How to Optimize Your Images for SEO (in 11 Easy Steps)


Images in your content aren’t just vital for your user experience, they are also CRUCIAL for next-level SEO.

For starters, they provide crucial additional context to search engines.

Second, optimized pictures boost user engagement and search engine rankings by speeding up page loading.

It should go without saying then – knowing how to optimize your images for SEO is more important than ever.

Here’s 11 ways to optimize your images for SEO.

#1 – Resize Your Photographs First

how to optimize images for SEO

The size of an image and the size of a file are not the same thing. The dimensions of a picture are image size (e.g., 1024 by 680 pixels). The file size refers to the storage space required on the server (e.g., 350 kilobytes).

Images with better quality and bigger size (typically taken with a professional camera) take longer to load. While they perform well for print reproduction, they must be scaled down to fit the web without sacrificing too much quality.

#2 – Choose The Appropriate File Format

PNG, JPEG, and GIF are all widely used image formats. Each has its own set of advantages. For photographs with a lot of colors, I prefer JPEG, and for explicit images, PNG.

#3 – Select The Appropriate Compression Rate

The file’s size is reduced when a picture is compressed too extensively, but the image quality worsens. When you pick a low compression rate, on the other hand, the picture quality is excellent, but the file size is enormous.

To find out what works best for each picture, you should experiment with different file formats and compression rates. Many image-editing programs, including Adobe Photoshop, feature a “save for the web” option that reduces file size while maintaining picture quality.

Adobe is a great way to compress images for SEO

Below are several alternatives to Photoshop if you don’t have it:

  • Affinity Photo
  • Pixlr (JPEG optimization)
  • ImageOptim (Mac only)
  • Kraken (bulk compression)
  • Gimp
  • Paint.NET
  • JPEG Mini
  • OptiPNG
  • FileOptimizer
  • Triage
  • Image optimization plugins for WordPress Yoast SEO

#4 – Test Speed Optimization

How do you tell whether your website page loading speeds are fast enough after you’ve optimized your images? To evaluate your site’s performance, use one of the following tools:

  • WebPageTest
  • Pingdom
  • GTmetrix
  • WebWait
  • Google PageSpeed Insights

It is a good idea to review your metrics if your website publishes a lot of content.

#5 – Optimize The Names Of Picture Files

Be sure to optimize the names of your photos

It’s critical to choose the proper file name for your page’s SEO and image search results. To acquire the maximum SEO power, name every picture file with relevant, descriptive keywords before uploading it.

Please start with the target keywords and separate them with hyphens. Because search engines don’t recognize underscores, they won’t be able to “see” the words separately.

File names must make sense to people and search engines alike. For instance, “salon234.jpg” is the original name of a picture of a lady at a hair salon. The file should be renamed to something more descriptive, such as “lady getting her hair cut at the salon.jpg.”

#6 – Make Use Of Image Alternative Tags

Viewers may understand images but search engine spiders need more information. Search engines can’t correctly index your picture content if you don’t include alternative text. An effective alt tag not only adds context but also aids blind users. 

image alt text is crucial for SEO

The alternative text on a website may help search engines rank it even if the pictures aren’t loaded properly. To increase exposure, use brand-relevant terms in this section. Just remember to stay away from keyword stuffing.

Give additional information than what’s in the filename. While there isn’t a magic amount of words, strive for 10 to 15 to get your point through.

#7 – Image Title Optimization Is A Must!

Because the picture title is frequently derived from the file name in WordPress, you may occasionally leave it as-is when uploading images to the platform. 

Rename the picture with the required keywords in the same manner as file names if you do not use WordPress or if the title does not describe the image.

When it comes to search engine optimization, image names aren’t as significant as alt text. User engagement is higher when images have descriptive words. Adding something like “purchase now” or “download now” might be a compelling call to action – especially for eCommerce websites.

#8 – Include Pictures With Captions Where Appropriate

Unlike file names and alt texts, picture captions may be seen on a website page, even if they don’t directly influence SEO. As a result, they’ll improve the user’s overall experience.

Image captions are popular because they allow viewers to gain a better sense of the entire content. Your bounce rates may rise if you don’t include picture captions, which might harm your online reputation with search engines.

#9 – Make Use Of Exclusive Photos

original photos are great for SEO

In general, stock photographs are OK as long as you credit the photographer and give credit where credit is due. Uploading unique photos is beneficial to SEO in the same way that special textual material is.

#10 – Be Sure Your Wording Matches The Pictures You’re Using

You may aid image search engines by including relevant content on your web page. If there isn’t enough text to explain a concept, describe the image in greater detail if you can.

#11 – Add Structured Image Data

Adding structured data to your website aids in presenting your photographs as rich results by search engines. Product photos, films, and recipes all have structured data support in Google Images. If your website contains recipes and you contribute structured data to your photos, Google may add a badge to your image indicating that it is part of a recipe.

Google’s Structured Data General Guidelines will help you understand how to add structured data to your sites while still complying with Google’s guidelines.

Why is it so important to optimize your images?

The act of developing and providing high-quality photographs in the optimal format, size, and resolution to maximize user engagement is known as image optimization. It also entails identifying pictures correctly so that search engine crawlers can read them and comprehend the page’s context.

As of November 2018, pictures took up on average 21% of the entire weight of a web page, according to HTTP Archive. Because photos take up more space on a website than any other component, their size and complexity significantly impact site performance.

image SEO is highly underrated

When you minimize the size of photos without sacrificing quality, page load speeds increase, and visitors’ experiences improve. According to Aberdeen Group research, a one-second delay in load time results in a 7% loss in conversions, and roughly 40% of users quit a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

Improved user experience and interactions with your site enhance search engine results, increasing customer engagement, conversions, and retention.

Furthermore, since optimized photos take up less server storage space, site backups will be performed faster.

In this article we teach you how to make sure your images are optimized for SEO.

Final thoughts on image optimization for SEO 

Before posting a picture, keep these ideas in mind if you’re having trouble getting your material seen. Search engines and human visitors will appreciate your content more if it uses these picture optimization tactics to enhance its likability.

If you are looking to optimize your images, or want to grow your website with SEO, reach out to First Page today to speak with a digital strategist.