The way information is presented on the web has undergone a rapid transformation over the years. In the earliest days, there was a preference of text over images but the situation today is the other way around. Now, images constitute a major part of a web page and are used alongside text to convey information more precisely to the users. With the growing importance of images, it is necessary to formulate the right means of optimizing them for a web page.
Optimizing the images in a site has numerous benefits such as offering an enhanced user experience, faster page loads, and increased ranking both in the normal and image search results. Newer techniques adopted by search engines like visual search uses bots that can track down, identify an image, and relate it to the content. This makes it necessary to include image optimization along with the SEO strategies put forward for a site. The following are some tips to optimize images on web pages.
Abandon Stock Images, Use Original
One reason why a web page looks unappealing and lacks authenticity is due to the use of stock images. These generic stock photos are used by all kinds of websites and does not aid in rankings or making it stand out among other sites. Therefore, it is best to abandon the stock images and go for original, high-quality images. They can better relate to a user and thus influence the ranking. Moreover, they allow conveying the idea in a concise and authentic manner than stock images.
Go for Optimal File Size
A key reason for slow page loading is due to the images. Large sized images can reduce the loading speed of a web page thus affecting the user experience, SERPs and image results. By reducing the file sizes of the images, it is possible to use them on a website without any degradation in quality. Imaging tools like Photoshop have a specific ‘Save for Web’ option that lets the user save the image in a format suited for the web.
Focus on Alt Text
Alt text or alternative text brings out the identity of the image when the cursor is placed over it. It can help users know about an image when any issues occur that prevents the image from loading properly. By including the right alt texts, the site can better rank in the search results by linking the keywords with the images.
An important part of image optimization is to add captions to the images. They appear below image and add context to the image that will help search engines understand it better. Moreover, adding a descriptive keyword centric file name to the image is important. This includes changing the file name of the image from the default name given by the camera, thus making it easier for search engines to identify the image.