If you are a blogger or website owner, the most common question you might ask is, “Should I add images to this blog?” Most of the time, the answer to this question is absolutely YES.
So now you might be eager to make the right impression; you navigate to a stock photography site and carefully select the perfect visual masterpiece. Then you proceed to integrate it into your page seamlessly. And now you are done.. A perfect image for your website to attract the attention of your target audience.
But just think about it, is this truly an exemplary display of image optimization? Regrettably, NO.
But what’s the perfect way, then? It’s using image SEO. In this article, I’ll comprehensively describe image SEO and share everything you need to know. So your website visuals leave a mark on your target audience.
What Is Image SEO?
Image SEO, or image search engine optimization, refers to optimizing images on a website. It is done to improve visibility and ranking in search engine results. It involves various techniques and best practices to ensure that images are properly formatted, labeled, and relevant to the original content they accompany.
Imagine you’re a talented food blogger known for your delectable recipes and mouthwatering food photography. Today, you’re sharing a recipe for a decadent chocolate cake that will make any dessert lover’s heart skip a beat. While creating the blog, you realize that adding mouthwatering images of chocolate cake will elevate the reader’s experience.
You carefully select high-resolution images. An image that captures every detail of the cake, from its glossy frosting to the intricate piping.
But your work doesn’t stop there. There’s more to choosing a picture from an image SEO perspective that most people miss.
To optimize these images for SEO, you must ensure they are properly named with descriptive filenames, such as “decadent-chocolate-cake.jpg,” But how is that helpful? It is easier for search engines to understand your content, and after that, it will push your content to wider audiences.
Why Is Image SEO Important?
Imagine you are presented with an opportunity to read two articles. The first article is briefly summarized with images and high-quality content. But the second article has exceptionally high-quality content. But it’s solely text-based with no visual elements. It’s quite dull and uninspiring, isn’t it?
Including visually appealing and relevant images within your content engages and captivates your audience. Images can convey;
- Demonstrate concepts
- Provide context
Thus, making your content more engaging and memorable. By optimizing your images, you create a more immersive and enjoyable user experience, increasing the chances of visitors staying longer on your site.
You will be surprised to know that almost 20% of all web searches in the United States are conducted on Google Images, which proves how beneficial it can be for website owners.
With image SEO strategies, you can enhance your chances of attracting organic traffic from search engines, particularly from the image, and visual search results.
How Can You Choose The Right Image?
You might have a stunning infographic or a captivating photograph that you want to incorporate into your website. But here’s the problem: What type of image should you choose? Should it be png? Or maybe you should resize your image?
There are two basic technical terms; by understanding them, you can choose one that fits most with your content. This can help you in choosing the right image;
- Vector file formats: These formats store your illustrations as a series of mathematical equations known as vectors. Think of it as a digital blueprint that allows your image to be scaled up or down. The best part is that you won’t lose quality while doing this.
- Raster file formats: These are based on pixels. Pixels are tiny dots that combine to form the image you see on your screen. Unlike vector images, raster images are resolution-dependent. It means they have a fixed number of pixels and can lose quality when enlarged.
But what about weight? The simple weight of a raster image depends on its dimensions and the number of pixels it contains. But the number of vectors determines a vector image’s weight and its anchor points.
However, one important point that you shouldn’t forget is that there are many other factors that you must consider for image SEO. It’s not limited to weight only.
Types Of Image Format
There are mainly 5 different types of image formats. And you might be wondering which one is the best option for you. Let’s understand them individually and analyze which is the perfect match for your website.
1# PNG – The Cut-Out Champion
Best for: Images with transparency or sharp, text-heavy graphics.
The PNG format is widely recognized and commonly used on the web. It offers a unique feature that allows you to incorporate objects or silhouettes without including their background. PNG is also used using a clipping tool to extract a specific photo part and export it on a transparent background.
But the PNG format can be quite large in file size. It can lead to longer loading times for visitors. But is that a positive aspect from an SEO perspective? No, But you can solve it.
Regularly checking the file size of PNG image files on your website. And optimizing them whenever it’s needed.
- Lossless compression
- Supports transparency
- Better for graphics
- Larger file sizes
- Limited browser support for older versions
- Less efficient for photographs
2# JPG – The Perfect Blend
Best for Photographs and complex images with a wide range of colors.
