(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)
Images are often forgotten when it comes to SEO, but people don’t understand the search potential that they have and also the implications that they have on the technical standing of a website, specifically website speed. Today I’m going to take you through a few steps on how you can optimize images for your website and how you can leverage them to the best of their potential. Step one, this is the alt tag and the file name.
When it comes to alt tags and file names, you want to be as descriptive as possible. It’s important to remember that Google can’t understand images the same way they understand HTML text. Essentially, they look for indicators– the text around the image or the file name and alt tag, to understand what the image is about.
Step two is file type. It’s important to understand what file type you need for the purpose that it’s serving. So for example, you’ve got PNGs, GIFs, and JPG files. They’re the most typical files you’re going to find on a website.
JPG files tend to be lighter in size and also provide the most optimal colors. The PNG files, they’re more for the photography sort of websites. But these take up a lot of time to load and so affects website speed. Identifying which file type you need is important in the steps of image optimization.
Step three is image size. You want to make sure that the images you upload to your website are uploaded to the size that you intend them to be displayed at. Having images bigger than what they’re meant to be displayed as is this just unnecessary load time for the user and is very likely to be slowing down your website.
So step four is image compression. Essentially this means reducing the size of the image file whilst managing to retain most of the image quality. So some really useful tools to do this on are the likes of Kraken and Photoshop.
Step five is creating an image XML site map. Essentially what you want to do is grab all of your images, chuck them in a site map, and add it to Google Search Console. What this will do is make the chances of your images being crawled by Google greater, getting them indexed, and put into the image search.
So if you’ve got any more questions about image optimization or if you have tips yourself, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch.