Do you want to drive more traffic from Google and rank your images on the search engine? If so, the technique is to optimize your visual content to rank better in search engine results. Do you know the techniques? If the answer to this question is no, it is an ideal time to change that, especially after a change in Google’s algorithm that can immensely enhance your traffic through pictures.
Since one of every three searches on the internet includes images, there is a strong potential for network traffic to be attained with Google images. So, if your website is ready for this, the results may amaze you. It is essential to follow several steps to make your pictures adaptable to Google’s strict needs to achieve this goal.
To help you, we have created a complete guide that includes the importance of image optimization and tips to rank your images higher on Google.
Let’s dive in:
Why is it important to optimize images on your website or blog to rank on the search engine?
Working on optimizing media files for search engines is indeed a tiring task. Is it necessary? Will it bring some benefits to your marketing strategies? Well, yes, we believe so and got three impressive arguments to make you agree too!
It brings more traffic
Google announced a modification in the imaging system of Google in 2013 by executing a view image button. If anyone clicks on it, they are navigated to the image URL instead of its source website. Following this change over the months, the general visits by Google image gets reduced.
However, in 2020, Google announced a new update that changed the scenario, as there was no longer a view image button. As a result, the overall site visits through Google images increased by 37%. With this latest flow of people visiting sites, whoever tends to stand out among Google images gets an additional source of traffic.
Reduce the website’s loading time
Even if you are not interested in attracting traffic via Google images, you may benefit from the tips provided below. But optimizing heavy images can help reduce the website’s overall loading time. Lighter photos eventually improve the user experience and tend to rank higher on Google.
It helps your content go viral
They say, “an image is worth a thousand words.” It might not be true, but adding visual elements have the unbelievable power to go viral. For instance, usually, the posts with images get more engagement than the content having just words. The more the engagement, the more the chances for your content to go viral, which increases your online reach. But to make this possible, you need to make your images get found on Google, and it will happen only after a lot of experience and optimization.
So, are you convinced now? If yes, continue reading this to learn how to get your images to rank better on Google.
Name the images correctly
The main element for the image to rank on Google begins from your computer before you even upload it to your server, i.e., the name of your image. For an excellent image optimization for Google, you need to understand the boundaries of the search engine crawlers. The crawlers are good for understanding text and the relevancy of particular content with the help of an algorithm and give value to keywords. Yet, they are still working on reading images.
Let’s consider a problem how does the content of an image can communicate with a bot? For example, suppose that a crawler reads the HTML code of your new blog that focuses on the different types of bags available in the market. And you choose an attractive picture of a handbag to display in each section that explains its type to the readers. But the file name is “IMG447.png”.The crawler will see it as:
- <img src=” IMG447.png”/>
As you can notice, the data does not help explain the image content used in the blog. So, you can name the file as
- <img src=” brown_leather_handbag.png”/>
Even without viewing the image, you can imagine what it might look like with just a name like this.
Another thing to note is that always select the image that goes well according to the theme of the webpage. Remember that the search engines prefer to rank an image present on the webpage that satisfies the purpose of the searcher with more suitable content.
Optimize the size of the Image file
There’s no such one excellent way for image optimization. So, you must discover the optimal balance between maximum quality and minimum file size. You are already aware that page loading time is crucial for improving image ranking on Google. The slower it will be, the least the ranking. The faster, the best.
But you might not be aware that the images on the webpage are the main factor that impacts the loading time. It means the compact images rank better than larger files, which makes the need to reduce and compress the size of media files. Here are some of the must-dos:
- Crop and resize the images, and with raster-style photos, you might need to save various versions at different resolutions to work for other users.
- Use compression to minimize the size of a file. While saving a JPEG file, slide the quality bar down as possible without disturbing the visual quality. For an SVG file, Google recommends minifying it by passing it through a tool such as svgo.
- Select the most effective file format for an image. It is completely OK to mix different image types on one webpage.
- You can replace a picture using a completely different technology. CSS Image replacement techniques is being practiced more often in modern times. CSS effects can create gradients, shadows, and more. The web fonts allow you to display text in attractive typefaces, enhancing the crawl ability and usability compared to an image.
Always add Alt Attributes
Mostly the images present on the web have an ALT attribute which is used to explain the content. Basically, it tells what the image is about to the visually impaired who utilize screen readers. Also, these tags provide valuable information to the search engines about the content of the picture. The Alt attribute is an essential factor for doing SEO for images. The alt text helps to explain the image content in question.
