5 Must Know Image Optimization Tips

4:38 PM

As the world moves farther down the mobile path, the advantages of including images within search results are clear: image results are more easily seen, understood and clickable than traditional organic listings.

According to columnist Clay Cazier, here are some image optimization tips to help improve image visibility within search results:

Image Optimization Tips
Photo Source: https://static.pexels.com/photos/6415/apple-desk-office-working.jpg

Top Factors:
1. Image should have a relevant two- to four-word filename.
2. Image should use a descriptive two- to four-word ALT tag.
3. It should have a relevant heading, caption or surrounding text.
4. Use clear images, placed high up on the page, that specify width and height attributes.
5. Create and submit an image sitemap.

Pretty easy, isn't it? But let's  take a look in a more detailed description.

1. Filenames
Giving an image a detailed filename is key. For example, Google says “my-new-black-kitten.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG.” Use numbers if you have multiple images with the same object type (e.g., my-new-black-kitten-2.jpg).

Some other notes about image filenames:

  • JPEGs seem to appear most in Google Image search results, but this is an anecdotal notation, not statistical. JPEG, GIF and PNG should be your go-to filetypes, but GIF and PNG in particular may be advantageous because of load time considerations. BMP, WebP and SVG are okay. 
  • Hyphens work the best as delimiters, not underscores or spaces. 
  • Rule of thumb: Four words per image name maximum.

2. ALT Text
ALT text should always accurately and succinctly describe the image. You must satisfy search engines with enough keywords to accurately describe your image in detail, but avoid keyword stuffing. Three to four words at most.

3. Surrounding Header, Captions And/Or Content
According to Google’s Image Publishing Guidelines, “It’s a good idea to make sure that images are placed near the relevant text. In addition, we recommend providing good, descriptive titles and captions for your images.”

For Microsoft, “Text that is closer to an image on a web page may be more relevant to what the picture is about than text that is further away.” According to the SEO by the Sea blog, here are some distance elements to consider:

  • The number of intervening words between the text and the image.
  • The number of intervening full stops such as “.” “?” “!” and other sentence-ending punctuation/symbols between the text and the image.
  • The number of intervening table data tags (<td>) between the text and the image.
  • The number of intervening table rows tags (<tr>) between the text and the image.

4. Great User Experience
Users are what matter to Google, so images that reflect what users want have the best chance of being visible. Just like content, this means the best approach is to have images that are high-quality and easy to engage with. Consider the following guidelines:

  • Use crisp, clear photos.
  • If several of the same images appear on your site, consider creating a standalone landing page for each image. “If you do this, be sure to provide unique information — such as descriptive titles and captions — on each page. You could also enable comments, discussions, or ratings for each picture.” — Google Image Publishing Guidelines
  • Images should be high up on the screen, since some users do not scroll.
  • Structure directories so that similar images can be saved together.
  • Specify height and width for each image to speed up page load time.

5. Image Sitemaps
Publish an image sitemap; it is an effective way to help Google discover your images. Ensure that your image sitemaps validate through the Google Search Console account associated with the domain. For further optimization, use the optional caption, geo_location and title tags on your image sitemap.

Do you have other image optimization tips in mind? 
Share it with us and comment below! Don't forget to give it a Google +1 if you find this post helpful. :)
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