Digital Marketing and SEO play a big part in the success of your business. Success on search engines like Google has become more and more important, so most businesses are turning to social media, blogs, external links, and strategic keywords, in addition to content building to increase visibility and credibility. But have you thought of photos? Almost every business website out there includes photos or infographics of some kind. They help engage the reader, break up text, and provide valuable information. But how can they help search? Obviously, search engine crawlers can’t interpret visual graphics, but they do affect the search! If properly labelled and maintained, images can help boost search engine optimization and help you get the most out of your search engine marketing efforts. Here are 5 ways to optimize your photos for SEO.
- Optimize File Names:
A lot of people make the mistake of uploading photos to their website or blog using the default file name of their images. Their website is full of photos called things like “IMG198″. It is important to remember that these file names factor into Google search. Rename your photos with strategic keywords or relevant, descriptive text. This name will factor into search algorithms and give you a boost for those terms. Make sure you rename the files before uploading them, rather than renaming them within the back end of your site.
- Optimize the Size:
The speed of your website matters to search engines. Google rewards efficient websites that load quickly. For this reason, it’s important not to drag down your website with hefty photo files. Resize your photos to as small as you can get them, without compromising their effectiveness, before uploading them to your website. Doing so afterward will make them smaller on the front end, but just as heavy for your server. With smaller, lighter photos, you should enjoy a speedier website and a corresponding boost in SEO.
- Add Alternative Text:
Alternative text or ALT Text refers to a sort of synonym of the title. It’s a brief title or description that will show up in place of the file in the event that it cannot load (as an alternative). Certain browsers or user accounts have settings that either can’t or choose not to load images, electing instead to see the alt text. This alt text should describe the photo, making it clearer for your users and also easier to categorize and factor into page rankings for search engine spiders.
- Optimize the Context:
Search engines like to know that the photos you are using are relevant to the website, the page or post, and the text that surrounds them. They won’t give you a good search ranking for a chili recipe, for example, if a photo titled “Chile recipe” appears within a blog post about car maintenance on a website about hiking. Make sure your photos have relevant titles that correspond with the blog post, and exist within the same umbrella of keywords used in the text of the page and in the title and even URL of the website. This will build credibility and help you get the most out of your website images.
- Maintenance of Images:
Similar to how it’s detrimental to use images that are unnecessarily large, it’s also wasteful to store photos on your website that you aren’t using any longer. If you have photos uploaded to your website that aren’t appearing on the front end, they’re weighing down your site without any of the benefits of images. Perform regular maintenance by deleting these unused images and streamlining your website.
This really could be the difference between being number 1 on Google or number 2, so get those photos optimized!