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Shajith Ali
Shajith Ali

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How to optimize an image for SEO?

Image description
Image SEO is the element of on-page search engine optimization that primarily deals with image files. In practice, we generally speak of image optimization.

Image search engine optimization includes things like:

  • The type of image (png, gif, jpeg, etc.)
  • The size, weight and quality in pixels.
  • Loading time.
  • The use and optimization of alt text.
  • Keywords in image filenames.

Image SEO is one of the most often overlooked parts of on-page SEO, but that doesn't mean it's not important.

If you want to position photos in Google Images searches , follow these SEO recommendations.

What is the definition and role of the Alt Tag?

You must first bear in mind that an image on the page of a site cannot be interpreted by a search engine. Although making progress in the field of recognition, Google is still not able to fully recognize the content of an image.

Even if originally the alt tag was thought to allow people suffering from partial blindness to be able to understand and interpret a photo , it is clear that Google has opted for the same option. Indeed, voice browsers designed for the visually impaired read the content of this tag so that they can access the entire content. Google does the same and uses this field to evaluate and understand the images to which it is exposed.

It is therefore not simply a question of facilitating accessibility to the entire content of a page, but of making its site as understandable as possible by all. And when we say "by all", we must include Google and the other search engines in the lot.

Different from the caption which can accompany an image and which is displayed on the screen, the alt tag has a particular character. It is also different from the title of the image and must not be composed of the same lexies.

Concretely, it is a content thought above all for the human , which will have to state what contains the image which it accompanies. Of course, we can use certain keywords to maintain consistency of optimization with the rest of the pages, but its formulation must be intelligible and clear for humans. This is important to optimize the visuals for the visitor and the referencing of the product sheets.

Ex :
washing-machine-β€œbrandβ€œ-capacity-7-kg-electronics

For its writing, capital letters and accents are avoided in order to make this content compatible with the HTML language. Because, in fact, it is an attribute written in HTML code.

Here is its form:
< img src=" file.jpg" alt="washing-machine-β€œbrandβ€œ-capacity-7-kg-electronics" />

For those uninitiated in this language, don't worry, the backoffice of most CMS offers a field specific to each image to easily fill it in without going through the code.

How to take advantage of the alt tag to optimize your images?

Given that it must be composed of lexies consistent with the rest of the content of the page, it is possible to insert keywords and thus ensure that you benefit from a small bonus.

We are talking about bonuses because more and more searches are done by image. Also, a well-informed and well-optimized alt tag ensures a good position for your image on search engine results pages. Thus, Internet users can arrive on your site by this means.
It is therefore interesting to optimize this content.

Note : as long as we are talking about images, it is good to raise a point: avoid the presence of a simple image in the part of your pages. This is one of the most important areas of your site. Rather than a simple logo, prefer a small text or a sentence defining your activity and containing important words from your sector of activity. Google and other search engines pay attention to this to better capture your content.

How to optimize an image for SEO?

First of all, you have to keep in mind that you have to respect the expected format for the images. It is necessary that these do not exceed 200 KB after compression, otherwise the speed of your site will be slowed down.

In this context, it is therefore important to respect this format before any other optimization and to use a compression tool. Adapting the size of the image and its format is also important, increasing its loading speed.

Image indexing can also be facilitated by creating a sitemap of image files.

The main SEO positioning factors depend on these elements:

  • Ease of indexing.
  • Formats, size and compression.
  • Download speed.
  • Optimizations of the different elements (title, alt, file name…).
  • Context of the content surrounding the image.
  • Page popularity.

The title of the image can appear when the user's mouse hovers over it . It is therefore necessary to take care of this title by including important keywords. The engine will thus enter the theme of the file in question.

To do this, as for the alt tag, the words must be separated by hyphens and free of capital letters: mes-vacances-en-ardeche.jpg

It is therefore an opportunity to appear on Google Image in the β€œholidaysβ€œ, β€œArdecheβ€œ and β€œholidays in Ardecheβ€œ section.

The alt tag

As for this tag, we can optimize more on the lexies. Keep in mind that this small summary should allow a visually impaired person to grasp the content of the image. It will therefore be necessary to be precise, while including interesting keywords:

ardeche-bathing-name of the river-name of the village-natural-park

Clearly, this is an opportunity to fill in this field with descriptive information that is complementary to the title tag of the proposed photo. The keywords inserted will enrich your content and contextualize it as best as possible.

The visually impaired user will hear the reading of this small text and will better contextualize the content submitted to him. The same is true with search engines. In fact, by including interesting keywords in your niche, it will be possible to see your image well positioned on the result pages relating to images. This is an additional opportunity to attract traffic, which is more qualified.

Both from an SEO and marketing point of view, this tag is therefore of particular interest which can prove to be really profitable for attracting certain customer profiles. To deprive yourself of it would be a serious mistake.

The image caption

Be careful not to misunderstand: it is very different from the alt tag and the title of your image.

The one for each photo appears on your website pages under each of them. It allows to give the context of the image and is thought for the human. For its writing, favor a natural form of writing.

Good news for you, Google also uses it to better understand your content. It is therefore interesting to systematically fill in this field using words that are slightly different from those used in the alt tag. It is all the more interesting that it is not required to deliver a description related to the image but rather to provide details.

Ex: Swimming in the Rhone in Ardeche

Note: if the alt tag allows engines to enter the content of an image or a document, the title and the caption allow above all to contextualize the whole. By taking care of these 3 points, you will obtain excellent results in terms of the natural referencing of your images on search engines.

Conclusion on the Alt tag

Deploying an SEO optimization strategy for your entire website and neglecting the alt tags of your images would be foolish . Even if it means working on your online visibility and traffic, you might as well increase the chances of your business being found by a customer. Search by images is becoming more and more important and can be a real asset depending on your niche or your sector of activity.

Take advantage of the possibility of inserting a small text containing at least one important keyword in each of the alt tags of your images. This will enrich the content of your pages. Besides, any SEO consultant will advise you to do so.

Although discreet, these alternative attributes are worth paying attention to on all of your pages. The benefit you will get from it might surprise you.

You can read on to know what is the best size for SEO content and for the reader?

In case of doubt or inability to remedy this lack, contact us, we will be able to give you the right advice.

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