Strategic Use of Images in Search Engine Optimization

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To add images to the article or not- This is the question that bothers most of the bloggers and content writers on a daily basis. And it is surely one of the big questions that need to be answered. The simplest word that answers this question is a Yes with a big nod. But why so? What makes us nod in favor of a Yes?

For starters, optimizing an image makes things much more easier from the SEO perspective. While using an image, make it as small as possible in terms of size. Well optimised images have certain qualities which makes them suitable for SEO purpose. Images, when included with a specific thought, will enable readers to comprehend your article better. “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Words generally can’t do a picture justice and this fact is 100 percent true. A thousand word dull representation on one hand and another representation with a graph or information stream chart on the other hand- there is no doubt that the latter makes your post all the more alluring.

search engine optimization

It is a very basic and vital suggestion to add pictures to each article you compose and upload on the internet. This will surely make it additionally engaging and will help customers connect and understand the content in a better way.

Finding the Right Image

If you have the chance to add an image to your articles, then you should grab it using both hands. Add images that are relevant to the content that you are posting. Your article needs a picture that has an indistinguishable subject from your article. In case that you would use a picture just for the sake of it and for getting a green dot in SEO Yoast, then you are doing it the wrong way. The picture ought to mirror the soul of the post, or include illustrative purposes inside the article.

There is a straightforward purpose behind image SEO: A picture that is encompassed by related content offers better optimization for the keyword. In case there is no way via which you can use images, there are alternatives that you can go for. There are many sources from where you can get the photos to use. The best advice is to stay away from the stock photos that everyone is using. The worst thing you can do is using images that are common to the web and jump in the pool of pretenders. Alternative photos are a good way to fill up the SEO gap that no images will render. Animated gifs are another popular trend that is occupying the market and will make an impact on the customers. Just keep in mind not to overuse them as they could serve as a distraction to the readers and interrupt their flow.

Preparing Images for use

Once you are done with finding images, the next step to follow is the preparation of the images and their optimisation in order to make them useful. How is it done? Let us find out.

Preparing Images

The right file name

Optimization of an image starts at this point. Using the right file name with a keyword in it lays the foundation of the Image SEO. All you want the search engines to do is read your image quickly and get it to the user on the top suggestions.

Scaling Images for SEO

The time it takes to load an image is a crucial factor when it comes to hooking the customers up and keeping them engaged and committed to your page. Faster sites are easier to visit and they quickly index a page. Images can have a huge impact on the loading time as an image large in size can delay the loading time and would make things impossible if the connection is slow and the connectivity is poor. Scale the picture to the size you need to indicate it. WordPress helps by giving the picture in different sizes after uploading them. Tragically, that doesn’t mean the file size is optimised too, that is just the picture size. In addition to the above point, using responsive images is another factor that is useful and can prove to be extremely vital in your SEO crusade. It simply means that the image you are planning to add should respond immediately to screens of different widths.

Reducing File Size

Reducing file size may sound as a stupid advice but it has its own set of advantages. Make sure the image you scaled should be served in the smallest size that is possible. There are various online and offline tools that are available for the purpose and offer excellent results in order to make the most out of the images you are uploading. Exporting images and then checking out their quality is not that bad of an idea.

Addition of the Images to the Article

The purpose is to add the images to the article with relevance, not stuffing them anywhere you wish to. Add the images near to the context to which they refer. Make sure the content you have written is relevant to the image as well and vice versa.

Captions

Captions are the companion text that accompany the image. Captions carry equal importance when it comes to optimizing images for SEO purposes. Captions with relevant text and keywords can prove vital and assist the search engines to find the images. Just like people scan the headings, they have a tendency of scanning captions as well that are attached to the images. Elements that offer enhanced scanning are headings, bold and highlighted texts, graphics, bulleted lists, topic sentences and not to forget, the captions. According to analytics, captions under the images are read many more times than the body of the content itself and hence, their importance cannot be undermined. Not using captions properly clearly means losing out on opportunities that you could have cashed straight away and this means you could lose a large number of potential customers that could have increased your customer base. Now the question arises- Is it important to add caption to all the images? The simple answer is No. There are times when images serve a whole different purpose. Choose whether the current picture is a picture you need to use for SEO also or not. Consider the visitor to start with, don’t include a caption for the sake of it.

Alt Text

Alt texts are vital and added to images to make them descriptive. In circumstances where the picture is not accessible to the visitor, maybe on the grounds that they have turned off images in their web program or are utilizing a screen reader because of a visual weakness, the alternative text serves as an option content that guarantees that no data or usefulness is lost.” Be certain to include alt texts all the time. Ensure the alt content incorporates the SEO keyword for that page and identifies with/depicts the picture. Title content for pictures is comparable and many people that use these essentially duplicate the alt content. An ever increasing number of individuals just forget this. What is it for? The title quality can be exceptionally helpful, yet it is not a safe method for giving essential information.

Alignment

If you are delusional about the fact that alignment of the text matters the least, then you need to think about it twice. There are going to be visitors who are going to judge you on the basis of the alignment of your text. No one likes a text that begins from the right of an image, so you better keep this in consideration and present the text and images as neatly as possible. Using images similar to the textual column of your article is a good way to keep the alignment between images and text at an agreement. It will lay even more emphasis on the image. This is not very much related to SEO but is important for a better and refined user experience.

XML image sitemaps

Using XML image sitemaps

Any web developer would understand the importance of images in XML sitemaps. To give search engines the information about the images present on your website, you need to incorporate specific tags to a sitemap. Using separate sitemap to use images or add information to a sitemap that already exists- The choice is yours and it is something that you should not neglect, not in the very least. Addition of images to your XML sitemaps will help google to index your images in a better way and hence, be sure to use this aspect in your Image SEO crusade.

Image SEO is not just a word. It is a very crucial aspect which is a combination of may vital elements bound together in order to make things possible and help search engines to identify your work in the finest way. Google is getting sensible everyday and using images will only make things better for both users and SEO purposes alike. And not to forget, apart from playing a huge role in SEO and user interaction, images can help you out with conversions as well. So it is a wise choice if you are already using images in your posts and if not, better late than never. It is time to use the might of Image SEO to your advantage.

Zac Wallace is the co-founder of Zac Wallace Inc, an ingenious agency offering result oriented digital marketing solutions. He can read a spray chart and a balance sheet and has helped organizations increase their website traffic and sales by up to 3,000%

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