We all know how important it is to use image in our blog post. It simply enriches user experience by beautifying our blog post. But it has another hidden benefit that we often miss to utilize. There is a certain possibility to drive huge traffic to our blog if we effectively optimize images of blog posts.
Let me explain how it works. There are plenty of people who use image-based search engines (Like Bing Image, Google image) to find what they are looking for. If you can efficiently optimize images of your blog post along with content that will give you three fold benefits.
First, it will drive decent number of traffic from image search engine.
Secondly, optimize images with proper tag will help search engine Spiders to pin point to the identification of post topic. So, Better web crawler understanding=Rich SEO practice=Higher search engine ranking=More blog traffic. And finally,
It will significantly reduce blog loading time. One of the crucial factors in ranking algorithm calculation.
Go through these easy below mentioned techniques, learn and utilize in your blog and within few days you would come to know what you have been missing!
Note: Image optimization is the first article or our “amazing SEO tricks to stimulate search engine for better search ranking” series. If you find this article useful feel free to explore our SEO guide.
How to Optimize images:
1#Image alt tag attributes:
I am sorry to say but search engine bots are blind. They can only read. So, if you only post images without describing what they are all about, search engine bots will never find out those images. Basically search engine bots are designed to work like information collectors. Whatever you serve in your blog they collect and convey those information to search engines. So, one must assign relevant all tag attribute to the images that search engine can recognize and pick it up from there.
Do keep in mind there are 2 important factors in image attribution:
A) Alt tag
B) Relevant alt tag
Here is an example to make things more clearly to you.
Suppose you post a picture of ‘St. Paul’s cathedral’
A) If you don’t use alt tag:
Search engine bots will never find out that image because they are unable to read picture. They only understand text.
B) You just label the image ‘alt’ tag as ‘St. Paul’s’ – which is undoubtedly an irrelevant alt tag name:
By labeling ‘St. Plaul’s’ you actually made the search engine crawlers understand it’s a picture of St. Paul’s without giving any clue that is supposed to be a cathedral’s name. So search engines will interpret that they need to display this image on search result when someone searches the name of “St. Paul’s.
If you don’t use the proper alt tag, it might not affect your web site and everything may look fine but you will definitely miss the opportunity to drive traffic to your blog through images.
Alt tag attributes best practice:
Assign alt tag to every image you post in your blog.
Don’t use spaces between words. Because search engines interprets that as %, which appears to be a total mess. Instead use ‘-‘or ‘_’ in between words. Where ‘-‘ means space between words and ‘_’ means without spaces between words.
Example – ‘Google image optimization’. Should be attributes as “Google-image-optimization” = Google image optimization. Or “Google_image_optimization”= “Googleimageoptimization”.
Always use relevant alt tag that actually describes what that image is all about.
It should be keyword rich but not stuffed.
Use upto 150 character.
Process of using Alt tag in image:
If you are using WordPress as CMS platform then the process of adding alt tags to images is quite easy and you can do that quite effortlessly just by following few simple steps. First upload the image and then before inserting it in the post use a relevant alt tag attribute in “alt text” box. You can go and check in TEXT format, it looks like below image.
Watch this short YouTube tutorial on how to add alt tag attributes to an image:
#2Image File name:
This is as important as Alt tag attributes, because it gives more information about image to the search engine crawlers to understand better. Suppose you take a picture on your camera. By default it generates a file name like IMG_6541434455.jpg. Do you think is it possible for anyone to guess what this picture could be? But if you rename the file as “St. Paul’s cathedral”, bingo! Like everyone, it becomes easier for search engine to display this image in search result whenever is been asked by query “St. Paul’s cathedral”.
Image files naming best practice:
Use keyword in the Image name. If you are uploading multiple images for a single post then don’t use keyword more than once that would be keyword stuffing. Instead use relevant file names.
Keep them short and unique. 3-4 words are best.
Images are wonderful elements to beatify post. But they can be the reason of dreadful blogging nightmare as well, if you don’t pay attention to proper image formatting. Images are basically large in size and take the major time to load whereas text in blog post loads in almost no time. According to a study based on user experience by Kissmetrics, 1 second delay in loading could cost 7% less conversation for an e-commers business, if the blog takes more than 3 or more seconds to load, 40% user immediately bounce of the page. In this high competitive market you have to be on top of your service to provide better user experience. If your website takes longer to load, user will be off to page immediately. Slow loading blog is one of the primary reasons of bounce rate. And if you are unable to lower bounce rate, that is going to cost you heavily.
Pay close attention to image compression process. Try to reduce the image file size as much as you can without compromising image quality. High resolution images are basically 1 to 2mb in size. They surely look wonderful but if you upload them in your blog post without resizing, that could be devastating.
There are plenty of image tools out there in market you can use to resize the image file like Photoshop before uploading to your blog. If you still think that’s not getting enough then don’t worry, there’s a life saver free WordPress plugin WP Smush.it, which automatically compresses every image you upload in your blog.
Though it has no impact on SEO, but it is very much important to give proper image attribution for better user experience. Because most of the browser show image title, instead of Alt text while mouse is hovered over the image. Try to use proper title of the image by which it could be easy to figure out what that image is all about.
Over to You:
As I said before, image optimization plays important role in many ways, so it should not be overlooked under any circumstances. Try to pay very close attention to every small details while optimizing images. Starting from using relevant alt tag to submitting image sitemap in Google using Web master tools, everything should be done in great ministration. If everything goes right and you develop a good habit taking care of your images along with other SEO aspects, you will see drastic improvement in terms of site loading time to incoming blog traffic.
Here is a quick rounding up check list:
File format do matters. Use JPEG or PNG.
Before uploading image in your blog post compress them. Please pay proper attention while compressing. You must not go overboard compressing because that might affect image quality.
Do not use default file name. Rename them according to the subject of the image.
Give title to the image.
Mention image dimension. At the time of uploading WordPress by default creates 3 different image dimensions. 150×150 for Thumbnails, medium according to the picture size and full image size (the actual sized image you uploaded). Use the one which suits best.
Assign relevant alt tag attribute to all images even featured images.
Use Smush.it plugin. It automatically compress images you upload.
If your blog is largely based on image like food blog or travel blog then use Lazy Load plugin. This plugin helps to load image faster resulting lesser bandwidth consumption.
If you religiously follow all the above mentioned points, you will certainly witness great result. This Optimize images practice comes really handy in long term when your blog becomes old and your website database becomes heavier with plenty of images. An untidy, scattered image using practice can give you really hard time. Think about that. Would you mind sharing this post with your friends?
Hello friends, This is me Saikat, the co-founder of this blog. An investment consultant who eventually turned into a professional blogger. Feel free to connect me on Google+. You can follow my post on Twitter