News

Images for SEO

21st October 2023

SEO is more than merely optimising the text on a page for search engines. It is important to design the overall user experience, including the visual components. This experience depends heavily on images, which, when properly optimised, can significantly boost your site’s SEO performance.

The Importance of Images in SEO

Each part of SEO’s multifaceted approach is crucial to the overall success of a website’s exposure. Images among these aspects are frequently disregarded as merely cosmetic features. But nothing could be further from the reality than this notion. When used correctly, images are crucial to SEO.

The Visual Nature of the Human Brain

Humans are naturally visual beings. Studies show that text is processed by the human brain 60,000 times slower than visuals. This implies that the photos you use on your website can leave an immediate impact on visitors, often even before they start reading. Utilising captivating, pertinent photos can hold the attention of your audience, ensuring they stay on your site longer, lowering bounce rates, and letting search engines know that your material is valuable.

Aiding Content Comprehension

Without any pictures, try reading a thorough article about the old Roman buildings. Sounds difficult, huh? Images give context, aid in the visualisation of complicated concepts, and increase the accessibility and digestibility of knowledge. Users may spend more time on your website as a result of their improved comprehension, which will help your SEO.

Breaking the Monotony

Although text is necessary, large passages of it can become boring to readers. Images provide a respite, which improves the taste and enjoyment of the information. User experience is important, but search engines also favour websites with rich, varied information for their users.

Boosting Social Shares

Engaging visuals are more likely to be shared on social media sites, especially infographics or original graphics. Increased social sharing can result in increased visitors, better brand recognition, and perhaps even more backlinks, all of which are good things for SEO.

A New Avenue for Traffic

Users can access your website through entirely other channels thanks to image searches like those on Google Images. By making photos SEO-friendly, you can attract visitors who may be looking for visual information that is directly relevant to your niche and open up a new channel for organic traffic.

Enhanced Mobile Experience

The significance of visuals is amplified by the growing prevalence of mobile browsing. Large amounts of text might be overwhelming on smaller screens. Images help to break this up, making the surfing experience for mobile users more pleasurable and less intimidating. Images are essential to mobile SEO since search engines use mobile friendliness as a ranking factor.

Tips for Optimising Images for SEO

In the digital sphere, images are a captivating form of communication. However, if not optimised properly, their potential can be wasted, resulting in longer loading times and lost SEO prospects. Let’s examine the numerous strategies you may employ to fully leverage the potential of photos for the SEO of your website.

The Right Image for the Right Purpose

If you want to understand how to learn SEO, images are an important factor to take into account. Selecting the best image for your text is crucial before moving on to technological optimisations.

Originality Matters

While stock photos are convenient, original images, whether they’re photographs, illustrations, or graphics, resonate more with audiences. They add a unique touch to your content and can increase trust and credibility.

Image Relevance

Make sure the image complements and closely ties to your content. An unnecessary graphic can perplex readers and distract them from the point you’re attempting to make.

Technical Image Optimisation

Once you have the right images, the next step is to ensure they are technically optimised for web use.

File Format

Different image formats are used for various purposes:

  • JPEG is the best format for photos or images with gradients. They can be drastically compressed while maintaining acceptable quality.
  • PNG: Excellent for images with text and crisp lines that require a transparent background.
  • WebP: A cutting-edge format that offers fantastic compression ratios, frequently better than JPEG and PNG, without noticeably sacrificing quality.

Compression is Key

File sizes can be decreased without a noticeable loss of quality using programmes like Compressor.io or TinyPNG. Keep in mind that faster loading times result in reduced file sizes, which is essential for both user experience and SEO.

Responsive Images

Making sure that photos appear correctly on devices of all sizes is essential in a world that is constantly moving towards mobile. You can instruct browsers to display various pictures dependent on the device’s screen size by using HTML properties like’srcset’.

Exploring Alt Text and Titles

Alt text and titles aren’t just afterthoughts; they play a significant role in image SEO.

