Image SEO : Everything We Learned Along the Way

les bases du SEO pour les images

What’s 5 times bigger than Youtube, 10 times bigger than Yahoo / Bing / Amazon and 15 times bigger than Facebook? Google Images! Google Images is a real Web heavyweight. And yet, most people neglect this awesome opportunity for some serious visibility. With growing voice and visual search, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that we’re in for some massive changes.

How to optimize images for the web

Like a web page, an image is evaluated by hundreds of indicators by search engines. And it will itself contribute to the referencing of the page in which it is found. If you want to start somewhere, we recommend automatically compressing any image that you add to your website. To do that in WordPress, we recommend you use the Shortpixel plugin. It also offers an API that you can use to optimize other types of websites like Magento store or Drupal blogs.

What influences your images’ ranking?

  • discoverability, crawlability and indexability
  • the authority of the associated page
  • the semantic relevance of the content close to the image
  • the popularity of the image
  • similar images
  • the legend
  • HTML attributes (name, format, size, ALT and title)
  • loading time
  • the contextual diagram

What should you optimize for image SEO ?

  • the image file name (ex: chaussures-nike-air-2019.jpeg)
  • the format (JPEG, GIF, PNG, SVG …)
  • the URL (ex: /shoes-nike-air-2019.jpeg)
  • the various attributes available for the HTML tag . Let’s mention them: alt, title and srcset.
  • the compression and sizing (for loading speed)

The optimization of these elements, in addition to the page in which the image is found, can contribute to the good referencing of the latter.

The best way to describe images to Google

Image titles and ALTs are as important elements to help Google figure out what the images. Because of that, they should include a keyword or series of keywords and be coupled with an appropriate description and supporting content. If you choose to use more than one keyword, separate them by hyphens and do not use stop words (prepositions, articles, and similar).

The best keywords to use are location-based and long-tail keywords, especially if you run a location-dependant business.

Long-tail keywords help Google differentiate between your website and myriads of other operating within the same industry. For example, if you sell clothes, the keyword “cheap clothes” will not help your website’s ranking. On the other hand, “quality cheap clothes for teenage girls” will make all the difference.Location-based keywords will show your business in the selected area. An example keyword would be “quality cheap clothes for teenagers in Austin, TX.” You can narrow down the location by including different city quarters for different images for added diversity.

Other SEO techniques for images

As you can imagine, the optimization of images for SEO is not limited to the different issues listed above. Many other actions can help the indexing and the good referencing of images, as well as the content in which they are found.

A sitemap.xml file that integrates the images (or dedicated to them) is particularly important to maximize their indexing. The use of micro-data can, moreover, help to increase their visibility and improve the display of the site on the results pages of search engines…

And let’s not forget speed, an ingredient more important than ever for a site’s SEO. Most of the time, images are responsible for slowness and it is therefore the images that should be optimized to obtain gains. Think about it!