Best Image SEO Optimization Practices in 2022
Organic traffic is the lifeblood of any website. If you want to increase your website’s traffic, you need to focus on optimizing images for SEO. Below are tips on image SEO, the 17 most important tips to get more organic traffic in 2022. By following these tips, you can ensure that your images are correctly optimized and that they are helping to drive more organic traffic to your site.
1. Name your images appropriately
One of the essential image SEO tips is to make sure you’re naming your images appropriately. Your image file name should be descriptive and include your target keyword, but it shouldn’t be overloaded with keywords. For example, if you were writing a blog post about “How to Make a Delicious Chocolate Cake,” a good image file name would be delicious-chocolate-cake-recipe.jpg.
Not only does a suitable file name help with image SEO, but it also helps users understand what the image is before they click on it. This can help reduce your bounce rate and increase your click-through rate (CTR). So, make sure you’re taking the time to name your images appropriately.
2. Use descriptive alt text and captions
The use of alternative text and captions is another best practice of image SEO in 2022. By using descriptive alt text and captions, you can help Google understand what your images are about so that they can be properly indexed and appear in relevant search results.
In addition to helping Google index your images, using descriptive alt text and captions can also help improve your website’s click-through rate (CTR). When users see an image relevant to their search query, they are more likely to click on it.
To ensure that your images are properly indexed and have a high CTR, be sure to use descriptive alt text and captions. When writing your alt texts and captions, be sure to include keywords that are relevant to your image and your business.
3. Choose the best file type
It’s important to know which file type is the best for each image you want to use on your website. The three most common types of image files are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.
JPEGs are great for photos because they have small file size and don’t lose much quality when compressed. However, they’re not as good for images with lots of solid colors, like logos or illustrations, because they can create artefacts (little blocks of colour) around the edges of those images.
PNGs are lossless, meaning they don’t lose any quality when compressed. That makes them ideal for images that need to be high-quality, like product photos or infographics. It also means that they have a larger file size than JPEGs, so they can slow down your website if you’re not careful.
GIFs are lossless like PNGs, but they also support animation. That makes them ideal for things like animated logos or user interface elements. They also have a small file size, like JPEGs. Choosing the right file type for each image will help you keep your website’s load time down and ensure that your images look their best.
4. Resize your images in line with site dimensions
Resizing your images is one of the most important image SEO tips to follow. If your images are too large, they’ll slow down your site’s load time, negatively affecting your search ranking. Likewise, if your images are too small, they won’t be able to properly fill-up the designated space on your website, resulting in a poor user experience.
To ensure that your images are a perfect size, resize them in line with your site’s dimensions. This way, you’ll be able to avoid any loading or display issues and provide users with a seamless experience.
5. Decrease the file size of images
The file size of your images can greatly impact your website’s load time. Large image files take longer to load, which can frustrate users and cause them to leave your site. To reduce the file size of your images, you can use an image compression tool like TinyPNG or Photoshop. Both of these tools allow you to save images for the web, significantly reducing their file size.
Another way to reduce the file size of your images is to use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN stores your images on multiple servers worldwide so that they can be delivered more quickly to users who are accessing your site from different locations. If you’re using WordPress, there are also a number of plugins that can help you optimize your images for the web, such as WP Smush.
By following these tips, you can decrease the file size of your images and improve your website’s load time. In turn, this will help you rank higher in search results and get more organic traffic.
6. Create an image sitemap
An image sitemap is a great way to tell Google about all the images on your website. You can add information like the title, caption, and where the image is located on your site. This helps Google understand your images better and makes it more likely that they’ll appear in image search results.
Creating an image sitemap is easy. You can use a tool like XML-Sitemaps to generate one for you. Just enter your website’s URL and select ‘Images’ from the list of sitemap types. Then, download the file and upload it to your website’s root directory.
Once you’ve done that, you can submit your sitemap to Google via the Search Console. Just go to ‘Sitemaps’ and then ‘Add a new sitemap.’ Enter the URL of your sitemap and submit it. That’s all there is to it!
By creating an image sitemap, you’re making it easier for Google to find and index all the images on your website. This will help you get more organic traffic from image searches in 2022.
7. Use vector graphics where appropriate
The next most important image tip is to use vector graphics where appropriate. Vector graphics are a great choice for images that need to be resized or edited frequently, as they can be easily scaled up or down without losing quality.
