It’s always a good idea to incorporate images on your website, articles or blog, and they can actually improve your SEO. Images serve as a nice balance to the text by improving readability and the reader’s overall experience on your site. Also, images can help to clarify text and improve the reader’s understanding, so long as the image is relevant to the subject. And yes! The images absolutely must be relevant; it should not appear tacked on haphazardly. An image that supports your text can increase keyword and search ranking.
Okay, so you know images are important, but how do you make sure they live up to their full potential in terms of your SEO strategy?
Positioning an Image
When it comes to page structure and layout, there are ways you can use images in a SEO friendly way. Make sure the image is located in a place that makes sense: it should be near the relevant text. Make your visitors’ lives easier so they don’t have to try and piece things together. Make sure the image doesn’t interrupt the flow of the text. The image should emphasize the text and vice versa. Strive for a nice balance, and make sure you think about it from your users’ perspective. What will be most visually pleasing to them?
SEO Strategy for Images Can Also Improve Marketing Efforts
Images can also serve as a marketing tool by using caption text, even if it doesn’t contain effective keywords or phrases. For instance, if you were using an image to encourage users to sign up for a monthly cleaning service, the phrase might be “Cleaning Service Toronto.” This would be the header tag or file name; it includes the specific keywords you want to rank for with the main keyword first (cleaning service). This is where your SEO strategy comes into play.
But you also might want to include text that is more persuasive and geared toward a call-to-action, such as “Sign up now and save 10%!” This is more vague, but a persuasive offer works nicely as the image’s tagline, or caption. By using this technique, you are optimizing both your marketing and keyword strategies at the same time.
In 2012, KISSmetrics revealed that “Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.” This is not to say you’ll caption every single image you use, as you should be careful not to over-optimize. Maybe sometimes it makes sense not to. If your readers would get something out of a caption text, or will expect some type of copy, then it makes sense to use it.
Scaling Images and File Size
Loading time is part of your SEO efforts because users will move on to another site if yours is taking too long to load and your page might not get indexed. To optimize loading time, make sure you properly scale your images and then save them as the smallest possible file size. You can use JPEGmini to make sure the quality is still 100%.
Alt text is the text your viewers will see if for any reason the images fails to load on their computer. This is a good way to make sure nobody misses out on a valuable offer or information. The alt text should include the SEO keyword. Again, make sure it’s relevant and properly explains the image. This way your reader won’t be as likely to leave your page because they will have some idea as to what the image is and will hopefully continue reading.
Lindsay is the kind of person who always catches errors as she's reading books, articles, and copy on the internet. She can't help but think to herself, if only she could've gotten her hands on it first! She is an extremely nit-picky and detail-oriented editor with a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts, where she graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
As an undergraduate she focused on fiction and poetry and began her first novel under the close direction of professor and New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III. Her favorite projects to tackle include copy editing, proofreading, and writing copy for business websites.