Image optimization as part of SEO

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Mario N
optimize wordpress images

In the process of working on search promotion, very rarely it comes to optimizing pictures and images. There is an opinion that working with graphic elements does not bring much benefit while taking a lot of time for both the optimizer and the customer, who needs to find unique photos for his resource. However, the facts say otherwise. There is traffic from Google and Yandex images, which is pretty relevant. Moreover, a group of users constantly view image tabs in search engines.

Is the game worth the candle, or will the increase in traffic be incomparable with the time spent on optimization work? It is difficult to answer this question right off the bat. You need to analyze the niche and understand whether potential customers are looking at the “pictures” tab in the search engine. For example, it is safe to say that in such areas as “clothing and footwear,” “renovation,” “construction,” “furniture,” and “interior design,” photo views occur constantly. If your direction has user interest in images, then images are worth doing. But remember, photos, like any content on the site, must be unique. Optimizing the same images won’t do any good but can also add problems with copyright use. 

Features of Google images

Having decided to take on the direction of search engine optimization of images, it is paramount to highlight the main stages of work and understand the requirements of search engines. Even though there are no strict restrictions, no one will click on a low-quality photo, which means it will disappear from the search results very quickly. What you need to know and remember: 

  • Proportions and image quality. Any photo should be of good quality, without pixels, deformation, and all kinds of compressions that distort the image. The stretched print will not become unique if the same idea is already in the search. It is better to find the original picture and upload it. 
  • The naturalness of photo content. Photo processing and various filters improve it, but it’s important not to overdo it. If you look at the issue, you can see that most images are stock photos without processing and flash.
  • File extension. As we said, search engines do not set strict requirements. The user can upload even a huge BMP or tiff to the site, but it is still recommended to use only .jpeg and .png formats since they do not distort images and weigh a little.

Operating procedure 

Before uploading a unique image to your website, we check that it is at least 150 pixels and weighs no more than 150-200 kb. Compressing photos with a style file is not recommended. 

The second step is to rename the picture’s name according to the principle of forming CNC pages. It is best to use a high-frequency keyword in the title. If you leave a name like img000125.jpg, then this name will be displayed in the unique link.

We fill the image on the page and set the alignment and text wrapping. In CMS, you need to fill in meta tags for each photo. First of all, we pay attention to alts and headings. You can also fill in the description, but this option is advisory in nature since, for a photo, the search engine usually takes reports from the description of the page where it is located. 

image 8 Agence 25

After saving the changes in the site management system, open the URL in the browser and check the correct display of the photo. This is done to ensure the engine has accepted and correctly displayed all edits. Unfortunately, it often happens that the CMS itself renames the name of the files, does not understand the positioning of the photo on the page, or deforms the image to fit the default dimensions. 

Other Tricks

Sometimes you can find a caption under the photo in which optimizers prescribe vital queries. Such a move allows you to add a keyword to the page, which is difficult to insert into the text in a relevant way. When using a caption, it is essential to remember spamming keywords and use this option only if necessary since it does not do any good for the photo itself.

Users who are constantly looking for photos use advanced settings to filter images. For the search engine to display your images after applying the user filter, we prescribe the “width” and “height” (“WIDTH” and “HEIGHT” attributes). 

If there is no time to optimize images, you can place photos under h2-h3 headings. This will allow the search engine to immediately see the picture and assign additional weight.

Optimizing Images to Improve Site Speed

We have repeatedly spoken about the importance of the Pagespeed parameter in our notes. For images on website pages and  SEO promotion, loading speed is of great importance since, most often, according to the service, web resources have low performance precisely because of unoptimized photos.

By running the Pagespeed Insights check, we will see which images need to be processed and how much they increase the load time. There are several solutions to the problem:

  • Manually compress photos one by one.
  • Use batch processing software.
  • Run a particular plugin in the site’s CMS to process the files.

Whichever method you choose, check the images themselves and their URL after processing, as the service can significantly compress files to pixels and change the file path (which will lead to unnecessary duplicates or broken links).

You can reduce the weight by filling in the thumbnail and the full-size image. Yes, you will always have to add two files, but it will be better than filling a large image and scaling it in the admin panel. There are also cases when there is unnecessary (temporary) information in the layers of photos. It may not be visible visually, but it will make the file heavier. Open the image in Photoshop and check all the layers for “garbage.” 

For search engine optimization and image processing, as a rule, the functionality of the site management system and various online services is sufficient. In sporadic cases, you may need to install specialized software. To get additional traffic from images, we recommend optimizing them. Suppose you do not have the opportunity to take unique photographs. In that case, you can always buy a fantastic image through a photo bank.

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