A search results page (Search Engine Result Page = SERP) often shows a combination of info boxes, websites, images and videos. Which form they take is always decided by the respective search query. Image SEO is necessary so that your own images appear in this ranking. Here’s what it is, why it is so important, and how it works.
What is image SEO?
Image SEO is part of OnPage optimization (on page = on the page) within search engine optimization (Search Engine Optimization = SEO) and primarily relates to image files. One often speaks of image optimization. The goals of the search engine optimization of images are to increase the visibility of a website and a better placement in the Google image search and generally in the SERPs. Image SEO takes into account all elements of a graphic, for example file size and file name.
Why is image optimization important?
Image SEO plays a particularly important role in search queries that are geared towards translation, as the images are particularly noticeable and therefore represent a special feature. Since search engines are still largely text-based, images should always be provided with information in text-based form. This allows crawlers and bots to read and index the images correctly. Images in a text should also always be optimized since the image optimization also supports the ranking of the text.
In addition, optimizing your images is always worthwhile for search queries where users also want to see images. But a domain with optimized and appropriate image material will also be attractive for Google. This leads to an improved ranking both in the image search and in the universal search. In addition, the user experience (UX) is positively influenced by optimizing your images.
Image SEO – this is how it works
There are a few things you should consider before you upload images to your website. For example, your images should be appropriately named and the correct size. Search engines do not (yet) recognize images correctly, so you have to explain your images in text form.
The following factors are to be considered in image SEO:
Internet users find high-resolution images to be more professional and of much higher quality than blurred and small images. In addition, the screens grow with them, so the trend is towards ever larger resolutions. The resolution should be between 72 and 150 ppi (pixels per inch). The value for the minimum width or length is around 300 pixels.
When displaying in the image search, images in 4: 3 format are clicked more often. To help bots crawl your image file faster, you should resize your images to a file size that is optimized for the web. 150 kB is recommended for this. This reduces the loading speed and increases the usability of your website.
The most common image formats that are particularly suitable for optimizing images are GIF, JPEG, JPG and PNG, as they can be compressed to a suitable file size without any problems.
Adjusting the file name of the image is also part of the image optimization. As a first indication, it confirms to Google that it belongs to the content of your respective website. Therefore the file name should normally contain the main keyword. The words for naming the picture should be written in lower case and must not contain umlauts. Since Google regards underscores as connecting elements, you should always use hyphens as word separators.
A title tag is used to improve user-friendliness and is not only useful for texts but is also of great importance for images. It is best to include the main keyword here as well.
The caption is not only a visible element for the Internet user, but is also suitable for conveying corresponding image information to Google, for example the image content, the context with the surrounding text or the copyright.
The alt tag is displayed if for some reason your image cannot be loaded as such. It is therefore important that you use an appropriate name. A stored alt tag is also important for blind people, as it is used when reading aloud. This gives the blind user an impression of what the respective picture shows.
Text surrounding the image
If you insert your picture in a text, the text should not contradict the naming of your picture thematically. The alt tag, title tag, and caption should share the same theme.
If you take the above mentioned factors to heart in your image optimization, your ranking in the search engines will be positively influenced.