The Importance of SEO Image Optimization-Featured.jpg

The Importance of SEO Image Optimization

A lot of people think that adding images to your website is as simple as uploading the image and pressing publish. But, that’s just the first step.

Your job isn’t done once the image is on your website. You also need to optimize them for search engines. Here’s why:

5 reasons to optimize your website images for SEO


#1. Rank higher for relevant keywords

Like any other SEO task, the ultimate goal behind SEO image optimization is to help you rank higher in organic searches for keywords that are relevant to your business, services or products.

There are several opportunities to use keywords when optimizing your images:

  • Alt image tags - Describe the image for visually impaired visitors, and try to fit keywords naturally. Alt image tags are not visible on the front end of your website, but they can help with overall site rankings.
  • Captions - Captions are used to describe, give context to, identify persons in and give photo credit for an image, and they’re a great opportunity to use a keyword.
  • Image file name - Believe it or not, Google actually reads image file names. If you leave an image file name as something like 019239.jpg, it’s a missed opportunity to use a keyword.

As with any other SEO tactic, only use keywords when you can do so naturally. Never force or stuff keywords into your alt image tags, captions or image files.

#2. Increase your site speed

Google’s number one goal is to provide a good search experience for its users, and if there’s one thing that Google’s users prioritize, it’s site speed.

Nothing will slow your website down more than large, unoptimized images can. And since Google wants to provide a great search experience for its users, the consequence of having a slow website can be less organic visibility.

Image optimization includes using relevant keywords, but another big portion of it involves choosing the right image file types, resizing images before you put them on your website and compressing them.

Optimizing your images keeps your website lean, mean and loading quickly, which will lead to more organic visibility.


#3. Help visually impaired visitors understand your images

As I mentioned, the alt image tags on your website are a great place to use keywords naturally to describe your image, and these descriptions are what is read to visually impaired people who visit your website.

It’s important to accommodate all of your customers in a brick-and-mortar retail store, and the same principle applies online. Whoever your visitors are online, you want to provide them with the best possible experience.

Alt image tags are especially important if you’re selling products online, as they give you a chance to describe your products to people who can’t see them and need more information to make a purchase decision.

#4. Rank in image searches

Most of the time, when someone is shopping or looking for a local business, they’re going to use a general search. However, in some cases, people choose to search using the Google image search, instead.

The key to making sure that your images are visible in a Google image search is to optimize your alt image tags with relevant keywords.

Ranking in image searches is more important for some industries than others. It’s not uncommon to shop for products using an image search for example, or for things like haircuts, tattoos and architecture.


#5. Save storage space on your server

Web hosting packages only have so much disk space allotted per website. As you add more pages, images, blogs, videos and other elements to your website, the more disk space you’ll use.

Other things can take up disk space, too, like website plugins, unpublished blogs or pages, emails and backups. The longer your site is around, the more disk space you’ll naturally use over time.

There are lots of things you can do to save more disk space and avoid having to upgrade your web hosting package, including optimizing your images.

Now that you know why image optimization is important, learn how to optimize your website images.