Optimize Your Images for SEO

Imiages for SEOIn our last post, we talked about page load speed and how it affects SEO.   One of the many reasons your load speed could be slow is uploading large images to your site and housing them in the media library.  Too many images slow down the site.

So how can we fix this problem?

Proper image naming and usage is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO. This isn’t a once and done deal, you have to do it on an ongoing basis.   If you get behind you will be playing catch up or paying someone to do the catchup work for you.

Four Things To Do With Your Images

1. Name the File Appropriately

Name the actual image file something that is related to the keyword. If the keyword on the page is “SEO cheat sheet” then you could name your images “seo_cheat_sheet_image_1.jpeg.”

2. Make Sure the Alt Tag is Descriptive

The other thing you need to set is the Alt Tag. Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. Even when the image is rendered, if you hover over it with your mouse pointer, you can see the alt tag text created for that image (depending on your browser settings).

The alt tag needs to be very descriptive of what the image is. The Alt Tag serves two purposes:

  • Tells the search engine what the image is.
  • Tells people who can’t see what the image is.

Don’t stuff your alt tags with keywords. It’s better to provide a detailed description of the image in the alt tag that actually describes what the image is. If the keyword is a natural fit, then go ahead and include it.

3. Reduce Photo Size

Putting huge photos on your site can slow things down.  Reduce the size if possible.

Consider housing your photos in a Dropbox or Amazon S3 and then just insert the picture via URL.

You can also use a plugin with WordPress.  Smush Image Compression and Optimization.  It helps to smush your photos so they load faster.

4. Avoid Duplication

Give each picture a new name.  No duplicates.

If you are lazy about image naming and resizing, it is only going to snowball. You are creating a tremendous amount of work to go back in and change all of the names and sizes later.

If you find you have been doing it all wrong…start to do it correctly from now on.

If you missed our other posts on SEO, you can begin the series  in this post, How to Improve Your SEO Ranking