Descriptive Alt Text

A text description of a picture is known as alt text, or “alternative text.” It should be succinct while still being descriptive enough to convey the meaning and goal of the image. It helps search engines and users who are blind understand the image.

Alt text has two purposes: it improves accessibility and increases SEO. Screen readers will read out the alt text, which captures the spirit of the image, for people who are blind or visually handicapped. Because search engines cannot “see” images the way humans can, the alt text also gives search engines context. The relevancy of your material in search results can be enhanced by an image that is well-described.

Should your alt text contain keywords? While it might be advantageous, it ought to be carried out naturally. Keyword stuffing can lead to poor user experience and may even be penalised by search engines.

Image Titles

The title attribute offers additional information and is often displayed as a tooltip when a user hovers over an image. While not as crucial as alt text for SEO, it can enhance user experience.

Structuring Images for SEO

  • Use descriptive file names: Use descriptive terms that provide context for the image, such as “chocolate-cake-recipe.jpg,” in place of generic names like “IMG001.jpg.”
  • Include images in your XML sitemap: By adding information about your images to your XML sitemap, you may give search engines more information about them, which could help with indexing.
  • Always make sure you have the permission to use a picture to avoid copyright problems. Unauthorised use may result in legal issues and harm the reputation of your website.

Structured Data and Rich Results

In the information-rich digital age, it is crucial to present content in a logical and understandable way. Structured data and detailed outcomes now. These words may sound like high-tech jargon, yet they are crucial to contemporary SEO and user experience.

What is Structured Data?

A defined framework for categorising the content on a webpage is called structured data. Webmasters can give search engines detailed information about the content, its context, and its relationships by employing structured data. In essence, it functions as a “cheat sheet” for search engines regarding what is on a page.

Formats of Structured Data

Structured data comes in a variety of formats, but the following are the most used ones:

  • JSON-LD: A simple data exchange format that is simple for humans to read and write. It is frequently used to embed structured data in web pages and is advised by Google.
  • Microdata: A technique for annotating HTML material so that search engines can more easily understand its characteristics.
  • RDFa: A series of attribute-level enhancements for embedding rich metadata within web documents are provided by this HTML5 extension.

Why is Structured Data Crucial?

Search engines attempt to comprehend the context of the material when they crawl a website. This procedure is aided by structured data because it provides clear hints as to a page’s intent. For instance, structured data can tell a search engine whether the word “Avatar” on a page relates to the James Cameron movie, a user’s online profile image, or a philosophical idea.

Rich Results

When search engines are equipped with the additional insights provided by structured data, they can create enhanced search listings, known as ‘rich results’ (previously referred to as ‘rich snippets’).

Features of Rich Results

  • Visual improvements: Images, star ratings, and other visual cues can be added to search listings to help them stand out in search results.
  • Additional information: Rich results can provide details like product prices, preparation hours for recipes, or movie showtimes in addition to the title, URL, and description.
  • Features that are interactive: Rich results for various content types may include features that are interactive, such as a playable movie or a carousel of photographs.

Benefits of Rich Results

  • Higher click-through rates (CTR): Rich results are more tempting due to their greater visibility and information, which raises CTRs.
  • Rich results can provide your website an advantage over rivals in search listings, giving you a competitive edge.
  • Better user experience: By giving consumers more information up front, they may choose which websites to visit with more knowledge.

How to Implement Structured Data

  • Select the appropriate markup: JSON-LD, Microdata, or RDFa are your options, depending on your content and preferences.
  • Employing tools You can get help producing and testing your structured data with Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and Structured Data Testing Tool.
  • Keep informed: It’s critical to stay current with search engines’ best practises because structured data requirements are subject to change.

Image SEO optimisation is a complex procedure that involves more than just resizing. You may improve both the user experience and search engine rankings for your website by comprehending and putting into practise a variety of optimisation tactics.

 

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About BrisTechTonic

Leading Bristol SEO Company BrisTechTonic offer affordable and professional SEO services for small businesses. I'm Chris, and SO not an SEO Agency in Bristol. I help small businesses in Bristol and beyond gettting found in search results.

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