How Images Affect SEO
Regardless of if you’re building a website, posting your weekly blog, or submitting an article to a website as a guest contributor, it’s important to consider search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps enhance your website, or individual page, so that it appears closer to the coveted number one spot on a search engine results page (SERP). While there are a number of things you can do to enhance your SEO within your writing, adding a few images will help you add value and increase engagement. With the rise of image-based social media, Image SEO has emerged and is here to stay. The problem is that while images can positively benefit your SEO, they can also have a negative impact. To make sure you’re using images the right way, follow these tips.
Choose Your Format
There are a few different file formats you can use to upload your images. While JPEGs are most commonly used, they require a lot of memory. If you don’t upload them correctly, your image quality will reduce. JPEGs are great for photography, but might not be best for small, stock images. GIFs allow page transparency and are best for smaller file sizes like logos. PNGs are often used with Photoshop and don’t reduce in quality with each image save like JPEGs. Avoid using PNGs if you want animation or large-scale images. Choosing the right file format will help your image SEO, so do a little research before committing to one.
People will leave your site if it takes too long to load, so don’t let images slow your page speed. Instead, scale them down in size, not quality.
Include Relevant Tags
To better boost your image SEO, include title tags, alt text, and stick to best practices. Be straightforward and concise and use relevant text or keywords that connect your audience with the image.
Make a Sitemap
Sitemaps allow search engines to crawl your content and document relevant information for a better user experience. Make sure your images have sitemaps too; otherwise they won’t be acknowledged. Add any and all information possible in your image sitemap such as a title, caption, and location. The better your sitemap is, the more information search engines will be able to use from your image. If you want to include images in your posts, make sure you take the time to optimize them for SEO. It may take a little bit of time to master your process, but images will help you increase your user experience and thus, raise your position on SERPs.