It is also known as JPEG. It’s the most commonly used image format in most websites. Think of it as a collection of tiny pixels coming together to create your image. And the best part is that the more pixels it has, the better the image quality.
But it has one downside as well, which is its weight. It can sometimes be heavy, especially when your image size is large or if the JPG format isn’t compressed.
Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of issues. And I’ve noticed these troubling problems on so many websites. These unoptimized JPG images weigh down web pages. But don’t worry. I’ll give you a perfect solution for it. So you can use this format however you want.
The solution is finding a Balance. Focus on the quality/weight ratio of your image. If you reduce the size of the image, you are making the image much lighter with just a few pixels. But you must know that if you lower pixels too much, the image quality will also worsen.
However, what about user experience? Isn’t that the most important thing? After all, you do want your website to outshine your competitors.
You don’t want to present an article of exceptional quality only to have an image that adds no value. That’s a big no-no. So, ensure that your JPG image is optimized to the optimal size for your web page. It not only enhances the speed of your page but also maintains an optimal image quality. It ultimately creates a delightful user experience.
- Wide compatibility
- Good compression
- Suitable for photographs
- Lossy compression
- Limited transparency
- Artifacts with high compression
3# SVG – Shapeshift Your Designs
Best for: scalable vector graphics, such as logos, icons, and illustrations
It is the acronym for Scalable Vector Graphics. With SVG, the integration of vector illustrations into HTML code becomes seamless. But is that beneficial for your website? Think about it. Is this format suitable for your website?
If you’re crafting a captivating logo, an intricate icon, or any vector-based artwork, SVG empowers you to show them flawlessly on your website. As it is, optimized for the highest quality presentation.
Imagine you’re designing a website for a global travel agency. It has a mission to provide users with an immersive travel experience. Using SVG, you can create a dynamic world map that scales perfectly across different devices while preserving its sharpness and clarity.
With the help of CSS animations, you can bring the map to life. The map becomes more advanced showcasing interactive elements that engage visitors and enhance their journey.
This is why the versatility of SVG is often a topic of discussion. The versatility of SVG allows you to create captivating visuals tailored to your specific needs.
But it’s important not to get too carried away with this. Specially SVG files containing an abundance of vectors. The resulting code can become intricate, which can potentially impact performance.
So should you not use SVG?
You should keep a balance between complexity and efficiency.
However, if you have a WordPress website, you must know this.
The default functionality of the WordPress CMS does not include native support for SVG files.
But what if you want to keep using WordPress and SVG images? Is this possible? Yes, it is.
Reliable solutions, such as the widely recommended “SVG Support” extension, are available. Through this, WordPress users can effortlessly incorporate SVG files into their websites, unleashing the full potential of this remarkable format.
- Scalable vector graphics
- Retains high-quality photos at any resolution
- Small file sizes
- Not suitable for complex or highly detailed images
- Limited browser support for certain features
- It may require additional coding for responsiveness
4# WEBP – Hulk of Image Compression
Best for: Optimizing website loading speed without compromising image quality.
WEBP, a format comparable to JPG, offers an impressive compression level. It optimizes image data and reduces file size. It means retaining the maximum image data while significantly decreasing its weight.
But there is another important thing that most don’t know about WEBP. Most notably, Safari, on iOS, does not support the WEBP format natively.
But don’t stress out about how you can overcome this challenge because I’ve found a perfect way to solve it.
A recommended approach is to integrate both WEBP and JPG formats into your website. Thus users can easily download the WEBP format if their browser supports it. But you might wonder what will happen if there is no support. In that case, it falls back to JPG as an alternative. WordPress users can use plugins like Imagify. With this tool, JPG files are automatically converted to WEBP.
Let’s say you run a travel blog. You want to showcase breathtaking photos of exotic destinations. Using the WEBP format, you can compress those images to significantly smaller sizes. It ensures your pages have faster loading times. And by seamlessly integrating fallback support for JPG, you guarantee that everyone, regardless of their browser, gets an equally pleasing experience.
- High compression rates without significant loss in quality
- Smaller file sizes compared to JPEG and PNG
- Supports transparency and animation
- Limited support in older browsers
- Requires conversion for compatibility with certain platforms
- Less familiar format for some users and designers
5# GIFS – Website with Animated Delights
Best for: Short, looping animations or simple graphics with limited colors.
GIFs are the go-to formats for creating fun, looping animations that capture the internet’s heart. You can utilize software like Photoshop to create a timeline with different layers. And as a result, get a captivating sequence of images.
