When you’re optimizing your site for search engines, it’s easy to overlook images. When used appropriately, images can be an effective way to drive traffic to your site. The pictures you use can show up in image searches, and they can also give you more ways to use keywords in your content. Below, you’ll find some of the best image SEO practices.
Always Use High-Quality Images
Image quality matters. If you use a blurry, low-quality image, people may have a negative impression of your site. It could even increase your bounce rate.
You should make sure you have the rights to any images that you use on your site. You won’t want your images to be taken down. There are several sources you can use to find high-quality images that you can legally use on your site. Be careful when cropping and resizing images; this can have an impact on the overall quality of an image.
Use Original Images When Possible
In many cases, you’ll want to use stock photos on your site. However, you’ll get more mileage out of pictures that can’t be found on any other site. Try to create your own images whenever you can.
If you’re not much of a photographer, you can try creating your own infographics. Just make sure you include your site’s URL on any infographics you include on your site. That way, if other sites share your images, people will know where they came from.
Include Your Keyword In The File Name
Keywords are a crucial element of SEO. In addition to including keywords in the content that you write, you should utilize keywords when you’re adding images to your site. You should always use your keywords when you’re naming image files.
If your keyword is “California ranch homes,” then that’s what you should name your image. Search engines won’t be able to see what your image looks like, but they will be able to identify the keyword that you are using. That’s why you should always name your images with care.
Take Advantage Of Alt Tags
In addition to naming your image properly, you’ll want to make sure you use alt tags for all of the images on your site. This is another great place to include the keywords that you’re using. Alt tags can also make your site more accessible for people that are vision impaired.
Some content management systems, like WordPress, make it easy for you to add alt tags whenever you upload a new image to your site. If you don’t have this option, all you need to do is add alt=”alt text” to the HTML for your images.
Host Your Own Images
If another site is already hosting an image, you may be tempted to simply copy the URL and use that image on your site. However, you should avoid that temptation and host the image on your site.
Why should you host your own images? When you share an image that someone else is hosting, you’re stealing their bandwidth. This could lead to a dispute. Beyond that, you will have less control over the image. The person hosting the image could delete the image or change it to something else at any time.
Hosting your own image takes time, but it’s worth the extra effort. Always upload all of your images to your web host.
Make Sure Your Images Are Mobile Friendly
Since many of the people that visit your site will be browsing on a mobile device, you’ll need to make sure that your images are optimized for mobile devices. How can you ensure this? Just make sure you use responsive images on your site.
If you opt for responsive images, your images will always scale for the device they’re being displayed on. Doing this will lower your bounce rate, and it could lead to a higher conversion rate as well. Mobile devices should be a priority for any site owner.
Images can make your content more visually interesting. They can be a great way to add color to your site and capture people’s attention. If you follow the best image SEO practices, you’ll be able to avoid issues and get more out of the images on your site.