50 Image SEO Tips | Optimizing Images for Search Engines

Image SEO Optimization Tips

Below are the Actionable Image SEO Tips, that can improve your Image search rankings. You can also check our eCommerce SEO Guide.

General Image SEO Optimization Tips

  1. Always use images. Images fulfill 22 % of Google search queries. Make your place in Google Image search pages by adding pictures to the page.
  2. There are many researches proving that image increases the page interactivity. Instead of an utterly bland text page, insert pictures to keep the visitor on the page.
  3. Add images that complement the content of the page. Make an image around the keyword of the post or the topic you are writing about. 
  4. Always use your most important image at the top of the page, as Google renders the page from top to bottom, and content at the top of the page is more impactful.
  5. The image must have a purpose for being on the page. You should ask yourself, what is the point of this image I am uploading? If it does not serve any purpose other than SEO, don’t upload it. 
  6. If the image is not useful to the user, it must at least be attractive so that it can engage the user with the content. It will eventually reduce the bounce rate, which is also good for search engine optimization.
  7. Avoid using sensitive images. Don’t use an image that shows an element of racism, homophobia, sexism, or anything similar. However, in the end, it depends on your content.
  8. Using a high-quality image is necessary. There is no point in displaying blurred pictures or low-quality photos. Unless your site is about old pics. The point is you should try to offer the best quality of image you can to the users.

Too long to read? Just download the image SEO tasks checklist.

Types of Image Formats

  1. Balance the image quality with the image size. If the high-quality image is of 50MB size, it will do more harm to the webpage SEO as the image will take forever to load. And you only have 3 seconds. So, you have to use the best quality image possible that can also load under 3 seconds.
  2. Run GTmetrix Test or Pingdom Test to find out the large image on your site and then replace them.
  3. Use Raster images. They are made of rectangular grids, with each grid having a color value known as a pixel. Raster images are emotionally and psychologically appealing as they provide depth to the imagery. JPG and PNG are the most popular Raster type image.
  4. PNG files are used when the images files can be high, and the high quality of the image is necessary. When you need to show the details in the picture, PNG is good to go.
  5. Jpeg images are the most used images on the web. However, they lose their details and pixels as you reduce their file size. JPG is a good quality image with small file sizes. Most of the eCommerce sites, social media, and blogs use JPG images.
  6. Use a vector image for the shapes, logos, icons, and flat images. Vector Images are made up of lines, points, and polygons. They are not pixelated and does not lose details when reduced. Zoom in does not blur Vector images.
  7. SVG is the preferred Vector image type size. You do not have to have multiple dimensions for SVG images, as they are already responsive. 
  8. For animated images, Gif is the best option. They come in a small size and still serve the purpose. Nearly 22% of websites (including Google, Microsoft, etc.) are using GIF.
  9. Webp is an image format created by Google, and Google is also promoting it. WebP supports both lossy and lossless compression, and even animation. This format reduces the file size of the image while keeping the quality unscathed.
  10. Decorative images are only on the site to make the page feel attractive—for example, shapes, lines, 3d elements, shadows, etc. Using CSS properties to present such images is the best practice.
  11. Using HTML and CSS to create buttons is better than using PNG or SVG.

Image Sources to Get Best Pictures

  1. Use Original images as much as possible. Take a click of your office, use your mobile phone camera, and upload the original image for the article.
  2. Use unique images. Take an image that is new for the web.
  3. Avoid using stock images sites such as Shutterstock or GettyImages. Mass consumption of those images is happening, and even after editing and modification, you are participating in plagiarism. It is not evident now, but in the future, AI will quickly see through the editing. 
  4. Never use a licensed image without buying the photos. Not only is it unethical, but also illegal. Image owners can sue your site, and it will not be suitable for SEO.
  5. Buy the image from the artist. It is not a direct image optimization tip, but it is a good practice, as the stock image sites have high commissions. Artist gets penny. Hep in normalize buying the content directly from the artist, instead of content distributing platforms. 

