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Optimise Images:

How To Optimise Your
Images For Search Engines

Over 45% of visitors admit that if an e-commerce site loads slower than expected, they're less likely to make a purchase.

If you didn’t know already, a quick way to improve your website’s speed is to optimise your images.

Loading times have been widely discussed, and Google is very clear that it prefers blogs and websites that load quickly.

Images are essential to any website. You can use them to showcase your brand, add a sense of personality, and tell your target audience the story behind your business or blog post.

Nevertheless, images are one of the biggest factors that can make your web pages load slowly.

In this post, we will show you all the steps you need to take to optimise your images, as well as some extra information to get you started.

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What does image optimisation mean?

Optimising images is the process of making them look good on desktops and mobile devices. It works by using compression technology, such as lossy and lossless, to reduce the file size without compromising the image quality.

Why is it important to optimise images?

Improves the speed of your website
Provides a better browsing experience
Enhances the search performance

Steps to optimise your images for search engines

Firstly, you should check what images Google has already indexed from your site. Go to Google’s Image Search and type yourdomain.co.uk in the search box. All the images from your site will appear in Google’s index.

Your goal is to find out whether your images are being crawled and if they have a chance to rank in search results.

Alternatively, you can search for particular types of images by adding a keyword.

After you know what images Google is indexing, here’s how you can optimise your images:

1. Name your image with keywords

If you have a picture of a fluffy cat on your site, then you should name the image fluffy-cat.jpg. Put dashes between the keywords in the file name, so it makes sense and it’s easily recognised.

2. Make sure the image format is searchable by Google

As far as Google is concerned, only JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and SVG are considered images, as well as newer formats such as JPEG-XR and WebP. We recommend that you use either JPEG, GIF or PNG for optimum optimisation. Most commonly used is the JPEG format, which allows for smaller file sizes.

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3. ALT tags should be used effectively

By adding descriptive text to the “alternative text” field for the images on your website, you are telling search engines more about your picture, which will help you rank better in the search results. Your ALT tag should contain the key phrase you are optimising your page for, and this is good for both search engines as well as your users. Additionally, this text will indicate when there are issues with image rendering on the site, as well as for screen readers for users who are blind – so it’s essential to include. As part of the image information in HTML on your website, the ALT tag appears just like it does in the image below.

ALT-tag-for-an-image.jpeg

4. Place the image on a webpage that is relevant

Additionally, the context of an image on an appropriate page can be an SEO signal. You should place keyword-rich text immediately before and after the image to give it context. In fact, the entire page should be optimised for the phrase the image targets.

5. Include internal and external links to the image

Image links provide search engines with information about a content’s importance. A descriptive and relevant anchor text in your links improves user experience.

You should include keyword-rich anchor links on your own website, as well as external links.

6. Keep track of your competition’s performance

With a sitemap, you can provide search engines with additional information. Find out more about image attributes in sitemaps here.

7. Reduce the size of your images

You should be aware that when adding images to your website, the size of the image will affect the loading speed. Although large, high-quality images may look great, they can slow down your site. Maintaining good image quality while keeping the file size as small as possible is the key. By using tools such as Compress JPEG, you can maintain the high quality of your images.

8. Include structured data in your images

Google understands the content of a page better when structured data is present. With structured data for images of products, you can add valuable visual indexing. A clear picture of the product (for example, against a white background) is preferred. It is required for Google Images and recommended for Google Search.

Here’s how you can optimise your images in your CMS

If you upload an image into a CMS, such as WordPress, you will need to fill in a number of fields to optimise the image.

Image Title - The image title is the name of the image file and is displayed as an optional HTML title attribute.
Image Caption - Adding a caption under your image is a great way to improve the user experience.
Image ALT text - As mentioned previously, this tells Google what your image is about and can help you rank better.
Image Description - Often webmasters overlook this field which allows you to describe your image in a longer format and which is displayed under the attachment of your image.

Image Licencing

Licensing is an important consideration if you are not using your own images.

What are the best image optimiser tools for WordPress?

It is important to improve your images to optimise the speed of your site, although there are many ways to do so.

Every website relies heavily on images. Using images helps you showcase your brand, add personality, and tell the story behind your business or blog post.

Unfortunately, images are often one of the biggest factors when it comes to page load times. Here are six of the best image optimisation tools to help you get started optimising your images.

Are you having trouble with optimising your images?

Contact us for a meeting to discuss how we can help you

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