Most likely, you’ve already heard that images get more attention online than any other type of digital content. This is true for static websites, as it is for social media sites. Given that some of the most popular sites on the web, such as Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, are focused entirely on images, have you considered how you can get more traffic to your website with images?
Much like YouTube is to video, Google’s Image Search function alone is a huge opportunity for image traffic. And again, like YouTube, there are ways to optimize your images so that they have a better chance of ranking well in search. Here are four best practices for image SEO.
1: Including Image Alt Text
Including alt text on your images is one of those little things that when you’re in a hurry or trying to crank something out, seems unimportant. Or perhaps you’re not sure of a good keyword to use in this spot, it doesn’t matter, this is an area where the search engines can actually gain some contextual understanding of your image, as to display it properly in rankings, so it is important.
While sometimes little things like this are easy to pass on or not give much thought, SEO can be meticulous work because it’s making actions like adding good alt text to images that produce results over time.
2: Keep Image File Size Small
This one is quite different from the image alt text, which is directly helping the search engines to understand what your images are all about. It’s important to keep the file size of your images small, since digital images can be relatively large files. Since the load time of a site is now a fairly important factor for SEO, this one is a simple way to give your site a boost.
Large files scattered a site can cause issues with load time, with the fix being to optimize images for the web in Photoshop, or to run images through a we compression service, such as Yahoo’s Smush.it service. Both will make sure you’re using image files at a small size without impacting the quality of the image.
3: Image Name
Another factor that provides context for the search engine’s understanding of images, the file name. Use naming conventions that spell out or describe what the image is. The use of dashes or underscores for spaces can be helpful, as well. Use names as an opportunity to tip your images ahead of competitors.