The Ultimate Guide to SEO Image Optimization for Beginners

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Images are a vital part of your online presence. SEO image optimization is vital to your search engine success. 

You use images everywhere to bring life to your brand. They provide context around your ideas and improve your customer experience.

But…

As search engines get smarter, achieving good SEO results becomes a lot harder.

In this post, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about SEO image optimization. You’ll learn how to make your images appealing to both Google and your website visitors.

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What Is Image Optimization in SEO?

Image optimization is the process of reducing the size of your images without losing their quality. That includes choosing the right format, dimensions, and resolution.

Image optimization is a crucial step to improving your site loading time for better SEO results. 

Is Image Optimization Important For SEO?

Images have always been a huge part of the internet since its’ beginning. And today, users are uploading billions of pictures to the web every day.

That explains why images are an essential part of the user experience.

Images can often rank in position “0” — meaning the top of a Google search result — when users search for objects, animals, celebrities, or locations.

Moreover:

There are many platforms, such as Pinterest, where you can add new images and gain backlinks quickly.

More importantly:

Pictures make your publications and links on social media more attractive. They help improve your click-through-rate and boost your social traffic significantly.

images for SEO

So…

You must use images to grow your business online.

But that brings us to the next question:

Why is SEO image optimization important?

1- Improved Loading Speed

Google hates slow sites, and so does your average visitor.

By reducing image size, your overall page size becomes a lot smaller. Thus, your pages will take a shorter time to load and appear to your visitors.

2- Longer Dwell Time

Using images on your site makes it more attractive, which keeps people browsing your pages longer.

You can use pictures in your blog posts to give readers a quick rest to their eyes after reading your content. Images also allow you to break down your texts and create white space around your paragraphs.

3- Save Bandwidth And Storage

Images make up a huge chunk of the size of your web pages. All the text and script files you have on your server are nothing compared to pictures.

By compressing all your images, you’ll save a lot of storage and bandwidth on your hosting plan.

How Do You Name Images for SEO?

Taking an SEO-friendly approach to naming images is easy. 

Yet…

Most webmasters never take the time to learn it.

Here’s how it goes:

1- You must include relevant keywords in your file names. 

This simple trick helps bots understand what your images are about. That way, you’ll increase the relevance of your web page to the topic.

2- Keep everything short, descriptive, and relevant to what image is showing. 

Stay away from keyword stuffing or over-optimizing your file names because that might kill all your efforts.

3- Always separate your different keywords with hyphens. 

This helps search engines read and comprehend your image names.

Let’s look at an example:

  • optimize-images-seo.jpg
  • image-optimization-guide.jpg
  • tips-improve-loading-speed.jpg

But remember this:

Do not include unnecessary words such as “this”, “from”, or “why” in your file name.

Does Image Size Affect SEO?

Yes, it does.

The larger your page size is, the longer it takes to load. And that’s often a result of unoptimized images on your site that affect your loading speed.

According to Google, 53% of consumers will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Thus:

Loading speed is an important SEO metric that Google considers when ranking websites. If your pages take too long to load, you’ll never get the rankings you deserve.

What Image Format Is Best for the Web?

The main two formats for web images are PNG and JPG. And the choice between them depends on what you’re trying to achieve. 

You have to either sacrifice storage or quality when it comes to SEO image optimization.

PNG is a lossless compressed file format that’s good for conserving image quality. But, it won’t give you the best compression options as PNG images have larger sizes.

JPG is a lossy compression file format that’s best for size reduction. It ensures faster page loading speed and higher rankings. Yet, your images may come in a lower quality depending on your required dimensions.

We recommend using compressed JPG images because of their small size of < 100kb.

How to Optimize Images for SEO

As we said earlier:

Your pictures must maintain their dimensions, quality, and resolution when consumers see them.

So, in the rest of this post, we’ll show you how to do that.

1- Compression

Image compression is an efficient way to lower your page loading speed. All you have to do is take your original image and reduce its’ size using a compression tool.

The best online tools for that are:

All you need to do is upload your image and wait for a few seconds before the compression ends.

compress images for seo

Once completed, download your images and upload them to your site.

2- Resizing

Many webmasters upload large images on their sites then resize them using HTML and CSS.

That seems to work just fine — but… 

The size of your images is still large. So, that won’t help you serve scaled images.

The correct way to resize an image for SEO image optimization is by doing that before its’ uploaded. That can be done using any photo editing software such as Microsoft Paint, Photoshop, or Illustrator, etc.

Another option is:

Upload your image then resize them using WordPress.

Here’s how you can do that:

1- Go to your Admin Dashboard, click on Media > Library.

resize images for seo

2- Select the image, and click Edit Image

.

3- Enter the new dimensions (smaller than the original) and click on Scale then Save.

Your image is now resized, and you can use it wherever you want.

You can also use WordPress plugins to resize your images after the upload.

The highest-rated ones are:

  • Smush
  • Imagify
  • Optimole
  • Image Optimizer
  • ShortPixel

3- Caching

Caching is the process of setting a long expiry-date for your images on the web. It allows browsers to reuse the same pictures without the need to download them again.

free seo image optimization plugins

Browser caching is a great way to improve the user experience image size. 

You can do that by either editing the .htaccess file manually or installing a plugin (WordPress).

Bottom Line

High-quality images that load fast are crucial to running a successful online business. They help you provide the best user experience and claim higher rankings in the SERPs.

On top of the techniques shared in this guide, be sure to write a descriptive alt text and caption for each image you publish. 

Ready to skyrocket your business profits with SEO image optimization? We’re here for you.

Start now by grabbing your free SEO report card in minutes. And be sure to contact us if you need any help.

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    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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