However, it’s important to note that GIF formats often have limitations. The number one is they tend to be bulky in file size and have low quality.
But are there any alternatives or solutions?
Yes, there are, and I will share them with you. As an alternative, you can use the following;
With SVG, you have more control and flexibility over your animations. You can separate them from your main file and utilize advanced technologies to achieve smoother and higher-quality results.
Let me share an insider tip with you. In recent years many professionals have started to move away from GIFs.
- Animation support
- Small file sizes for animations
- Browser compatibility
- Limited color range
- Large file sizes for longer animations
- Lower image quality for photographs
Which Image Format Is Good For SEO?
When optimizing images for SEO, the JPEG (JPG) format is the clear winner. You might ask why? What’s so special about it?
JPEG images strike a perfect balance between image quality and file size. They maintain good visual appeal while keeping the file size in check. This means your web pages can load faster, a big win for SEO. No one likes to wait for a slow-loading website, right?
But the image format varies depending on the purpose. Let’s say you’re running an online store that sells custom-made t-shirts. On one of your product pages, you want to display product images such as t-shirts from various angles and colors.
- For high-quality responsive images showcasing intricate details and vibrant colors, the JPEG (JPG) format would be ideal and boosts SEO.
- Use png for any transparent or text-heavy graphics, such as your store’s logo or special offer banners.
- The SVG format is the best choice if you have scalable vector illustrations, like your brand’s logo or icons.
- Suppose you want to add eye-catching animations, like a spinning t-shirt or a color-changing effect, to engage your visitors. In that case, the GIF format is suitable.
- Using WEBP, you can provide high-quality images while keeping your page loading times low, positively impacting your search engine rankings.
7 Best Tips For Image SEO
Image SEO is one of the most important steps toward optimizing your website for search engines. Now search engines like Google are becoming more adept at understanding images. Ensuring that your images contribute to a positive user experience and align with SEO best practices is essential. Here are 7 image optimization tips to keep in mind when adding images to your articles:
- Choose a relevant image that complements your text and enhances the overall message.
- Select a descriptive file name for your image that includes relevant keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Ensure that the dimensions of your image match how it will be displayed on your website.
- Optimize the file size of your images to improve the loading speed without compromising quality and make it compatible with mobile devices.
- Consider adding a caption to provide additional context and make it easier for users to scan the page.
- Use informative alt text for your images to describe their content to search engines and assistive technologies. Avoid using title text for images.
- Implement structured data markup, such as schema.org, to give search engines more information about your images and boost SEO power.
Top 3 Free Online Tools For Image Optimization
If you want to do image SEO without spending a lot of money. Here are the top 3 image optimization tools you can use for most image SEO for free.
TinyPNG specializes in shrinking the file size of your PNG and JPEG images without damaging quality. With a simple upload, you can magically reduce the image size. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s completely free.
The most important part of image SEO is choosing the perfect size for your image. Converterzu is an online tool that allows you to resize your images without spending a single penny. The best part is that your files are completely secure.
Yoast SEO Plugin
This handy plugin offers image optimization features. It allows you to add descriptive alt text, check image dimensions, and receive helpful suggestions to boost your image SEO. It’s a must-have tool for WordPress enthusiasts.
Does the Size Of the Image Matter?
Image file formats are very important in image SEO optimization. Each format is designed for specific purposes, and understanding their differences is essential to optimize your website’s images.
- Appearance: Different image formats vary in their ability to preserve detail and quality. Choosing the right format can ensure that your images look crisp and visually appealing to users.
- Performance: Ideal size of the file is a critical factor in website performance. Larger image files consume more bandwidth and take longer to load, negatively impacting the user experience and potentially leading to higher bounce rates. If you are creating an AMP page, optimizing your images is of geat importance.
- Scalability: Websites must adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions across various devices. Image formats that support scalability without sacrificing quality are ideal for ensuring a consistent visual experience.
Remember that files on your website shouldn’t be too heavy. They should be light and also high-quality.
Image SEO is an important technique that can help you get amazing results. However, you must implement the strategy properly and choose the right image format.
Your website is powerful for engaging visitors and leaving a lasting impression. It’s the digital face of your business, and its design and visual content work hand in hand to inspire action.
But not everyone has the expertise or time to do all of that. That’s why EchoFish is here to help you handle the SEO part. Contact us today.
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