Image Optimisation – How to Get the Maximum out of Your Images
Image optimisation is one of the SEO aspects any website needs to properly implement. Unfortunately there are plenty of websites that don’t use this common practice. Even worse, like everything else in the SEO world images can be overly optimised, and there are websites that do just that. Here is how you can get the maximum out of image optimisation and improve your ranks for your chosen keywords.
The first thing you need to think of is the size of the image. Yes, when talking about image optimisation people immediately think about ALT tags, they are needed, but there is more to it. Since page loading speed is a factor we also need to think about the page size and loading time, and large sized images will only slow down the page loading speed. You can use image compression to get the most out of excellent images without lowering their quality, there are many tools to help you with that. If you are new to image optimisation there are sites that can help you with that, like Smush.it. Using standard extensions like .jpg or .gif is encouraged as it is easy to optimise those image types. Png can also be used, but you will most definitely have to compress .png images to quite a bit in order to remove the train from the loading speed.
With the image resized, filtered or simply acquired as is, we need to think of the image title. This goes a little bit more as well. Instead of just naming your image with your keywords you need to think of the relevancy. First the page where the image is, for a static image that doesn’t link to another page you need to use the most relevant name for the image. So if the page is about “used cars” your image can be called used-cars.jpg. But if your image is linking to another page about brand new cars you should name your image something like buy-new-cars.jpg.
The same can be implemented with Alt Tag and image title. The thing is that people either just repeat the name of the image in both or they place a whole paragraph in them. Alt attribute is there to describe the image, so don’t be stingy with words, but don’t overdo it also. A good example of an Alt tag can be “Mint condition used cars for sale”. You can use the same for the title, but you can just as easily modify it a bit and make it “second hand cars”. Adding a caption to the image is always a good thing. It clearly shows to users and search engines what the image is about.
By implementing image optimisation from the beginning you will add to your website’s keyword relevancy and can not only increase the rank for your keywords, but you can also rank in image search and get some traffic that way. One of the things you might consider is adding an image sitemap, if you want to do that it would be best to read Google’s guidelines for image sitemaps.