How to optimize your images for SEO

How to optimize your images for SEO

Optimize your images for SEO can be VERY beneficial for the SEO of your site. In fact, the images are key elements on a website, both the user experience only for natural referencing. According to a Hubspot study, pages containing images get 94% more views than those not containing any.

However, most webmasters neglect the optimization of their images in SEO. Unsuitable format, excessive weight, bad naming, hollow captions... So many errors that harm the indexing of images and slow down the loading of pages.

Properly optimizing your visuals can help you gain positions in search results and significantly improve the user experience. But where start when you are new to SEO?

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In this article, discover all best practices to optimize your images effectively in SEO. From choosing the format to writing captions to compression, you will know exactly how to proceed to make your visuals user-friendly for both search engines and Internet users.

Let's go !!!

🌿Choose the right format

The format of your images has an impact on their indexing and loading speed. For the pictures, JPEG is recommended. This format makes it possible to compress the weight of images while maintaining good visual quality.

For optimal referencing, the choice of the format of your images is essential. Search engines cannot “see” the content of the images, but analyze certain technical signals to better identify them.

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Generally speaking, prefer vector formats (SVG), which offer very high image quality and reduced file size. For photos, JPEG remains the standard, but remember to find the best possible ratio between quality and file size.

The PNG format is interesting for maintaining bright colors on logos or solid illustrations. But be careful, a PNG will weigh two to five times as much as an equivalent JPEG!

the WebP format invented by Google offers photos of quality similar to those of a JPEG for weights up to 30% lower. Its growing adoption makes it a must in the medium term, especially since recent browsers already support it.

By choosing the format best suited to your images, you will reduce their loading time and make them easier to analyze by robots, gaining a few precious places in the mobile rankings in the process!

Also be sure to optimize the size of your JPEG files by adjusting the compression rate. A weight less than 100 kb for a thumbnail and 500 kb for an image in an article is a good ratio. Do not hesitate to pass your images through an optimization tool.

🌿 Name your files correctly

Naming your images also plays a role for SEO. The file name should ideally include the main keyword you are targeting, without spaces or special characters. For example photo-paysage-montagne.jpg or logo-company.png.

This helps search engines understand what the image is about. Absolutely avoid names like img825.jpg which provide no SEO value.

A number before the extension is however recommended to distinguish two images on the same subject. Put together, the keyword + number form the ideal file name.

🌿 Optimize dimensions

Beyond the format, cut your images to the exact dimensions that will be displayed on the web pages to avoid the extra weight linked to automatic reduction. A too heavy image being resized by the browser significantly slows down the loading of the page. But the loading speed is a key factor in natural referencing, particularly on mobile.

Also remember to prepare several versions of your main visuals with dimensions suitable for the retina (x2), a tablet or mobile display. Responsive design requires resized images anyway. Finally, avoid if possible parallax and scrolling effects horizontal/vertical requiring very large images, in favor of standard formats for the web (800-1000 pixels wide).

Native images with the perfect dimensions for their location will ensure lighter and better-ranked pages, especially on mobile local queries. It is important to resize your images to the size that will be displayed on the website. No need to leave a picture 3000 × 4000 pixels if she is inserted in 500×300 px in an article. This would only make the page unnecessarily bulky.

Ideally, limit the width of your images at 1200 pixels for web display. Resizing is easily done with a photo editor. Don't forget to also reduce the dpi resolution to reduce weight. A 72 dpi resolution enough for the web.

🌿 Write your captions well

The ALT tag (“ alternative text ") is an HTML attribute that allows you to associate a textual description with an image on a web page. This text will be displayed especially if the image cannot be loaded correctly.

For natural referencing, the content of this ALT attribute is cruciaL. This is because search engines cannot analyze the visual content of an image. They therefore rely on this textual description to understand the subject of the image and its interest in relation to the content of the page.

images for SEO

The ALT attribute must therefore include the file name of the image, which is generally enriched with 1 or 2 relevant keywords describing its content. Example : " mountain-hiking.jpg " bECOMES " hiker in the mountains ". Be careful, however, not to overload this attribute to preserve its value. Between 15 and 20 words maximum is a good compromise.

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To go further, you can also fill in the “ Title » (Description in some interfaces) when you insert an image on a page. This allows you to write a real legend, more detailed and understandable by visitors. Don’t hesitate to place secondary keywords related to the image and surrounding content.

🌿 Compress your images

Compressing images makes it possible to considerably reduce their weight while maintaining suitable visual quality. On a website, lightweight visuals speed up page loading and improve the user experience.

There are easy-to-use tools to compress an already optimized image into the right format (PNG, JPG, WebP, etc.). The weight of an image can be decreased by 40 to 80% depending on its initial type and complexity.

However, too aggressive compression degrades quality to the point of generating unsightly pixelation. Find the right quality/weight ratio by testing different compression levels for each format.

By reducing the size of your images in the right proportions, you will satisfy both visitors with faster pages and search engine robots, who particularly appreciate this performance gain.

🌿 Insert your images into articles

Finally, to give maximum SEO value to your images, consider inserting them within your blog articles. Beyond optimizing the images themselves, their integration into blog posts is also a significant SEO factor.

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Indeed, when an image is placed at the heart of an article, it directly inherits the authority in terms of SEO. It then has a much greater chance of appearing in the image results than if it is isolated or only integrated into the home page.

In addition, the text surrounding the image allows engines to better understand its context and therefore index it more easily on queries corresponding to the keywords in the article. By taking the time to insert your key visuals into relevant editorial content, you optimize both their contextual referencing and that of targeted articles.

🌿 Closing

Images are essential elements of an SEO strategy, when we know that they represent more than 50% bytes uploaded to a website. However, search engines cannot analyze their visual content.

Technical optimization (format, weight, dimensions) and semantic (ALT and Description tags) images is therefore essential for good SEO. Visuals that are quick to load, well named and captioned will help robots to better reference them according to the keywords of the pages where they appear.

Above all, by taking the time to insert your master images within targeted blog articles, you offer them a fantastic springboard. Inheriting the authority of the content, they will appear more easily in searches images and associated keywords.

An SEO strategy also based on optimized images will save you precious time in the quest for visibility on the most competitive queries.

To go further, do not hesitate to use the excellent WP Rocket plugin which will automatically optimize all your images on your WordPress site. Your pages will only be faster and your traffic will be even greater!

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FAQs for Optimizing Images for SEO

Why optimize your images for SEO?

Images often make up more than half of the bytes downloaded on a page. Optimized images improve page performance and indexing by search engines.

Which image format should be preferred for SEO?

Vector formats (SVG) are ideal, but JPEG is suitable for photos. WebP (Google) and JPEG 2000 are emerging formats offering good weight/quality compromises.

How to reduce the weight of your images?

By choosing the right format, then compressing the images without excessive loss of visual quality. You can also resize your images to the exact display dimensions.

Should you optimize the names of your images?

Yes, it is recommended to include keywords related to the image content in its file name for SEO. Ex: electric-car-tesla.jpg

How to improve the indexing of your images?

By entering an ALT tag and a Description field (title) with keywords that precisely describe the image. You thus guide the robots in their indexing.

Where to place your images for better SEO?

At the heart of blog articles optimized for certain keywords. The image then benefits from the authority of the surrounding content and positions itself better in searches.

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