Imagine if all the content on your website were in an easy-to-read and engaging format. You could include valuable keywords while keeping people entertained with interesting information, but as we know it’s not practical to force a block of text down their throats.
So, what do you think? We use headings and images to make reading easy for users. But these pictures can’t work miracles – is this helping with SEO efforts at all?!
Let’s find out.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines provide an essential role to global audiences, as they are often the place people go when looking for information. In order to answer this question, we first need to understand what search engines do and how it works with them being Google, Bing, or others – many online users turn towards their preferred provider in times like those where finding new websites provides challenges.
When a user types in the search engine, they will almost instantly access any potential results on an ordered list decided by its algorithm. The algorithm is not public knowledge but we do know about certain elements that it looks for:
- Relevant content
- Fast loading web pages
- Intuitive design
- Mobile-friendliness, etc.
Search engines use a web crawler to scan these websites and look at what they offer. The code that makes up this crawling bot is nothing more than an algorithm, but with all of its qualities combined including relevance in order for one’s page to be ranked high on the list comes top-notch SEO strategy from start-to-end.
In the end, it’s all about which website can offer the best user experience.
Do Web Crawlers See Images?
No, not by default.
But you can make them see them, or rather signal that you have an image. When you’re adding an image to a blog post, you’re doing it to benefit your readers, as you’re giving them a visual to support the content or offer more information.
Search engines love images with alt text descriptions, which are like the image details you don’t see when browsing. Add some keywords and this SEO support will help rank higher in search engine results pages.
Images aren’t a ranking factor exactly, but they help search engines identify which websites have relevant content. Plus, considering we also have Google image searches and an option for alt tag descriptions in the browser’s settings menu. It could give you more website visibility by focusing on this tab than just relying solely on text-based keywords when creating your posts or articles.
How to Include Images in Your Content Right
Even if you want to include images in your blog content, it’s important not make uncalculated moves and use these photos to strengthen your SEO strategy instead of complicating things up for yourself.
Let’s look at some best practices of adding images to blog posts or other content on your website:
1. Think Quality and Relevance
Users have an expectation of what a website should look like, and while that list is long (and growing), we’ll focus on images.
If you want to include pictures with your blog posts, then make sure they’re relevant and add them in such a way that supports the rest of what’s being said. You can also use an image as a way of proving something or making another point altogether.
A picture with a cat may only be relevant if the piece of content demands it, right? Choosing just any image is confusing and distracts users from your writing.
The user experience of your website depends on how you communicate with them. Images are a necessary part of the process and should be high quality, clear enough for viewers to understand without difficulty or confusion about what is being shown. If possible take pictures yourself instead of using stock photos if needed but remember some could seem staged so look closely before choosing one.
2. Optimise Your Images
Image SEO is a little more complicated than text-based search engine optimization. That’s because you need to take into account the size and quality of images when designing your web page, as well their position on screen relative not just how they appear by themselves but also in combination with other graphics or media that may be included within one file (such pictures/videos).
In order to make your website as fast and user-friendly for visitors, it’s important that page load times are not too long. Big images can slow down the loading process quite a bit; so avoid including very small graphics or logos in between text on pages where they may be difficult to see unless there is room otherwise available on-screen real estate – like within headings/ titles only!
Instead, you need to optimise your images to reduce their file size, without affecting the image quality.
Then, you should also use the right file type. When it comes to web images, you have three main choices:
- JPEG – best for bright colours, portraits, landscapes, etc.
- PNG – best for sharp transitions, such as in an infographic or screenshot of a website or app
- GIF – small animations. However, GIFs are difficult to optimise, and you risk losing quality, so try to add them only when necessary.
Lastly, don’t neglect the alt tags for your images:
- Choose a descriptive file name
- Add an image description and use important keywords
- Keep descriptions short, but not vague – some apps intended to help visually-impaired users, for instance, will read these descriptions out loud to help these users understand your content.
3. Pay Attention to Mobile
You know that your website might not look as good on a mobile device, so it’s best to check.
Images from the blog content should show up without problems on a mobile device. However, it never hurts to test how these images look when viewed by someone who may not be using modern technology like smartphones or tablets.
4. Create Image Sitemaps
Google image search is an amazing tool that can find images just through meta descriptions, but if you really want to guarantee your site makes it in those results then create sitemaps. This ensures every single picture hosted on the website gets indexed by google as Sitemaps help crawlers scan pages quickly and efficiently.
5. Add Structured Data
Google Images is the key to getting your site out there. With rich results, people will be able see what you’re all about and come join in on some great content. As it stands, Google Images supports these types of structured data:
Structured data is a way to provide Google with more information about your page content, in this case our images. For instance if you have an product listing then structured data allows them show extra details like price and technical specs on the search results for products as well.
There is no guarantee Google will show these rich results, however, as that’s still a matter of whether your link is relevant to the query.
Over to You
Images are an important part of your on-page SEO and can help you improve user experience, as well as gain better search result rankings. However if the images aren’t optimised to work with a good strategy they may end up working against it instead.
If you need help with your SEO efforts, book a free strategy session with a Search Engine Optimisation Expert at Australian Internet Advertising now! We can help you plan and implement a strategy that will grow your business.