Additionally, vector graphics can be saved in various formats (including EPS, AI, and PDF), making them more versatile than raster images. When choosing images for your website, consider whether vector graphics would be a better option than raster images.
While the majority of image file types are raster images, there are some exceptions. Raster images are made up of pixels, while vector graphics are made up of paths. As a result, vector graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality, while raster images will become blurry or pixelated when they are enlarged.
Vector graphics are also more versatile than raster images, as they can be saved in a variety of formats and edited with vector-based software programs. If you’re unsure whether an image is a vector graphic or a raster image, look for the file extension.
Vector graphics usually have an .ai or.eps extension, while raster images have .jpg, .png, or .gif extensions. When in doubt, ask the designer who created the image for clarification. In general, it’s best to use vector graphics wherever possible. However, there are some situations where raster images may be a better choice.
8. Using responsive images
The term “responsive images” has come to mean “responsive image formats.” That is, images that have been delivered in a manner that takes into account the user’s device and network conditions. But there are different ways to do this, and not all of them are created equal.
The three main techniques for serving responsive images today are:
- srcset and sizes
- picture element
- Client Hints
Of these, srcset and sizes are the most widely supported by browsers. It works well on various devices, including both high-density displays (like phones) and low-density displays (like desktop monitors). And it doesn’t require any special browser support; if a browser doesn’t support srcset and sizes, it will just ignore the attribute and load the image specified in the src attribute.
The picture element is a more recent addition to the HTML specification and is designed to provide an even more granular level of control over how images are displayed. It allows you to specify multiple sources for an image, each of which is tailored to a specific set of conditions.
For example, you could specify a high-resolution version of an image for users with retina displays and a lower resolution version for users with standard displays.
Client Hints is a new proposed standard that makes responsive images even easier by allowing browsers to automatically determine the best image source based on information about the user’s device and network conditions.
All of these techniques can be used to serve responsive images, but srcset and sizes are the most widely supported and are the simplest to use. If you’re just starting with responsive images, starting with srcset and sizes can be great. Once you understand how it works, you can experiment with the other techniques to see if they offer any benefits for your particular use case.
9. Utilise schema markup (for recipes, products, and videos)
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you add to your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. For instance, if you have a recipe site, you can use schema markup to provide detailed information about each recipe, such as:
- The name of the dish
- The ingredients
- The cooking time
- The calories
- The nutrition information
- The reviews.
Adding this kind of detailed information makes it easier for Google and other search engines to understand what your content is about, and as a result, your recipes are more likely to show up in search results.
And when people are looking for recipes, they’re often looking for specific dishes, so being able to include that information in your schema markup can help you attract more traffic from people who are searching for what you have to offer.
In addition to recipes, you can also use schema markup for products and videos. For products, you can provide information such as the price, the manufacturer, and customer reviews. And for videos, you can include the video’s title, description, thumbnail image, and duration.
Schema markup is a great way to make your content more accessible and visible to potential customers, so if you haven’t already started using it, now is a good time to start.
10. Consider lazy loading.
Lazy loading is a great way to improve image SEO of web pages. By loading images only when they’re needed, you can improve the load time of your pages. This is especially important for mobile users, who are more likely to be on a slower connection.
To lazy load images, you can use the LazySizes library. This library is free and easy to use. It also works with responsive images, so your images will look great on all devices.
If you are using WordPress, there are also plugins available that can help you lazy load your images. Lazy loading is a great way to improve your image SEO and speed up your pages. It’s easy to do, making a big difference for your users. Try it out today.
11. Leverage browser caching.
Leveraging browser caching is one of the most important images SEO tips. When you have leverage browser caching enabled, your web server tells the visitor’s browser to save certain files on their computer for a set period of time.
This means that when they visit your website again, their browser can load those files from their cache instead of requesting them from your server again. This reduces the amount of data that needs to be transferred and can speed up page loading times. Leverage browser caching is especially important for images because they are often large files that take longer to download.
To enable leverage browser caching, you can add code to your .htaccess file or edit your server’s config file. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can always ask your web host or a developer to help you out. Once it’s set up, you should see a significant improvement in your page loading times, thus resulting in More Organic Traffic.
