. Write SEO-friendly alt tags
Alt tags are shown when a browser can’t properly render an image — it is an alternative text that describes the content of that image.
You have to ensure that you write relevant texts that fit your images. Appropriate alt tags can also help your website get better rankings at search engines through the use of keywords.
Web users’ demands and expectations increase over time and you should maximize the benefits of image optimization on your website.
Website images shouldn’t be overlooked because they are a huge factor in enabling your users to visually find your products by searching for the image itself. In order to be successful with your social media marketing campaign, you need to make an effort to go through every step to optimize your website because its performance matters.
At the very least, you should keep in mind that following useful tips and methods to ensure that your images are optimized is another key factor to your success — images are getting more attention lately by both search engines and web users. SEO is like a puzzle, and image optimization is a piece to the puzzle that matters.