On-page Optimization and Image optimization are the basic steps for your SEO campaign. As the Search Engines are getting smarter and more intelligent, the process of achieving a good search ranking is getting more complex. Now it takes much more than just quality content to get to the top. There are many factors that contribute to showing up well in search engine rankings, one of the most important of them is the on page optimization. More over, if you take your own screen-shots or create your own images, you should read: How to use flickr to drive huge traffic.
Onpage Optimization is the pillar of your SEO and one of the most important on page optimization factors is image optimization.
Image SEO optimization is one of the building blocks of on page optimization. Images are a strong visual component of a webpage. They say that a ‘Picture is better than a thousand words’.
If used properly they can transmit your message in just a single glance while a careless use of images can destroy your whole impression. In addition to this, images can be a good source of traffic from Google Image Search and other Image Search engines.
The most important Image Optimization factors include the alt tag, title tag, image size, image name and image linking.
Image optimization for SEO Techniques
Image relevancy is important when it comes to image optimization for SEO. An image of a train on a page related to Ferrari will do you no good. I know its common sense but this step is so important that I just can’t miss it out.
The Alt tag is probably the most important image optimization factor. Alt stands for alternate. The text in the alt tag is displayed in place of the image if the image can not be shown or is taking too long to load.
Most of the major search engines are text-based, i.e they can not read images and videos. The location of your images appears as an empty space to the search engines. These empty spaces are not in any way good for your overall SEO. The alt tag not only tells the search engines that there is an image placed here but also informs it about the topic of your image.
A good practice for the ALT tag is to keep your alt tags short but descriptive. Fill your alt tags with search engine friendly information but don’t try to go too far. For example, the alt tag for a picture of a birthday party should be something like this: alt=”my son ronin second birthday party”
Image Size and hosting
Image size is a very crutial factor for your overall user experience. Images can make your page heavy. Put up a webpage that takes more than 10 seconds to load, and your users will escape faster than you can say “back button”. After the recent Panda update, the loading time of pages has become a vital part for your SEO ranking as the total time of visit has become more important as a SEO algorithm. So its important to keep your images low in bytes. Yahoo Smushit is a great tool to wipe out the excess bytes from your images making them lighter.
Image hosting is another important factor especially when it comes to driving traffic from Google Image Search. The factors on which the images for Google Image Search are chosen is kept hidden but some say that image hosting is one of the important factors for the choice. It is said that images hosted on the same domain as the text are given more value than the images hosted at another domain like a free image hosting site. Another important algorithm for Google Image Search is how the images are blended with the text on the page.
Just as keywords are important in url, the same goes for images. Keyword rich file names can help a SE determine relevancy. Avoid using default image file names like, “DSC0019.jpg” as it does not give much information about the image. Use descriptive filenames with keywords separated by “-” (hyphen). For example, “steve-jobs-on-the-launching-of-iphone.jpg”. Specially if you are using SEO friendly images plugin for WordPress, it’s very useful as it converts image file name into ALT tag.
Title Tag and image linking
Images are eye-catching so are perfect for linking. But proper image linking techniques can offer even better results. One of the basic tips for image linking is to avoid linking your images directly. Always use relevant anchor texts whenever linking your images. This is even more effective for your SEO when embedding images in a guest post or other pages intended to get a link back to your site.
Remember to use a title tag whenever linking your images. Title tag provides a tool tip when you hover your cursor over a link. Use relevant keywords and SEO friendly description and your title tags will rock.
These are simple tips for SEO image optimization which are not only effective for your SEO but can also boost your traffic. If you are wondering how to get images for your blog, you should read:
- 5 Ways to find stock images online
- Where to find images online
- How to find images for your blog using Flickr advance search
Do let us know if you do any SEO optimization for your Images on blog? Or you missing out some nice chunk of traffic from images?