What is Images SEO?
Images SEO deals with image files and their optimization for search engines. For online marketing, images play an important role. It is impossible to imagine the web without photos and infographics. Who uses them should consider some factors, because without a good SEO Strategy images can quickly become SEO killers in Google.
What measures are included in the SEO optimization of images?
A meaningful, thematically appropriate file name is important. This should correspond to the content of the image and convey information about the image to the user.
File format, size and dimensions
Basically, the bigger the better, as Google penalizes small images. Large, high-resolution images are great for the user experience. However, file size is an important factor for page speed. Therefore, very high resolution images are still unsuitable for the web.
The image format is best 4:3, as users find it particularly pleasant. The common formats .png, .jpg and .gif. are recommended as file format here.
In addition, the web formats .webp and .avif should be used. They are particularly well suited for the web because they can be heavily compressed without much loss of quality.
Folder structure and URL
The topic-specific storage of images is an important ranking factor. If images are stored in the correct folder, the "speaking URLs" can also be continued in the image URLs. Besides Title and Alt Text, the URL is the only textual feature of an image. Therefore, this possibility should be used to include the central keyword.
An image should always reflect the text to which it belongs. In general, images are important to liven up the text and are also evaluated positively by Google.
It's no use having a good text about cars, but adding pictures of motorcycles. Besides negative effects on the user experience, this can very quickly lead to ranking losses. Google's algorithm is getting better at understanding and interpreting image content.
ALT and TITLE attributes
The alt attribute is the alternative text that is displayed when the image is not loaded for some reason. The alt attribute describes what can be seen on the image and is evaluated very positively by Google.
Alt text is particularly important for visually impaired people who have the contents of a website read aloud by a screen reader. Therefore, a short, meaningful alt text is particularly important. An extra plus point for SEO is, of course, if the alternative text contains the keyword. However, if it does not fit thematically, this should not be forced.
The Title attribute is the text that is displayed when the mouse pointer hovers over the image.
Google rates images with both attributes highly, as they provide users with additional information and thus further increase user-friendliness. Images without alternative text can definitely lead to ranking losses.
Less relevant for image SEO are caption and description. The caption should only be used if it actually makes sense. It is displayed on the web page under the image.
Linkbuilding: backlinks and internal links
It is recommended to create images as internal or external links. Links that lead away from your own website have no direct effect on your own ranking. However, if they are links to related sites, the other site owner can be actively requested to provide their own backlink. In this way, both benefit.
Why is it important to optimize images SEO?
Google rates text content with images higher because page visitors perceive images to liven up page content as pleasant. This increases dwell time and conversion rate.
The importance of Google Image Search for images SEO
Many users use Google Images for search queries. So depending on the topic, image search is very relevant for website traffic. Especially photos that provide direct answers to a question, or antease the answer to the question, are particularly valuable here.
Example: A user wants to know how to distinguish songbirds in his garden. The answer to this search query can be wonderfully illustrated in an image. Even if not all songbirds can be represented in an image, the image can be used to direct the user to the website. In the image above, the keyphrase "distinguish songbirds" was entered into Google. Highlighted images are particularly well suited here to provide added value to the user. They succinctly show what content can be found on the page.
For an image to rank on Google, careful adherence to the image SEO rules described above is necessary. Because there are billions of images for numerous topics. The goal of image SEO is therefore to show Google why a specific image is particularly relevant for a specific keyword.
For further questions on this subject, we are at your disposal as a SEO Agency in Munich will be happy to assist you.