Optimise Images for SEO
We are all obsessed as designers with search engine optimisation – to get your sites well placed in the rankings. Yet many people still don’t take the time to optimise images for SEO.
It’s one of the easiest ways to take full advantage of your web page. Most pages contain imagery. Either photos, graphics or illustrations. It takes a few simple tweaks to optimise images for seo. The extra rankings can bring extra visitors.
Why Would You Optimise Images?
Because search engines just can’t see the content of an image. They can see the amount of pixels. They know from the format that there’s an image there. It could howvere be the image of a moth on a web page about cats. They can’t assess the actual content. So you have to do it for them.
Optimising Alt Attributes
The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image in the html of the page. This description isn’t only for search engines. It’s also shown when an image can’t be displayed or loaded because of a slow connection etc., so it aids your users too.
The advantage with wordpress is that it allows you to add the alt attribute every time you upload an image. Since google started pushing their image search these alt attributes are even more important in optimising as it means your image may appear higher in the image rankings for the words you use. So if your web page is about cats…you have an image of a cat running…you may use “cat running” as the alt attribute.
Optimising File Names
The other important part of the naming of images is in the correct name for the image or illustration file. When you optimise images for seo it’s a good idea to give the file an apprropriate name.
If you don’t specify a file name then it will appear as the default file name which if from a digital camera could be dsc0019 or some such which has nothing to do with the content. Try and rename the image using keywords from the content of your web page.
Optimising File Size
While your optimising imagery on your web site don’t forget the file size. Google in particular pays a lot of attention when ranking a page as to it’s page speed. The longer it takes to load the slower it is. It’s easy to rectify this with most modern image editors. Maintain the quality of the image but reduce the size of the file.
Again, using wordpress there are also many plugins that will do the job perfectly for you. One of the best is smushit. Most visitors won’t stay long on your page if the page takes forever to load. So as well as increasing the page speed for the search engine rankings you are also making the site much more user friendly.