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Optimizing Images, 7 Image Optimization Tips For Best SEO Rankings

Did you know that big images can slow down your site and lower your search rankings on the main search engines such as Google and Bing


In an increasingly visual big media Internet full of bandwidth hungry content both images and video are the kind of culprits that consume a lot of data. High resolution images and video produce giant file sizes in their raw formats. Images that have not been optimized can add a lot of bandwidth overage to a high traffic site, so proper image optimization is a big deal for site owners.

For just a few visitors this maybe of little concern but if content is consumed daily by a vast audience even shaving 10 or 15 percent from a file size really adds up. Image optimization is a numbers game as we shall see in this feature post.

Optimizing images for the Web : image optimization
Optimizing images for the Web

What is Image Optimization?

Nowadays, every one asks questions like above and several other questions about images also…

1. What if I do not have any image in my blog post or article?

2. What if do not have good or high quality images?

3. How to optimize images for best SEO rankings?

I answer all of the above questions in this article, please leave your review in the comment section below.

Good graphics and Images can incredibly help your website in attracting users. You can use high quality images to get visitors on your website to subscribe, read, share your article or buy your stuff or services. In all these cases Images can bring a powerful attraction in your message.

However, not only users on your website enjoying images, search engines such as google are also trying to put them in a rank so new visitors can find you easily. But for this, you need to do a little extra work than just putting images on your web page.

If someone is searching for the “black t-shirt for casual use”, and you just have the perfect product for sale on your website. You gather great description related to that product, but if you don’t have good images for that product or even if you have a good high quality images which is not optimized well, your images will not even show up in the search results under that keyword.

This is Where SEO for Images Begins

In this feature article, I’ll teach you some basics of image optimization on how you can apply image SEO to your image for increased traffic and visibility. Proper image optimization when applied successfully will result in reduced file sizes and costs and better rankings in the longer term.

Basic SEO Tips For Image Optimization

Even if you are new to HTML, you will understand block of code below easily. This is the basic HTML code for inserting image in a web page.

<img src=”YOUR IMAGES URL HERE”>

This little fragment of HTML code will place image on your website, but it is not enough for the search engines to gather complete information. Search engines try to gather more info when it comes to any type of media attachment. It searches for the following data in terms of images:

  • Image name
  • Format/ Type of the image
  • Description of the Image
  • Size of the Image
  • Internal or external Link on image
  • Image dimensions

These are the instructions that you need to tell Google and other search engines, but you have to add more attributes to the HTML image code to do that.

How to Modify Your Images For Best SEO Rankings

Add Unique Images

Licensed Images From Shutterstock
Licensed Images From Shutterstock: Using licensed images will ensure no image copyright issues occur

There are millions of free and paid stock photos available on the Internet. But you can’t use them in your websites due to many reasons. First, it’s copyright. You can get severe problems if you use someone’s images on your website without their permission. If you think an image is in the public domain the best strategy is to credit the source and have a robust DMCA policy in place.

Can I Get a Search Penalty From Duplicate Images?

While Google can detect duplicate images, in general it is not good practice to use them if you can use original imagery instead. Duplicate imagery does not lead to penalties as with blocks of text, however:

If Google took a hard stance against duplicate imagery on web sites and blogs, what would happen with…

Recommended After Post Content?

Related content is everywhere and sure there are many sites using other sites’ images and/or infographics where the usage includes a link to the source. This is just a good practice Google can’t pursue.

Photographers and Digital Stock Photos?

Imagine you buy a picture from a digital stock library such as Shutterstock or a professional photographer. Of course you want to use it on your site. Penalty? Not going to happen.

Online Retailers and Affiliates?

So you have a ecommerce site where you sell a few brands’ products, and your brands provide you with official product pictures you decide to use. Would it make any sense to be penalized for using them?

Nevertheless what Google does now versus what Google does in the future can always change, once again always post original images within articles if at all possible.