Technical Image SEO Tips for Better Indexing

  1. Filename of the image is essential, yet most of the site owners use “kdbgdhcjsd” or “DSC00468.jpeg” type of name. Use a distinct image name that makes sense and is relevant to the image. Such as “catching-fire-book-on-the-table” instead of “book’ or “book-on-table”. 
catching fire book on table - image seo tips
  1. Put the keyword in the file name of the image before uploading it to the site. But still, only if it is relevant. Don’t stuff it.
  2. URL of the image is usually the file name of the picture. However, you can change them, so you should make them keyword rich. Keep it relevant to the content of the page and the content in the image.
  3. Must add the Alt-text to all the images. Not only Google but also user read the alt-text if the image does not load. Or if the user is visually impaired. Google use alt-text to understand the image clearly so that it can be categorized for the proper keyword.
  4. Use the longdesc=”” attribute to provide a lengthy description of the complex images.
  5. Caption is generally not used by the blog community, but they are critical for the news sites. For the eCommerce industry, you can go without adding captions; however, it is an amazing way to provide additional information.
  6. Title of the image is the Text it shows when you hover your mouse cursor on the image. It is another attribute you can add to the image for better optimization. Add the relevant text here as the user will see it in front-end. 
  7. Add the description if the alt text is not enough to describe the image. Else leave it. It is an additional information box to use if needed.

Image Optimization Tips for Fast Loading Page and Lightweight Page

  1. Use the responsive images so it can load on every device. You have to assign srcset and size attribute to the image. It is an inbuilt feature in the latest WordPress version. For other eCommerce platforms, you have to check.
  2. Use the browser cache to cache the image files. This way, the image does not have to be load from the server all the time, and the loading speed of the page will increase. The WordPress user can use any caching plugins.
  3. Non-WordPress user can leverage browser caching by adding a simple code to their .htacces file: 
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
# Images
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
  1. Compress the image bytes to reduce the image size. Compression does not reduce the quality of the image, but only the weight.
  2. Remove EXIF metadata of the image before uploading. Image contains lots of information, such as time of creation, software, editing, camera, etc. Use an online tool to delete all the data. 
  3. Enable the lazy load. WordPress 5.5 has an inbuilt lazy load feature. You can also use plugins or extensions. Lazy load only loads the image that is on the screen of the user. As the user scrolls down, the later image loads too.
  4. Another excellent solution to improve the image performance on the site is to use Image CDN. CDNs collect the information of the device the request has made and then optimize the image specifically for that device. It’s a highly modified solution to serve the images faster.

Image SEO Tips for Marketing: Optimize for Links and Share

  1. Aesthetic Images are a big part of the web. Pinterest site is thriving because people like to save Aesthetic images. The same is with wallpaper sites, food blogs, fashion blogs, and other niches. Using aesthetic images please the visitors, and they save the image to their device. Your page gets more share due to attractive images.
  2. Create a featured image and thumbnail for the posts. Else, on sharing, the first image on the page will be displayed as a featured image.
  3. Assign the featured images to the pages of the site too. 
  4. Create infographics and display the text content in a visualized form. Images are easy to consume than the text, and there is lots of creative freedom to do something crazy with the pictures. Create awesome graphics and share them to cultivate backlinks.
  5. Add an HTML box for Image so people can and quickly and easily embed your infographic/image to their site. This way, you can ensure that credit is given to you.
  6. Do A/B testing with the images. Check which version of the images is working best for you. Which location is best to insert an image. Calculate which test is giving better conversion and then use that.
  7. Use structured data to the images to come to the Google Image searches with proper information about the images, such as Product Stock, Price, etc.
  8. Always include Images to the sitemap, and index them.

Miscellaneous but Helpful Image SEO Tips

  1. Group the adult and sensitive images in a separate group. It is to optimize the image for the safe search option.
  2. Always set the Dimension of the Image. It will leave the blank placeholder on the page if the image load late, thus reducing the cumulative layout shift (which is one of the core web vitals).
  3. Keep the alignment of the image with respect to the text. Center alignment is the most convenient one, while the left alignment of the image grabs the attention as the user usually begins from left to right.
  4. On WordPress, you can search for images in the media library by its title. So keeping the title sorted is necessary if you want to search the images later. The default title would be the filename of the image. If the filename is a crazy character combination with no relevance to the article/page, it will be complicated to find pictures on the site.
  5. Don’t add the important text on the image, as Google may not be able to read it correctly. And it is not possible to translate the text on the image.

Also Read

Wrapping Up

I wrote this article as straight as possible, with no-nonsense. If there are any tips that you found helpful, tell us in the comment box.

Also, leave any Image SEO Tips that you think will help our users. 

We will mention it in the article with your name.

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