Well my friend, you absolutely need to add ‘website image optimization’ to your SEO to-do list. It’s vital in boosting your ranking and helping you get seen through search engines. Optimizing your website’s images is important for so many reasons, including:
– Increasing your page load time. We know when our pages load quicker, our viewers tend to stick around longer.
– Favor with Google. Google tends to favor fast-loading websites, and because your viewers are sticking around, Google favors that attention too.
– Opportunity for better keyword ranking. When you optimize your images with titles, descriptions, and relevant keywords, you’re increasing your chances of being found in a search engine result page (SERP).
In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly what you need to know about image optimization and exactly how to optimize your Showit and WordPress blog images.
If you’re going to share images on your Showit website, let’s make sure they’re doing all the right things for your website and SEO ranking. Here are 5 must-dos to optimize your Showit website images.
Optimizing your images starts with making sure your images are sized correctly for increased website speed. And as you already know, faster load times = happy reader = happy Google = happy you!
The images that you upload to your website should be under 500KB, but closer to 300KB is best. I know you want your images to be high-quality. And if they are photographed well, they still will be without slowing down your site. It’s a win, win, my friend!
Need help compressing and renaming your images? Reference this tutorial: How To Batch Compress And Rename Your Website Photos With Adobe Bridge.
Because search engines also crawl through your image file names, it’s important that your images are named with keyword-rich descriptions (i.e. minimalistic-rose-wedding-centerpiece). Keeping generic or camera-assigned names (i.e. IMG_123.jpeg or jones-dyer-wedding-264.jpeg) won’t allow your images to be found through searches.
Within Showit, you have the option to add a title to each image on your website. This title is typically only used for display purposes within a SERP, and as it relates to SEO, it’s not as important as the image’s description/alt text. Your title should be short, simple, and descriptive of the image. Ideally, each image on your website should have a different title.
To optimize your Showit website images’ title, select your image. Then head to the right panel, select the ‘image’ tab, and input your title into the provided section. For photos within galleries, you will need to select the gallery, then the image within the right panel’s ‘gallery images’ tab.
The description setting within Showit will act as the image’s alt text. The description/alt text is important for three reasons:
– If a website visitor is visually impared, the alt text will give context to what the image is about or describing.
– If for some reason your image fails to load, the alt text will appear for further description.
– Allows Google and other search engines to crawl your website for related keyword content. Google is smart, but it can’t understand what your image is visually sharing (yet!). So instead, the description gives search engines the contextual information it needs.
In saying that, your description should describe/give context of the image in plain language but should avoid keyword stuffing. Ideally, each image on your website should have a different description.
To optimize your Showit website images’ description, select your image. Then head to the right panel, select the ‘image’ tab, and input your description into the provided section. For photos within galleries, you will need to select the gallery, then the image within the right panel’s ‘gallery images’ tab.
Google likes to look at a lot more than your image for optimization. All of these aspects give further context to your image and have the potential to boost your image’s SEO even more:
– The text content surrounding your image.
– The title of the page that your image is located on.
– Links that direct to the image
– Any sharing of images to Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
Generally, you should use the same instructions listed above for your images within WordPress. However, here are a few tips to benefit your optimization:
I highly recommend you follow the above instructions for reducing your images’ sizing. It’s best to resize your images before you upload to WordPress. But if you want your images to be resized upon upload, you can use the plugin Smush Image Compression and Optimization to do this for you.
– Completing the title to an image in the media library doesn’t translate to the image’s HTML code, which is exactly what Google crawls through. This means you need to make sure your image’s code has a title attribute. You can do this by (1) selecting the image within your post, then select the pencil icon, and add the title attribute in the ‘Advanced Options’ section or (2) use your coding skills to manually add it with the text editor.
Note: At the time of writing this post (August 14, 2019), WordPress’ new Gutenburg editor unfortunately doesn’t have the ‘Advanced Options’ section when editing an image. This means you need to edit the image as HTML and manually input the title attribute:
<img title=”Title Goes Here” src=”Image’s URL goes here” alt=”Your Alt Tag goes here” />
– Don’t use alt text for decorative images (i.e. Pinterest images/pins, images that decorate the page but don’t provide educational or related context, etc.). Search engines may penalize you for over optimization or keyword stuffing. For further details about decorative images, refer to this guide.
– Your image’s alt text acts as the pre-populated description when shared on Pinterest. So how do you not keyword stuff a decorative image but still have a pre-populated description for a Pin when shared? Read this for an easy solution: How To Optimize Your Images For SEO And Pinterest With Tasty Pins.
Okay, so now that you know how to optimize your images on Showit and for your WordPress blog, how confident do you feel about the rest of your website being optimized correctly? I’ve got a plethora of helpful blog posts in this SEO category and a FREE SEO Planner that will teach you exactly what to know and what to do to win over those SEO gods.