Do you want to have your site’s images appear on Google? Here is the guide to optimize all image placement factors!
Image Optimization of a web page is a fundamental part of on-site SEO, that is to say the set of interventions that can be carried out on a site with the aim of favoring its positioning on search engines.
How SEO and images go hand in hand? There are basically two reasons to work on image optimization:
Many businesses base their organic visibility precisely on images, for example sites operating in the travel sector. Think about when you are deciding where to spend your next holidays and you are undecided between one destination and another. One of the first things you will do is search on Google for the name of both destinations and then take a look at the photos on Google Images. And it is precisely through an accurate SEO optimization of the images that you can appear in this SERP. However, the same argument can also apply to e-commerce sites.
Optimizing images also means ensuring that their presence on a web page does not have a negative impact on its loading times , a ranking factor that is now an integral part of Google’s algorithm.
You will therefore have already understood that image optimization from an SEO perspective is a procedure that acts on two fronts: the semantic one and that of performance.
So here is a simple step by step guide to SEO for images that will allow you to increase the positioning of your site and consequently also the visits!
Name of the image file
The first step in image optimization is to rename the file. People often tend to upload photos or images entitled “IMG00001.jpg” to their site, thus losing an opportunity to characterize the content of the image already through this component.
If you are planning to add new images to the pages of your site, be sure to rename the files by following these simple guidelines:
The words that make up the file name must be separated by dashes (-), better to avoid underscores (_);
Avoid stop words (articles, prepositions, etc.);
The name of the image must be speaking and include a keyword relevant to the content of the page (if possible, make sure that the keyword is at the beginning of the file name).
On the basis of these simple rules, the image that represents the interiors of the Milan Cathedral could be renamed for example “duomo-milano-interno.jpg”.
What if it’s abstract images?
In this case we suggest renaming the file making sure to insert keywords that are consistent with the page content (e.g.: “optimize-images-seo.jpg”).
Alt attribute (often called alt “Tag”)
A fundamental component for optimizing images from an SEO perspective consists in filling in the “alt” attribute of the “imp” tag that is the alternative text of the image.
Premise: is the alt an attribute or a tag?
Before explaining what it is for and how to optimize the alt attribute, it is necessary to make a necessary premise? Often the alternative text is identified as an HTML tag, however this is not the case: as we find well explained here , “inside each HTML page there are markers called TAGs. The tags are used to communicate to the Browser the type of formatting to be given to the content of the page “.
An image is therefore shown on the browser by means of the imp tag , while the alt represents its attribute, specifically the alternative text. From an HTML point of view, it looks like this:
What is it for and how to optimize the alt attribute of images?
The alt attribute is critical for the following reasons:
Appears, in textual form, when the browser for some reason fails to load the image;
it is read by the voice readers of browsers for the blind;
Has a good impact on the positioning of the image on Google Images, as long as the inserted alternative text is consistent with the represented image.
The alt attribute of the images therefore represents the ideal place to enter keywords (including long tail ) for which you want to position the image, however you must not “force your hand” and try to be as consistent as possible with what is represented.
Continuing with the example mentioned in the section on the file name, the alt attribute of the image representing the interiors of the Milan Cathedral can be written as follows:
The title attribute of the imp tag is what appears when the mouse cursor is placed on an image. In HTML it looks like this:
SEO side has a lower impact than the alt attribute, however it can be useful to add information related to the image and expand its meaning; for this reason it must be compiled taking into account even more the fact that it will be the user , rather than the search engine, who read it.
Read more: How Does Instagram Suggest Friends?
Semantic context of the image
The context in which it is located also affects the SEO positioning of an image.
What does it mean? It means that, obviously, it is also necessary to pay close attention to the optimization of the texts and headings of the pages that contain the images that you want to position. Even better if the image is optimized using the same keywords as the paragraph that surrounds it.
In this sense, the caption of the image also takes on its weight. A good time-saving practice is to use the same title attribute as the image as the caption.
Dimensions (in pixels) of the Image Optimization
Also pay attention to the pixels of width and height of the images. It happens very often to find web pages that use images as resources much larger than necessary.
In this case, the user’s browser will automatically resize the image to show the page as the webmaster had designed it. However, this involves a process that contributes to increasing the loading times necessary to render the page complete, which is why many page speed tools suggest to “serve scaled images” and therefore already of the optimal size for viewing them on the browser.
Furthermore, smaller images (in terms of pixels) weigh less, which is one more reason to look after this often overlooked aspect.
Last but not least, as we said at the beginning, the weight of the image is also a fundamental component to consider. The heavier an image, the longer the time required for its download will be and, consequently, the higher the page load times.
A standard size image should not exceed 100-120 Kb, however – also depending on the colors contained in the image – it is not always possible to resize the weight of the photos and still maintain a satisfactory resolution.
We must therefore use common sense and try to mediate SEO best practices with what is the goal of the page regardless of positioning; in any case, I would try overall not to exceed 500 Kb for all the images on the page.