Rename Your Image To Exactly What It Is About:

Try to include the keywords you’re writing about at least in one image.

For Instance, if you write an article about “how to spend a good weekend”, in this case one of the images need that phrase in alt tag, and also for best practice keep the image name same as that phrase.

So, if your target keyword is “how to spend a good weekend”, then one of those images you used in your article need to be named similar to how-to-spend-a-good-weekend.jpg rather than using some other strange name or sequence of numbers.

Add ALT Attributes to Images:

ALT attribute is a short and complete description of your image. Also, for convenience, if the user has a slow internet connection or can’t view the image for any other reason, ALT attribute will help the reader to know what supposed to be there.

For the best SEO practices, the ALT attribute should contain your keyword or keyword phrase.

Check the HTML source code for the image with ALT attribute,

<img src=”how-to-spend-a-good-weekend.jpg” alt=”how to spend a good weekend”/>

Add TITLE Attributes to images:

The TITLE attribute is usually used for image title. When some put mouse on an image, image title will popup. Title attribute should contain the keyword or keyword phrase for best SEO and search engine rankings.

Here is the simple HTML code example:

<img src=”how-to-spend-a-good-weekend.jpg” alt=”how to spend a good weekend” title=” how to spend a good weekend” />

Note: the TITLE attribute is not going to improve search engine rankings just like ALT tag did, as the content provided by this attribute does not get cached in google and other search engines.

Use Relevant Anchor Texts On Image Links

For instance, if you have a separate landing page for the “extra small t-shirt”, the anchor text needs to be something like “extra small t-shirt for kids and babies”.

The above point will perform two things: first, it provides handy information to visitors; second, it provides proper keyword rich data to search engines bots.Here is the simple HTML code example:

<a href=”http://examplesite.com/extra-small-t-shirts”> <img src=”extra-small-t-shirt.jpg” alt=”extra small t-shirt” title=”extra small t-shirt”/> </a>

For anyone using WordPress, it allows you to insert images and other media, as well as specify things like ALT, TITLE, and description of the image. If you are using WordPress as a CMS, do take on board the benefits of that feature when uploading images.

Scale / Resize And Compress Images

Kraken Image Compression
Kraken Image Compression: Reduce image file sizes with compression services such as Kraken

Using large image is a big risk for website loading time optimization. For example, if you need an image 240px by 240px but the actual image you are using for that potion is 800px by 800px will increase you page weight. This will ultimately increase page loading time.

Check your website report on gtmetrix.com for scaled and optimized images.

Use Photoshop or any other tool for scaling and resizing your website image.

You can also perform image optimization and image compression without losing quality on tinypng.com. Other image optimization tools and plugins for WordPress in particular include Smush and Kraken.

Create An Image Sitemap

Generally sitemaps are used for helping search engine bots to better index your website and find info on it easily. Adding an image sitemap will also help your website SEO and make your images appear on top in Google image search result.

If you are using WordPress, Yoast SEO plugin can help you better in creating image sitemap automatically.

Image Optimization Conclusion:

For sure, there are so many other On-Page SEO tips you can use for better SEO rankings, but these are the most important when it comes to image optimization, after this you may not need to do more SEO work on your images.

In short, choose your image wisely and make sure it is high quality image and related to the content you’re writing. If it’s not related, your readers and visitors will not connect. The image is a representative to help attract people to the content, while also giving them a graphical idea of what the content is all about.

Don’t forget to test your images and their impact on website loading speed, SEO and traffic. Because image is worth a thousand words, but never neglect your text content. A sensible use of both the content and images will bring a perfect result.


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This article is the complete guide on image Optimization for Best SEO Rankings. Please share it as well if you found it useful and beneficial for your blog or web site.

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David Cotton
Digital Pixels came into existence in 2009. It was established to fulfill the need for a web design & development and software development company.
David Cotton


Written by David Cotton

Digital Pixels came into existence in 2009. It was established to fulfill the need for a web design & development and software development company.

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