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Image Optimization Tips to Strengthen Your SEO

Search Optimization

Visuals are incredibly important for engaging your readers and keeping them on your site. At the same time, they can slow your website down. This impacts user experience and can affect your rankings.

As the leading digital marketing agency in Miami, we are going to share with you how to optimize your images to strengthen your SEO and boost your ranking on Google.

What Is Image Optimization?

Image optimization refers to two different processes:

  • Reducing the file size of your pictures without sacrificing their quality. This allows them to look great on your website without slowing your page load times.  
  • Optimizing your product images and decorative images for SEO so that they rank high on Google and other image search engines.  

Image Optimization Tips for Stronger SEO

1. Use The Right Format

person scrolling through an online shop

Before adding images to your website, you want to make sure that you’re using the right file type.

The most common file types used to post images to the web are:

  • JPEG: The quality of your JPEG images tends to decrease if you compress them into a smaller file size. However, you can adjust the quality level to find a decent quality at low file size. JPEGs are great to use for product images on e-commerce websites.  
  • GIF: GIFs tend to have lower quality compared to JPEG images. They're typically used for simpler photos that include just a few colors like icons and decorative images. If you use them for your product images, they may turn out to be pixelated. They’re best used as a thumbnail or decorative images only.  
  • PNG: PNGs have better quality images compared to JPEGs. They also support many more colors and are a great alternative for GIFs.  However, they come with larger file sizes. If you're going to use PNG for your product photos, go for PNG-8 instead of PNG-24.  

At our digital marketing agency in Miami, JPEG is our go-to file type when uploading photos on our site. Just keep in mind that Google can’t index .jpg images inside an inline SVG format.  

2. Use Customized File Names

When you have hundreds of photos to work with, sometimes it's better to just keep the default file names your camera appoints. But, when it comes to optimizing your images for SEO, you must use descriptive, keyword-rich file names to help your page rank on different search mediums.  

If you use generic names, search engine bots will have a hard time crawling your image file names. As a result, they can't index them for relevant queries.  

This can be extremely disadvantageous, especially if you own an e-commerce site and want your products to appear in front of potential customers.  

Not sure how to name your image files? Here’s how:

  • Consider how your target customers search for your products or services online.  
  • Incorporate a keyword into your file name naturally.  
  • Use your website analytics to identify what keyword patterns your site visitors follow.  
  • If you don’t have enough data, make sure that you use helpful keywords that describe your images.  

As your go-to digital marketing agency in Miami, we suggest that you use descriptive, keyword-rich file names on your site to not only boost your on-page SEO but also help your images rank high on the search engine results pages.  

3. Compress Your Images Dimensions

Images make up 21% of a webpage's total weight. Failing to compress the pictures you use will result in a slow page loading speed, which can affect your ranking in the search results.  

Aside from your ranking, a slow site speed can also affect user experience. According to BBC, 50% of customers will likely bounce if an e-commerce site takes more than three seconds to load. This means that you won't just lose prospects. You'll also end up getting a bad rep for having a slow site speed.  

Try using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check how your images are affecting your page speed.  

Tools like Photoshop or TinyPNG can help compress your images without sacrificing their quality. As a result, they look great on your website, but they don’t slow your page down.

If you want to provide larger images for your visitors to increase user experience, it's best to make it a smaller image and then give users the option to view it on a larger scale via pop-up or on a separate webpage.  

Avoid placing large images on your site and then shrinking its dimensions via the source code. This can slow your site down.

4. Optimize Your ALT Tags or ALT Attributes

marketer from a digital marketing agency in Miami optimizing images on website for the visually impaired

ALT tags or ALT attributes serve as alternative text for an image. They help describe what’s going on in the picture or what it represents so that visually impaired users ‘read’ images while browsing the web through their screen readers.  

ALT attributes also serve as the text alternative of an image when a browser can’t render them properly, giving users an idea of what the image is supposed to illustrate.  