12. Use a CDN
One of the best ways to improve your image SEO is to ensure that your images are being served from a CDN. A good CDN will help ensure that your images are delivered quickly and efficiently to your visitors, no matter where they are.
There are a number of great CDNs out there, but one of the most recommended is using Cloudinary. Cloudinary offers many features that can help you optimize your images, including automatic image resizing, compression, and delivery. You can also use their free plan to get started.
If you’re not using a CDN, then you’re missing out on one of the most important Image SEO tips! So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and see the difference it makes to your traffic levels.
13. Post original images
Originality is key when it comes to image SEO. While you don’t necessarily need to have unique images on the internet, you do need to avoid using stock photos or reposting other people’s images without permission. Not only is this plagiarism, but it could also get you into legal trouble.
To ensure that your images are original, take your own photos or create your own graphics. If you use someone else’s image, be sure to give them credit in the form of a link back to their website or social media profile.
Not only will original images help you rank higher in search results, but they’ll also make your website or blog more visually appealing, which can help you attract more organic traffic.
14. Leverage images as a backlinking opportunity.
Leveraging images as a backlinking opportunity is one of the most important image SEO tips to get more organic traffic in 2022. Using images strategically can increase your website’s ranking in Google search results. Here’s how:
- When you upload an image to your website, include a link to your website in the image’s “alt” text. This will help search engines find your website and index it.
- Use images to help break up your content and make it more readable. People are more likely to stay on your website if they find your content visually appealing.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA) in your images. For example, you could include a CTA in an image of your product by saying “Buy Now!” or “Free Shipping!”
You can increase your website’s ranking in Google search results by following these Image SEO tips and developing an effective SEO strategy to get more organic traffic.
15. Add images to an existing sitemap
Adding images to an existing sitemap is a great way to get more organic traffic in 2022. By adding images to your sitemap, you effectively give Google another opportunity to index your content and show it in the search results. This will help increase your click-through rate and organic traffic.
This is especially important if you have a lot of images on your website. By adding them to your sitemap, you are telling Google that you want these images to be indexed and shown in the search results.
The process is simple:
- First, create a list of all the image URLs on your website.
- Next, add these images to your sitemap.
- Finally, submit your sitemap to Google.
You can do this by going to Google Webmaster Tools and submitting your sitemap under the “Sitemaps” tab. Doing this will help increase your organic traffic in 2022.
16. Social media sharing
Sharing images on social media is another important image SEO tip to get more organic traffic in 2022. Here’s why: The algorithm of every social media platform favors images that are shared frequently. That’s why it’s important to make sure your images are easy to share and have engaging descriptions.
To make your images easy to share, add social sharing buttons to each image on your website or blog. You can also use a WordPress plugin like Social Pug or WP Social Sharing to automatically add social sharing buttons to your images.
If you want more people to share your images, make sure they’re visually appealing and have interesting descriptions. To do this, be strategic about the hashtags you use and the text you include with each image.
For example, if you’re sharing an image on Instagram, make sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your niche and target audience. And if you’re sharing an image on Twitter, write a compelling description that will encourage people to click through. Social media sharing is one of the most important image SEO tips to get more organic traffic in 2022.
17. Write body content
To provide your pages with context, you should include body content on them. The length of this text will vary depending on the type of page you’re creating, but in general, you should aim for at least a few words.
The image or picture should be placed in the center of the blog post. This will help users see it and give a clear context of what they are reading. While you don’t need to stuff your pages with keywords, you should include them throughout your body content where it makes sense.
Doing so helps search engines understand what your page is about and can result in higher rankings for relevant queries. Just be sure not to go overboard, as this can have the opposite effect.
Conclusion on Image SEO Actionable Tips
Optimizing your images for SEO is critical to getting more organic traffic in the years ahead. While many factors contribute to ranking in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), using the right keywords and tagging your images correctly will help you get found by people looking for your products or services.
Implementing some of these tips should give you a good head start to improve your image SEO and drive more traffic to your website. So, make sure that you use them to help improve your website’s SEO.
This article is written by Mike, a senior SEO strategist at Nine Peaks Media, a B2B SEO agency that helps SaaS, software, IT, and technology companies rank on the first page of Google with effective content marketing strategies. Nine Peaks offers performance-based inbound marketing, conversion rate optimization, and search engine marketing services.