How to Boost SEO Through Your Choice and Use of Images
Did you think you were using images on your website and blog just to make them look good? You’re only partially right. Used correctly, images can help your website to get better rankings too. Used incorrectly, they’re going to tank your rankings. Want to know what you’re doing correctly and where you’re missing the target and need to improve? Here’s a quick guide!
There are two schools of thought on this. However, in general, Google does notice original content, and if it isn’t looking carefully at pictures yet, it’s bound to sooner or later. If you use stock images, try to edit them for a touch of originality. A free background remover allows you to post elements from your own images into stock photos or the other way around. It’s a simple way to add a new spin to stock images – and they need it.
Unless you purchase exclusive rights to an image, you can bet everyone else is using it too. It gets tired, and your visitors may well notice. While we’re talking originality – don’t “borrow” images without permission. You may fall foul of copyrights.
Slow loading time? It’s not just your visitors who might get impatient – search engines will downgrade your site because of its slow loading times and there goes your whole SEO strategy. Try to compress your images without losing too much quality.
There are free online tools to do it, or you can use Photoshop or a plugin that allows you to compress images while you’re busy working in your site’s backend. If you don’t want to spend time crunching pixels, Photoshop has a save for web feature that will do the job for you quickly. And if you’re going to go for unique images, it’s probably a good idea to get good editing software.
Image file names matter. Before you even upload, be sure to rename your images with a descriptive file name. It’s one more way you can help search engines to gauge what your content is about, classify it, and offer it to people searching the web for the kind of information you’re publishing.
While SEO experts may differ on whether Google is using originality as a minor ranking criterion for images, everyone agrees that alt text plays a role. It’s also a requirement in the USA and a few other countries and it’s meant to tell people with disabilities what’s on your site. Every bit helps, so choose relevant images and see whether any of your favourite search keywords can go into the alt text – but don’t overdo it. Ensure that the alt text makes some kind of sense. Your alt text should say what your picture is of. If that allows you to add a keyword or a synonym, go for it!
Newsflash! Those constantly-updating search algorithms are now looking at file paths. It’s not even a rumour, it’s in Google’s updated image guidelines. So, apart from looking at the file name, search engines will also look at the folder or subfolder where it’s stored on your website.
While this might sound like extra work, it’s a blessing in disguise. Simply name your folders based on the type of product or service you’re offering and categorise your images accordingly. If you can create subfolders within those folders, go ahead. Just remember that the folder names do play a role and make them relevant.
Have you been missing a few of the finer points when using images? If so, going back for a fix could work wonders for you. Start with compression of the images. Simply making them smaller will improve your rankings. Alt text and file names are next on your to do list. Here’s to more traffic on your website! It’s worth the effort.