Image SEO: Optimising Images for Search Engines

When you have just written a blog post and you’re left with the question ‘should I add an image?’ the answer is YES! Images make your article more attractive and can really help contribute to the SEO of the page.

Finding the Right Image

We would recommend taking your own photo, but we know it’s not always possible – there are loads of free image libraries to scan through like Pexels or Flickr. Your image should reflect the subject of the article; if you’re using a random image just to boost your SEO, you’re doing it wrong. This is because if an image is surrounded by related text it ranks better for the keyword it is optimised for.

There are alternatives for photographs like illustrations, graphs and charts and even animated gifs- these are becoming increasingly popular.

Image SEO: High Five animated gif

Preparing Images

Once you have chosen the right image for your article, the next step is to optimise the image for use on your website.

Name your images descriptively and in plain English. When it comes to SEO, it’s important to use acceptable keywords to help your webpage rank on search engines. Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial for image optimisation. Search engines not only crawl the text on your webpage and articles, but they also search for keywords within your image file names.

Generally the larger the image size the longer it takes for the webpage to load. If you can decrease the size of the image files on your web page, this will reduce the page load times and there will be less chance that people who visit your site will click away.

Adding Images to Your Web Page

Alt tags are text alternatives for images so a descriptive text will appear when the image can’t be displayed to a visitor. The alt text also adds SEO value to your website. Adding appropriate alt tags to the images on your website can help it to achieve better rankings on SERPs (search engine results pages) by associating keywords with the images:

  • Describe your images simply, just like the image file names.
  • Do not stuff loads of keywords into the alt tag! It still needs to make sense.

You can also look at tags like the ‘title’ property, but a simple alt image tag is enough to tell Google and other search engines what the picture is about—and help you rank better.

When in doubt Google has prepared a set of image publishing guidelines to help you optimise your site for their search engine. You can find the complete guide here.

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