7 Image SEO Tips To Follow in 2020 For Improved Ranking On SERPs

  • Nandita Raman
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  • Published Date : 22 June , 2020
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  • Updated Date : 9 July , 2020
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    • 5 min read

Even if you’re new to the concept of image SEO and do not understand why an article would choose to talk about image SEO tips, hang on! Correct SEO practices are a goldmine waiting to be unleashed. I’ll just start by saying - all your digital marketing efforts will go in vain if you do not leverage this integral marketing element - SEO. 

Before jumping to image SEO tips, let’s first deal with the basics. 

What is SEO? 

The unpaid strategy that goes into making any given website rank higher on a search engine is called SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is essentially optimising your site so that it gets picked up by search engines and gets displayed on relevant searches leading to higher traffic. The strategy is unpaid and thus focuses on ‘organic’ results. Under this, the design, content, images, links, and writing - everything needs to be optimised in a way that search engines (Google, 90% of the time) show the website as a top result when someone searches for a related keyword. 

Why does SEO matter in the digital marketing world? 

Not a secret: Yout website visitors are your potential customers!

SEO matters because: 

  • To welcome an influx of online traffic, you need to rank higher on Google. 
  • 33% of clicks on a search engine are on the first ranking page, and 75% of all clicks are on the first five listings. SEO is the way to go if you want users to click on your website.
  • The higher your rank, the better will be your brand’s visibility and thus credibility.
  • High ranking builds trust and digital authority like nothing else. 
  • Once users trust your brand, sales are bound to follow. 
  • The indirect advantage of SEO is that when you spend time optimizing your website, you also end up enhancing its usability and fine-tuning user experience.  
  • SEO helps you build and sustain a quality relationship with your audience. 
  • It gives you the much-needed competitive edge which is a tough nut to crack in present times. 
  • SEO gives you an edge and shoots up your conversions.
  • All of this adds to more sales, a loyal customer base, and substantial business growth. 

                                                                      Image Source: Backlinko

Why is it important for images to be SEO optimised?

Image optimisation matters because: 

  • They extend contextual information to the search engine which directly affects the page ranking. 
  • Your page loading speed is enhanced which in turn increases user engagement. 
  • Images consume significantly higher bytes than any other component of a website. This emphasizes the fact that their size and complexity is bound to influence a site's performance.
  • Aberdeen Group's study suggests that even a second’s delay in page load time leads to a 7% drop in conversions. Also, around 40% of individuals will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Image optimization comes to the rescue here. If you can reduce the size of your image, maintaining their quality, your page loading time will improve drastically. 
  • Improved page load time = improved user experience. This will encourage conversions and enhance your customer retention rate. 
  • Optimised images require less storage on the server and thus site backups are quick and efficient.

Here are 7 Image SEO tips to keep in mind while optimising images:

1. Name it right: 

This has to top the list of image SEO tips because it’s so obvious and straightforward and yet most of us miss out on it. Google must be clear about what your image’s message is - without even looking at it. How does that happen? By naming your image. Use your focus keyword/keyphrase at the very beginning in the image file name. For example, if your image displays dogs, the file name shouldn’t be GDS5654.jpg, but dog.jpg.

2. Format it right: 

When speaking of crucial image SEO tips, formatting is what will follow. Here’s how to zero-in:

  • JPEG offers color and clarity with a comparatively small file size.
  • PNG to keep background transparency intact
  • WebP for a combination of high-quality results and small file sizes. 
  • SVG especially for logos and icons. 

 3. Scale it right: 

The quicker a page loads, the better it is for SEO and user experience. Images have a huge role to play in the loading time of a page. The maximum width of your images can be 720 px, no matter what your screen size is. Images wider than 720 px are then automatically resized to fit the screen. 

Note that the browser still has to bear the burden of loading the image in its full-size i.e., if your image is 3500px, the browser would load it entirely and then display it at 720 px. To avoid this, resize your images effectively to suit the width you need. 

4. Dial down the size: 

The next in the list of image SEO tips is to compress the image and offer the smallest file size. Keep experimenting with various file sizes without being afraid. The visual quality usually faces little to no noticeable difference while the file size numbers dial down remarkably. 

5. Leverage Responsive images: 

Speaking of image SEO tips, we cannot miss out on the magic of srcset - the HTML code to instruct the browser to load different versions of an image in accordance with different screen resolutions. 

Suppose you upload a 620 px image and someone visits your webpage using a smartphone with 420px display, then their browser has to unnecessarily suffer the load of 620 px when it can do so perfectly with 420 px. That is where responsive images drop in. For instance, here it will dial down your 620 px image to 420 px to suit your smartphone display.

6. Add captions and alt text: 

We all are used to skimming and scanning through an article. Another point in image SEO tips, therefore, would be to include captions (text) with your image when needed. KissMetrics stated that an average reader goes through the captions under images 300% more than the copy itself

Apart from this, add alt text to your images - it ensures that all information is intact even if the image isn’t available to the user. This alternative text must include an SEO keyword so that the image is clear to the search engine as well as to the user.

7. Include structured data: 

It’s simple - you can use structured data to show your users what kind of content is associated with your image on your webpage. By doing this, you will encourage better quality traffic to your website. Currently, the 3 markups that Google gives you are products, recipes, and videos. You can use the markup that describes your content the best. 

I’d like to leave you with the maxim: Knowing isn’t enough, you need to take action. Now that you’re aware of the strategies that go into making your page rank higher, make sure you experiment effectively. You can now incorporate the best images and leverage these image SEO tips to welcome quality traffic, sales, and growth to your business. 

About the Author:

Vinayak Agarwal is the co-founder of myHQ, a startup with a mission to revolutionize the way millennials work. They are creating a network of beautiful & inspiring coworking spaces and work cafes for people to work, network, and co-create from. myHQ is also a vibrant community of 10,000+ entrepreneurs, freelancers, and working professionals.

An entrepreneur at heart, Vinayak is an IIT Delhi alum and he worked with Goldman Sachs for 2 years before starting myHQ.




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