Friday, March 13, 2015

SEO How To: The 7 Best Image Optimization Tips You Must Know

how to optimize images
7 ways to optimize images for SEO
The more I have learned about blogging, the more work it becomes. Any blogger reading this has likely realized this as well. When I first began blogging, I thought it was simply putting some words and images in a post, clicking publish, and being done. Now I realize how nice that would be, and that if that was true everyone would be blogging! While I’ve learned a lot of great things about the importance of the content of posts, the images you choose to publish will have a big affect on your success as a blogger as well. As such, here are the best things I’ve learned in order to optimize your images!

1. Pick an appropriate image. For an example, no matter how cute my English bulldog Lily is, she just doesn't fit into this post. As such, I probably shouldn't have a picture of her on this post- she simply will not enhance the content of this post, and likely could turn readers off. Make sure your images correlate with the content of your posts. 

2. Name your images. On your computer, is your image called photo-68.jpg? This does not do a very good job of helping Google to read what your image is about- unless it is actually a picture of the number 68. Rather than leaving your images named as is, take the time to go through and rename them relevant things. For example, for this post the image above is named "SEO_image_optimization_tips". This way, when Google is 'reading' the image, it knows what the image and this post is all about!

3. Use image titles and alt tags. While Google is doing it's best to read every word and sentence you have posted, it simply can't read images. As such, it is incredibly important to use both titles and alt tags to help Google know exactly what your images are. 

4. Properly size your images. While editing images on your computer, make sure that you go through and adjust the image size. Not only will this help your blog to have uniformly sized pictures, it will also help reduce the file sizes, which in turn helps your blog to load more quickly!

not-so-pinteresting Image
5. Make "pinterest-ing" images. Compare the image directly above, with the one at the top of this post. While they both do a fine job of telling readers what this post is about, the image at the top is much more user-friendly, and more likely to get readers to pin it for further references. While you are thinking about Pinterest, also make sure you have a hover button installed!

highly edited image
slightly edited image
6. Edit your images. Often, an image may be the exact reason someone lands upon your blog, so you definitely want to put your best foot forward. Make some small tweaks to your images, so that they look the best possible. At the same time, don't go overboard on the edits- nobody needs to see 100% saturated images with orange faces! You can compare the two pictures above, where the first picture has been highly edited, between adjusting the colors, sharpness, brightness, etc. The bottom photo has slight edits, so a viewer would hardly notice. While the top image may be brighter and pop more, it has been so edited that to most viewers it simply looks fake and overdone- plus, look at those orange faces! Take some time to lightly edit your images, but do not overdo it.

7. Utilize captions. If people land on your site because of an image and quickly hit the back button, this will increase your bounce rate and decrease the average amount of time users spend on your site. Using captions can help users to know what they are looking for, and draw them in to see more images on your site. 

Of course, there is always more to learn about optimizing images for SEO purposes, but these are just some of the best tips I have come across and try to follow! What do you use to improve your images for SEO purposes?

12 comments:

  1. Ooh #7 I hadn't thought about that one, nor have I read it before. I always love to look for how to best optimize my images and think I have all the boxes ticked! I'm on Squarespace and have to use the caption for alt text, and then hide it (it's an option) I'll try to create a caption both for alt text (pinterest) and bounce rate help. Thanks for this!! (And happy SITSShareFest day :) )

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    1. Glad I told you a new one, Cristina! There is always so much to remember to do- it's hard to get it all done!

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  2. Thanks. I just recently got into editing photos and adding more information in the title and alt title lines. Have a great day.

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  3. Very helpful Sam :-) Thank you! Just getting the hand of SEO and it's not that simple!

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    1. Thanks Ana! It's definitely not easy- and like I said, the more I think I know, the more work blogging/SEO becomes. Always a good reminder for myself to have posts like this to look at :)

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  4. I love this! Pinned for future reference :)

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    1. Thanks Rachael! Hopefully these will help ya out!

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  5. Great tips! When I finally started adding text to my images it increased my SEO so much! And it really is true, the more I learn about blogging the more work it is!

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    1. Thanks Kiki! You would think one day blogging would come easy..but I doubt I'll ever see that day!

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