Does the Title of an Image Directly Impact SEO?
Image SEO has become more important than ever as image search has increased. Users do a lot more searches on their mobile devices and through their smart home/car systems, which is why voice search and image search are more and more necessary.
For a business owner, there is a lot of potential in image SEO, as it’s an easy way to increase the ranking of a website and boost performance. Of course, we know how busy business owners can be and how they are trying to streamline some of their tasks. Don’t worry, image SEO is easy to implement and should become part of your routine, every time you upload pictures.
Does the Title of an Image Really Affect SEO?
The title of an image does, indeed, impact SEO directly. However, only when combined with other image SEO tactics can you truly say that you are making a difference. Image SEO is all about creating context around the images you post. Only putting a proper title might not have the effect you wish for, so don’t forget about the other elements that you should take into consideration.
As you might already know, search engine crawlers don’t process images. They only process text, so every element on your website should, ideally, be defined through text to be indexed. For images, there are several ways to do that, and they all contribute to your on-page SEO.
Google has been telling its users to optimise the titles of their images for years. This tip was included in Google’s best practices for a long time now. Is this task still relevant in the context of machine-learning AI image identification tools being used? It is since we are still in the learning phase of image recognition and AI indexing. And it will be as long as
Why Is Image SEO Important?
The importance of having images included in your website’s content is a simple principle: images draw attention, add elements of interest to the page, split the content into manageable sections, and make your web page look better.
Images that are related to the content add to the story and help you convey your message better. Images have been used in stories for centuries, and for good reason. Original images are best for website content, as duplicates or stock images might be flagged by Google and shown from their main source first.
Google Image search has been on the rise lately, as we mentioned. People are searching online for products, places, recipes, art, information, basically anything that could be defined through imagery as well.
For these reasons, it’s important to add images to your content and make the best of them. There are several examples of image optimisation good practices that will increase your content’s quality and value. Knowing what tips and tactics to apply is a great help for your site’s UX (user experience) indicators, SEO, search engine ranking, and overall performance.
How Does Image SEO Work?
Search engine crawlers scan web pages and process the text and code in them. Crawlers cannot “read” images per se, but you can add text markers to your images to tell search engines what the image contains, what it relates to and how it’s included in the content.
You can add text information to your images in several ways, and it’s best to combine many tactics to get a good SEO score for the images on your website. We will see how to do that later in the article.
But SEO is not just about helping crawlers read everything as text. A website’s ranking is also calculated by taking user experience into account, as this variable became paramount in the last year. Google has announced that its algorithm’s latest big update is focused a lot on UX and how websites are able to provide a good experience for their visitors.
This translates to ranking factors like fast loading speed, stable page structure, navigable menus, high-quality images that don’t block the content, and so on. A website’s ranking will therefore be heavily influenced by how you design and develop your website. It includes using good images and using them properly.
Image SEO in a Website’s Ranking
A website’s ranking is calculated by a search engine through a complex algorithm. How the algorithm works is not fully disclosed by search engines, but there is plenty of documentation on this online. Google, Bing, and the other search engines explain what you can do to improve your website’s ranking.
The aim of a search engine company is to provide its users with the best browsing experience. This means giving them the best answers for the queries they have. If a website is loading slowly, has dull content and poor quality images, it won’t be selected amongst the top search results.
Let’s see what you can do in terms of image SEO, step by step.
How to Improve Your Image SEO: 12 Important Steps
Choose the Right Format for Your Images
The image format you choose for uploading on your web pages is crucial in obtaining good scores in terms of UX. The best formats for the web, both on desktop and mobile, are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. These offer high quality while maintaining the size of the file low.
Compress the Image Files Before Uploading
Page load times can be compromised by huge images. If your images are way too big, then image compression becomes vital. Formats like the ones we have mentioned above are ideal. You will also have to resize large images if they exceed the dimensions of your website since they will be resized by the browser anyway.
Post Original Images as Often as You Can
Creating original content is the best way to contribute to your website’s domain authority. Google and other search engines have the means to detect duplicate content and they flag it as undesirable. Invest time and effort in taking your own pictures, make them high quality and post them on your website.
If You Use Stock Images, Be Careful About Copyright
Since creating original visual content is not feasible for all businesses and for all the posts you want to upload regularly, using stock photos is normal and expected. However, don’t make the mistake of using a photo by infringing copyright. Check any photo you use to see if it’s ok.
Rename the Image File
Most often, automatically generated file names are not telling anything about the content of the image. The file name can also contribute to your image SEO, so don’t forget to rename the date-position format of the filename to something that describes the image. Be concise and use keywords.
Create SEO-Friendly Alt Text
Alt tags like alternative text are hidden text that you add to images to define them for search engine crawlers and to help visually impaired people browse your website. An alt attribute like an image tag should contain relevant keywords and not be too stuffy. Create concise and clear descriptions for your images.
Also, make sure that other on-page SEO elements like structured data are in line with your image content.
Organise Your Image File and Create Clear Pathways
Just like the file name influences image SEO, the image path also contributes to better performance. If you have multiple images uploaded on your website, organise them into logical categories. This is especially important for eCommerce websites with lots of product images.
Create SEO-Friendly Page Titles and Descriptions
Image titles and page titles are read by search engine crawlers, so make them clear as well. Giving an image a clear title with keywords in it will help Google understand what the page and image contain. If you are using an editor like WordPress, fill in all the fields in an image upload menu, as they help your web page give more information.
Prevent Jumping by Defining the Dimensions
When using AMPs or PWAs, it’s important to define the dimensions of your images. Do that even if you are not using them, as browsers will read your web page faster with predefined dimensions. If you skip this step, the elements of the page can “jump” as an image of unknown dimensions is loading.
Use Mobile-Friendly Image Formats
Most people use their mobile devices to look for Google images. Make sure you are using mobile-friendly image formats. This involves uploading different variants of an image in order to make it responsive to the type of device used. This article thoroughly explains how to use an “img src” code syntax for this challenge.
Add Images to Your Sitemap
Creating a sitemap for your website is a great way of getting a better ranking, as crawlers scan and index your pages more easily. Include images in your sitemap for even better results, or create a separate image sitemap only for your visual files.
Add Captions Close to Your Images
Captions are really popular, because of social media and how text adds more interest to an image. Even when including pictures on a web page, make sure to write an interesting caption close to the image. Include relevant keywords too.
Need Help Improving Your Website’s SEO?
We at Australian Internet Advertising are very passionate about digital marketing and social media. We are a team of experts with various specialisations that we combine for a holistic approach to digital advertising. From web design and development to SEO and content marketing, we work closely together to enhance our customers’ websites and marketing strategies.
When it comes to SEO, we know it inside out and will immediately identify the key points where your website needs work. Our experience allows us to decide what is the best strategy for your budget and your needs. We’ve worked with businesses from various industries and can help you regardless of your niche.
Our SEO services include on-page and off-page tactics, detailed reporting and monitoring of your growth, accurate measurements of your return on investment, and a good prediction on what will work next.
Contact us for a consultation with an online expert. We also give you a $200-worth SEO audit for free. It involves assessing your website and checking what are your weak and strong points and what we can do to increase your ranking and performance. Our aim is to make your business more efficient and to get you more revenue.
Get in touch with our experts now and let us start growing your business.