ALT tags help your images become more accessible to users while also adding SEO value to your pages. Optimizing your ALT tags with keywords can help your site rank better in Google.  

In fact, using alt attributes for your product images is the best way for them to appear on Google image and web search results.  

Here are some best practices for optimizing your alt attributes:

  • Fill out each alt attribute for every product image on your site.  
  • When writing your alt attribute, you want to describe your images in simple language.
  • Avoid stuffing your alt attribute with keywords. For example alt=”chewable vitamin c buy now best price on sale”. This isn’t the best way to incorporate your keyword into your alt text.  
  • If you run an e-commerce site and sell products with a model or serial number, it's best to include them in your alt attribute.  
  • There’s no need to use alt attributes for decorative images.  

When it comes to using several images of your product from different angles, it’s ideal to create unique alt attribute for each of them.  

For example, if you want to convince your customers to buy the bags you’re selling, you need to show every detail they offer. It would be best to show shots of your bag's interior, the hardware, a close-up of the material, the back view, and more.  

Your alt text would then look something like this:

  • 2022-leather-hobo-bag-in-black-interior.jpg : alt = “2022 leather hobo bag black in black interior”
  • 2022-leather-hobo-bag-in-black-rear-view.jpg : alt= “2022 leather hobo bag in black rear view”

The key here is to add unique characterization to your base at attributes that best describe your product image.  

5. Optimize Your Thumbnails

Thumbnails are smaller versions of pictures or videos, used to help in organizing and easily recognizing images. Typically, e-commerce sites use them to quickly exhibit products without taking up too much space.  

However, although they tend to be small in size, your thumbnails can prevent your category pages from loading quickly. As a result, you may lose potential customers.  

To make sure that your thumbnails don’t get in the way, try doing the following:

  • Compress your thumbnail file size name.  
  • Use a unique alt attribute text for your thumbnails. You don't want to use the same alt text for the bigger version and the thumbnail version of your images. Using the same alt text can result in a duplicate and your thumbnails might end up getting indexed instead of your larger product image.  

6. Use Image Sitemaps

woman listing unidentified images’ location in an image site map.

Some websites use JavaScript galleries or image pop-ups to make their product images more engaging. This improves the overall shopping experience. Unfortunately, search engine bots can’t crawl images that are not summoned specifically in the webpage source code.  

To fix this issue, you need to list your unidentified images’ location in an image site map. Although image sitemaps can help get your pictures seen by Google, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll get indexed by Google. Still, it’s a positive step towards strengthening your SEO.  

7. Optimize Your Decorative Images

Decorative images, such as background images, buttons, and borders, help make your website more appealing and attractive to your website visitors. However, they can result in huge combined file sizes and slow your site down.  

You might want to assess your decorative images. Are they affecting your website’s page load speed and preventing you from converting visitors into customers? If they are, consider using a template that will minimize their file size.  

8. Assess Your Images

Aside from strengthening your SEO, another benefit of optimizing your images is to help convert visitors into customers and boost your sales. So, after you’ve optimized your images in terms of file size and alt text, it’s time to test them and see what works best for your website visitors.  

  • Try reducing or increasing the number of product images on a page to see what will help increase your click-through rates and sales.  
  • Find out which angle of your products your customers want to see or prefer. You can ask them directly or conduct a survey.  
  • Determine how many products you should list on your category pages. Is it 10? 20? 50?

Are The Images in Your Website Well Optimized?

Images shouldn’t just be beautiful, they should be functional and optimized for SEO too!

Now that you know how to optimize your images to get your product photos to rank on Google image results, it’s time to apply these changes and see your traffic and sales increase.  

Digital Resource is the leading digital marketing agency in Miami. If you need help promoting your e-commerce business and get it to rank high on Google, we can help.  

Our team of digital marketing experts and SEO specialists will craft custom digital marketing that will not only put you on top but also generate more sales for your business.  

Contact us today for a free consultation!

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