It is displayed when the browser cannot load the image for some reason. So, it is the element that search engine uses to understand the picture and its relevance to the users. But it only happens if a relevant keyword is used to describe the image. One important thing to note is that with linked pictures, Google considers the alt text similar to the link anchor text.
While writing alt attribute’s content, it is essential to define what is in the image briefly and objectively. Most preferably, it would help if you used the keyword you need to rank but don’t overuse it.
Must set a proper file format
For image optimization, you must utilize a file format that can be easily indexed on search engines. Apart from this, the image file format you select affects the download speed and quality. Both play an essential role while optimizing the images on Google.
There are three standard image formats that you can use:
Portable Network Graphics (PNG): This file format is ideal for images and screenshots with text or graphics. Beware of one thing, for the complex images, PNGs can create huge files in comparison to other forms. The PNG format utilizes lossless compression, which means the quality remains constant.
GIF (Graphical Interchange Format): This file format is used to make animations. Just like PNGs, they also utilize lossless compression, which means it does not affect the image quality.
Joint Photographic Experts Group(JPEG): This file format is suitable for most images. It makes smaller files by utilizing lossy compression. It means the image quality will be affected each time you save your file in this format.
Besides these, there is another file type that is getting popular:
SVG: It is a scalable vector format. The vector graphics are tiny files that do not lose quality irrespective of how much they are expanded. The vector images utilize special programs or commands to build the picture, so they are faster to load and easy to scale compared to the raster images that use bitmaps to store the information. Remember one thing that SVG format is not ideal for complex illustrations or photos but works well for simple graphics having geometrical shapes like a logo.
Clear Image Metadata
Each image contains a specific amount of data stored in it, usually produced by the devices that click it. The image was taken using camera stores data like the aperture size of the shutter, exposure time, and whether the flash has been used or not. This all information is known as metadata.
Image metadata is useful for accessibility reasons, and also it serves as an essential ranking factor. After finishing image uploading, it is important to pay attention to the description, alt text, caption, and meta title. Usually, the social media channels don’t provide as much ability to play with these components as websites do, but the more carefully you fill these, the better it will be. It is essential to clear the metadata, which is not much important. It decreases the image size and loading time.
It can be quickly done with the help of the following steps:
- Right-click on the image file on your computer and then select properties.
- Go to details. You will get an option for removing metadata from the file.
- Choose one by one or select all at once, and you are done!
The images on Google utilize a structured data system to make specific stamps of prominence to improve the experience of users. It works like if you create an article with one of the themes suitable with Google stamps, the structured data can be used in your pictures. In this way, they will get the stamp and display to the user that it is what they are searching for. The google images are compatible with three types of structured data: products, recipes, and videos. It means if your image is connected with one of these categories, you can utilize the structured data to get the stamp and review your image ranked well on the Google images.
For instance, if you own a recipe website with having specialization in chocolates, you can utilize the structured data to earn the recipe stamp for your image. So, if someone looks for a “chocolate cake recipe” in the Google images, there is a chance to check your site as the image will indicate what that person wants.
Context of the image
Image context is one of the critical parts of image SEO, as per Google. Google finds the image relevance to search results with the context, including image sitemaps, page URL, page title, and text content. So, optimizing them and keeping your webpage messaging consistent and unified is essential.
Furthermore, Google’s algorithm utilizes the paragraph’s content around the image as a context to learn its content. For example: If you are considering the best plants for a home, it is suggested to add an image of one of those plants in the context. The same picture will not be very useful or strong enough if inserted near paragraphs about gardening pots or types of pots.
The improvements in the Google images are positive for SEOs and users. Once again, Google has upgraded the website standards to produce high-quality content. Image optimization and website optimization techniques may evolve, but the basics will remains the same. The aim is to provide the best user experience while visiting your website. Ensure to provide valuable and original content with relevant and high-quality images and optimize them to get your images indexed on search engines. Furthermore, make a website with a faster loading time.
Follow all the above-listed tips to improve the rankings and optimize the images. You might stand out from the competition and get more visits to your web pages.
You might be interested in: Secrets to Optimize Single Page Websites We hope you have received a deep insight into ranking your Images higher on Google. If you find it daunting, you can get in touch with Mandy Web Design. They offer the best WordPress website development services. The creative team works closely with the clients blending their requirements to produce an SEO-friendly website.
Manoj Shukla serves Mandy Web Design as the Designing head and guides his team in designing eye-catching websites. Apart from the valuable updates he shares through his blog, he is passionate about teaching. Being an exemplary learner, he inspires his team with perspectives like these.