If you have a blog, you probably encounter this question – What’s the best way to optimize blog post images for SEO – every time you create a post:
Should I add an image to my blog post?
The answer is yes. Images can grab a visitor’s attention and help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However you will need to follow several steps to make sure that your images are optimized for SEO so that your images relate to your blog post and help improve your search results ranking.
Preparing images for use in your blog post
Once you have found the right illustration, infographic, video, or image to use in your blog post, you need to consider the following factors:
Choose the right file name
Image SEO starts with the file name. Make sure that your file name isn’t the name generated by your camera. You want Google to know what the image is about. It’s simple: if your image is a sunrise in Washington, DC showing the Washington Monument, the file name shouldn’t be DSC4126.jpg, but washington-monument-dc-sunrise.jpg. The main keyword would be Washington Monument, as that is the main subject of the photo, that is why I added that at the beginning of the file name.
Scale for image SEO
Web page load times are an important user interface, and therefore SEO, aspect. The faster the site, the easier it is for Google and others to visit and index your page. Images can have a huge impact on loading times, especially when you load a huge image and display it really small, like using a 2500×1500 pixels image and showing it at 250×150 pixels size. The entire image will still have to be loaded. Scale the image to the size you want to show it. WordPress helps by providing the image in multiple sizes after upload. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the file size is optimized as well, that’s just the image size.
Reduce File Size
The next step in image SEO should be to make sure that scaled image is served in the smallest file size possible. There are a bunch of good tools for this. I recommend using JPEGMini for this. There’s a free option but the paid option is only $19.99 and works on both PCs and IOS devices. Download JPEGmini.
People use captions when scanning an article. Next to headings, people tend to scan the image and include the caption as well in that scan. You don’t have to add a caption for every image. I recommend using captions only if the image needs one.
Alt Text and Title Text
The alt text is added to an image so there is descriptive text when the image can’t be displayed. The visually impaired, in particular, use screen readers that rely on the alt text to explain what an image is.
Conclusion: What’s the Best Way to Optimize Blog Post Images for SEO?
Image SEO is all about doing a bunch of different things right. Since Google is improving image recognition/capabilities every day, it makes a lot of sense to ensure your image and all its elements contribute to user experience as well as SEO.
Keep these things in mind whenever you create your next blog post and add an image to an article:
- Use a relevant image that matches your content
- Change your image file name so that it also matches your content
- Make sure image dimension matches the image size as displayed
- Use image file size reducing tools for faster loading
- Add a caption so users can easily scan your page
- Use image alt text, title text is optional
- Don’t break the left reading line using an image
- Use images in your XML sitemaps