Image SEO Best Practices

Image SEO best practices: if this is what you are looking for then you have come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn the 10 best practices for image SEO for more organic search traffic to your blog or website.

One of the most common mistakes bloggers make is failing to optimize images for SEO in order to increase organic traffic.

This is typically the result of confusion over what image SEO entails.

Optimizing Images for SEO indicates the usage of the keywords in the file name and image alt tags. Also, you should add an image sitemap.

In other words, when you optimize your images for SEO, you are helping Google and other search engines understand what your image is about.

This is highly important to Google image search.

If you want to get more organic traffic from image searches, you need to make sure you optimize your images for SEO [the right way].

Is this you? If so, read on.

1. Add Keywords to Your Image File Name

The file name is one of the most important aspects of image SEO. You should add your own keywords to the image file name.

For example, if the original filename for the image is “french-starfish.jpg”, you could rename it to “french-starfish-seafood.jpg”.

By renaming the image file with your chosen keywords, you’ll be optimizing the file name to include the keywords that users will most likely search for when they look for an image like this. And, this is what you want, right?

Most media library tools allow you to edit the image filename.

So, it should not be that difficult.

You can easily edit or rename your images using WordPress Media Library if you are running a WordPress site or blog.

If your image is about french starfish, don’t forget to add “french starfish” as a keyword in the file name. It makes sure that the image gets indexed and ranked for this keyword and people can find it in the search engines.

2. Include Relevant ALT Text

The ALT text of an image is also important for SEO.

The ALT (alternative) text is the textual description of an image that will appear when you hover your mouse over the image.

Google and other search engines mainly use the ALT text to determine what the image is about. If your Alt text is relevant, it will surely help increase the click-through rate from Google to your website.

In other words, you need to write relevant ALT text so that your image will get indexed and ranked for your target keywords.

It is pretty easy to add ALT text while uploading images.

Just add your desired keywords in the ALT text.

You can easily add or edit image ALT text from the WordPress media library, using the “edit image” option. So, make sure you go to the media library and edit your images after uploading them, for better image SEO.

3. Add an Image Sitemap

Do you have a sitemap for your images?

If you don’t you should create one.

An image sitemap helps your images get indexed more quickly.

On top of that, it will help your images to rank better for SEO because search engines can crawl all your image URLs.

That’s why you should generate an image sitemap.

In short, if you want to get more organic traffic from Google image search results, you should generate an image sitemap.

4. Optimize Image Size

Search engines don’t consider bloated web pages. That’s why it’s essential that you compress your images before uploading them to your website.

If a webpage contains plenty of high-resolution images, it naturally loads slowly. It’s a turn-off for website users. For that reason, you should compress your images before uploading them to the media library.

Search engines also don’t like slow-loading pages. So, it’s a smart choice to compress all of your website images.

You should ask yourself, “Why do need such a big image size?”

The larger the image, the slower your website will load. So, make sure your images load fast on your website.

One of the best ways to optimize image size without affecting traffic is by using a WordPress plugin. There are many premium and free plugins are available for this purpose. I personally recommend using Imagify Image Optimization Plugin. It’s developed by the famous WordPress cache plugin WP Rocket team.

Well, there are some other plugins that let you optimize your images and resize them. Here’s a list of all WordPress image optimization plugins.

If you are looking for a better loading speed I strongly recommend that you use the WP Rocket plugin with the Imagify Image optimization plugin. Imagify along with WP Rocket is one of the most effective combinations of WordPress plugins to optimize images and speed up your website at the same time.

5. Optimize the Image File Type

It is crucial that you upload images of the right file type.

You should upload images in JPEG, PNG, or GIF format. It is essential that you avoid uploading any files that are not supported.

The PNG format is usually the best choice for images. PNGs produce very good results in most cases and don’t lose any quality when you save them, unlike JPEGs which may lose quality when you save the image.

But, sometimes PNG images contain too much data, thus slowing down your webpage. This can negatively affect user experience.

In that case, you should consider using a JPEG format.

The GIF format is also an excellent choice for images. But, the GIF format cannot be compressed as PNG or JPEG file formats. So, before uploading your images to the media library, make sure you check their file types.

I personally prefer using PNG format. That’s because PNG images are great for photos and other detailed images.

PNG formats can also be compressed for better loading speed.

Recently, Google introduced a new image file format called the WEBP. This is actually an image file format developed by Google. It is a new image format, so not all browsers support the WEBP format yet.

Still, most modern browsers support this WEBP format. Only some old browser versions don’t support it.

So, depending on the content of your website and the size of the file you want to upload, make sure you select the appropriate file type.

6. Avoid Copyrighted Images

Using copyrighted images in your blog posts may get you into trouble. It’s against the law to use copyrighted images without permission. So, it is highly recommended that you don’t use copyrighted images on your blog.

You can always take your own images using a digital camera or mobile phone, or you can use royalty-free stock photos.

There are many websites offering royalty-free photos. You can download some free stock images at Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay. To save the images from these sites you will need to sign up for a free account.

I’ve listed some more websites offering free stock photos here.

I don’t recommend using copyrighted images on your blog. It’s better to take your own images or use royalty-free stock photos.

7. Add Image Dimensions

When adding an image to a webpage, make sure you add image dimensions. It helps browsers allot a space for it during page load.

For example, let’s say you upload a small size image of 200×200 pixels and place it on your blog without adding image dimensions. When the user’s browser will try to load that image, it may actually get stretched to fit the screen size. So, if your blog post is displayed on a large screen, the image will appear distorted.

Also, if you don’t add image dimensions, the browser may not always scale it down to fit your page design. On the other hand, if you add image dimensions, the browser will scale it accordingly and display the image in the right size. So, your readers will be able to enjoy your images without any issues.

This also leads to a poor CLS score which is one of the three metrics in Google’s newly adopted Web Core Vital Score.

Don’t let this happen to your images.

Always add image dimensions while adding images to your blog posts. This is a crucial part of optimizing images on your website.

8. Use a CDN for Images

Using a CDN for delivering your images faster is a great choice if you are obsessed with your website’s speed and performance.

In short, a CDN or content delivery network works by storing your website images in different geographical locations and serving the images from the location near where your visitors are. So, the user’s browser will fetch the image from that nearby location and not from your website’s server.

It reduces the load from your primary web server and improves your page loading times significantly. The user will have a faster webpage load time.

So, make sure to use a CDN for hosting your images.

BunnyCDN is one of the best CDN providers that doesn’t cost you a fortune. You can use BunnyCDN to host your images. BunnyCDN also has a WordPress plugin that makes the whole process even easier for you.

Click here to try BunnyCDN for free

Final Thoughts

Once again, I highly recommend that you focus on optimizing your images for better Image SEO for the best blogging experience. Meanwhile, it makes no visual changes but technically, it creates a great impact on your SEO strategy.

Images are an important element of a blog post.

You can’t grow your blog without adding quality images to your blog posts.

One of the best ways to get better engagement, increase CTRs, and get more organic search traffic is to use good and relevant images.

But, you cannot just add any images without optimizing them.

It will hurt your blog in the long run.

Instead, you need to optimize your images for better search engine crawling and indexing. Again, I recommend that you use the 7 Image SEO practices to improve your overall blogging experience and image searchability.

The result will be amazing, I promise.

If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to leave a comment below. And, please do me a favor by tweeting or sharing the post if you liked it.

Tamal Kr. Chandra

I am Tamal, a passionate blogger and the creative mind behind Digital Millions. From blogging and affiliate marketing to e-commerce and SEO, I write easy-to-follow guides and give honest advice about the best tools to build a business online and get financially free.