Date Posted: 23/12/16

In depth and thorough SEO strategy is vital to increase your search visibility and get your business seen online. We know you’re busy though, so trying to juggle SEO alongside other priorities and budgets may not be realistic. Having said that, if you can’t manage a full SEO strategy right now, there are some basic best practices you can follow, one of which is optimising images for search engines.

Images are a powerful tool for showcasing products, displaying work, attracting a person’s attention, breaking down complex information, and plenty more. In other words they have a huge effect on the look, feel and function of a website, yet when it comes to SEO they can often be neglected or just forgotten about.

In the scheme of things, leaving images un-optimised won’t necessarily hurt your brand, but it can affect your search visibility and make your website less accessible. From a pure SEO stance, compare your website to a competitor. You sell similar products and have similar content. If your competitor has every image optimised, and you do not, which theoretically would you think would rank higher?

Here is the difference between an image that has been optimised for SEO and an image that is not optimised for SEO:

image code example

<img src="/w/600/h/600/mode/crop/Portals/0/Blog-Image/img_001.jpg" alt >

 
image code example

<img src="/w/600/h/600/mode/crop/Portals/0/Blog-Image/optimise-images-seo.jpg" alt="Three Ways To Optimised Images for SEO" title="Here are three ways to optimise your images for search engine">

 

The above illustrates how the image appears visually, and how the image tag appears in the code. There are three differences and all of them could help the search visibility of your website:

 

1. Name the image file descriptively

 

<img src="/w/600/h/600/mode/crop/Portals/0/Blog-Image/optimise-images-seo.jpg" alt="Three Ways To Optimised Images for SEO" title="Here are three ways to optimise your images for search engine">

 

Create a naming convention for all the image files used on your website and opt for descriptive names over generic ones. For example, rather than using a default like IMG_001.jpg, rename the file to optimising-images-seo.jpg before you upload it to your website. Search engines need something to read when crawling your site, and a descriptively named file is the best place to start.

If you were to run an image search on Google now, you would find that the highest ranking image will have a more descriptive image name and perhaps even contain the search term you used, in its name.

 

2. Writing alt text, and explaining the image

 

<img src="/w/600/h/600/mode/crop/Portals/0/Blog-Image/optimise-images-seo.jpg" alt="Three Ways To Optimised Images for SEO" title="Here are three ways to optimise your images for search engine">

 

Ensuring alt text is entered on your images benefits SEO, but it also makes them more accessible to people searching the web that may have disabilities, such as vision impairment.

  • When writing your alt text, limit it to a sentence that describes exactly what the image is, or what it relates to
  • Avoid using alt text to increase the keyword count on page and don’t stuff keywords that aren’t relevant into the text

 

 

3. Give the image a title tag

 

<img src="/w/600/h/600/mode/crop/Portals/0/Blog-Image/optimise-images-seo.jpg" alt="Three Ways To Optimised Images for SEO" title="Here are three ways to optimise your images for search engine">

 

Title tags don’t have a huge effect on SEO, but this is something to consider if you are looking at every minor detail that could increase your search visibility – or if your website contains a lot of images. Title tags show up as a toolip when you hover over the image. They can be the same, or different, to the alt text, but consider them an additional opportunity to provide information on the image content i.e. the mood of the image, or what it means in context.

Interested in other tips on how to optimise your website? Check out our articles on Search Engine Marketing, or subscribe to our blog for weekly updates.

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