Image SEO for beginners will teach you why is super important to use SEO optimized images in your posts.
Search engines assess SEO ranking principally on text content. It was true then and still is now.
So, if you’ve got your article production down pat, you’ll be able to afford looking beyond text to enrich your reader experience while strengthening authority in your niche. One such consideration is the use of image.
Besides publishing a commentary, a review, or any other text material, you can also run images to amplify your message to the audience.
The importance of using visual references cannot be discounted vis-a-vis visitor traffic and sales conversions. If you are a frequent internet user, you may be familiar with the ‘images’ button above the Google search bar. This means that images are also analyzed by Google as part of its ranking bases.
One statistical study also pointed out that using ‘video’ as part of an email content contributed to higher clicks by almost 20 percent. This means that visual content appeals to people and can be used not only to draw traffic but also increase your chances of conversions.
So how can you adopt image SEO in order to boost rank and website traffic?
This is what I will answer at the end of this article.
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Image SEO for beginners will teach you basics of image SEO to make your affiliate website to rank higher.
A. To use or not to use images
First of all, not all websites are the same. But all requires Image SEO for beginners for higher rankings, in case they use images.
Some may benefit more from using hundreds of thousands of images while other websites thrive with just one to two images at a time or none at all. Examples of image-dependent websites are online marketplaces such as Amazon.
You will notice that images form a larger percentage of their sites’ content than do texts. It’s because it is hard for customers to make a purchase, no matter how graphic the product descriptions are, without seeing the products first.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. This include repeat product orders where the customers are already familiar with the products and may not need to view them onsite. By and large, though, visual references are what drive the sales conversions in these sites.
Even if your website is not heavily dependent on images as do the ecommerce sites, you still benefit from the use of them, especially if you optimize your images for internet search.
When using an image as an article supplement for image SEO for beginners, it is well advised to include a caption as well as text in the image itself to influence ranking. If your keywords can be used in the caption and image text, then that would be ideal. This will send a message to Google that your image relates to your topic.
Do not overdo this though as it may also work against your image SEO. There is such a thing as keyword over-optimization and penalties exist to discourage it. Besides, keyword overuse is just as devastating to your ranking as does under-optimization if there exists such a word.
The trick is to do things in moderation. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes so that you can determine how much is too much and how little is too little.
I remember there was a time when keyword overuse was the norm to get one’s website ranked. People scurried to stuff their keywords in every possible ‘nook and cranny’ they could find, but search engine algorithms have evolved and became more discerning against such practice.
My advice is to write as though you are communicating with human beings, and not to machines.
You can manage by applying your keyword in the image title, its alternative text, caption, and image description. Beyond that may be too much.
I also suggest using your Latent Semantic Indexing words or LSIs.
LSIs are keywords that relate to your own but are not the same. If your keyword is ‘homemade pancake mixes,’ your LSIs would include ‘flour, panfrying, and beat eggs’ which are likely to be used when discussing about your subject matter.
Depending on how widely known your subject matter is, Google can pick up these LSIs in relation to a topic. So, using these LSIs in your article positively impacts your ranking because these contribute to relevancy.
Since the search engines’ job is to lead its users to the most relevant websites according to his or her search, then your website will have become more relevant than other sites just because you’ve used more LSIs that Google recognizes.
B. Image Formatting for Image SEO for beginners
In using image SEO for beginners for website content, make sure that these are formatted in JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), PNG (Portable Network Graphic), GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), or other formats that enable you to compress data. This way, you can manage your image load so that it does not dramatically slow down the browsing speed.
Based on experience, I would recommend the first format type for its flexible levels of compression. JPEG allows you to manage your image quality and size better as well. This is what digital cameras use for storing images and is also widely used for online graphics.
GIF is normally used for bigger data such as animated images, but also supports the static ones, while PNG, unlike JPEG, enables lossless compression. This means that PNG enables you to restore all your original image attributes after decompression.
If loading time becomes a problem due to image use, you can consider using a CDN service or employ lazy loading which delivers the image only when the user requests it.
Finally, make sure that your image SEO for beginners, especially those taken by smartphones, have suitable resolution vis-à-vis the size of your blog. You do not need a 7000-pixel photograph if the size of your blog is already fine with a 1000-pixel image.
Don’t forget that the higher the image resolution, the slower your loading speed, which in turn impacts your SEO ranking.
C. WordPress Image Optimization
Since WordPress is widely used as a content management system (CMS) by bloggers such as you, I shall dedicate this portion to give you pointers on image optimization under this CMS. I’ve actually started sharing you some of these tips earlier, but I’ll now go into more details here.
Alternative Text Tag is important for Image SEO for beginners
In WordPress templates, you’ll find the alternative text or alt tag portion which allows you to describe your images. The description, which may include your keyword, will be viewed by your audience when your image fails to load.
Also, this is helpful to those visually impaired readers because this HTML feature enables the image description to be read aloud.
One tip for you is again not to overdo the use of keywords in your image descriptions. If there are more relevant ways to describe your image, you do not have to force your keyword in all the descriptions.
Avoid using the same descriptions for all your images as well, especially if they include your keywords because this affects your image SEO for beginners.
After several years of running affiliate websites, I now aim for the higher goal of giving value to my niche market more than content manipulation just to jack up my ranking.
I’ve tried those tricks before and it did give me more money in the beginning but once the algorithms evolved, I lost more income opportunities than I gained in the initial stages. In the end, I was worse than when I started.
Trust me. You’ll do much better to use SEO to reach a wider audience and get your message across. Not only will this give you good payouts but also provide long-lasting fulfillment.
That said, let’s now proceed to the next point.
Your title tag is likened to a label or short description.
This usually appears for your visitors’ viewing when they hover over the image SEO for beginners in your blog.
Sometimes, other website creators adopt the same alt tag description for their title tag.
As a personal preference, I vary my title tag from the alt tag.
For example, if I discuss about the ‘top 10 greatest live musical performances’ and use a Beatles stock photo from 1963, I will adopt the title, ‘Beatles’ performance in the queen’s presence, Prince of Wales Theatre, November 4,1963.’
My alt tag will be, ‘Beatles’ Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in one of their greatest live musical performances before the queen at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 4 November 1963.’
This is just my rule of thumb and not backed my actual statistics. So, you have the freedom to choose which would best rock your content.
Of all the image SEO for beginners descriptions, this might be one of the most familiar to you as this usually accompanies photographs in newspapers and other publications.
Your caption is located below your picture which is boxed in a black or gray compartment.
Captions are best used to describe your images, more than all the other tags. These are also you’re your readers would read to know more details about your image.
For best image SEO, here is where your keyword should appear. The best way is to use your keyword in only one of your image SEO for beginners captions per page. Again, take a break from keyword use and do not overoptimize to the detriment of your ranking.
Another way to make search engines analyze your content better is to use systematized programming in the form of structured data.
Structured data is that which follows an organized content pattern and stored in a database such that its elements are easily recognizable for analysis and processing.
Recurring content such as product review and rating are made easier with the use of structured data. WordPress provides this support so that more information about your content can be projected on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
You may also opt to use a structured data plugin such as Schema for more support features.
I wouldn’t qualify structured data as just a form of image SEO though because it allows search engines better understanding not just of images but of all visual elements of your content. This function can, therefore, influence your relevancy to search engines, which in turn means better ranking.
For example, if you conduct ratings in your post, using structured data for this form of content will enable Google to understand the meaning of three stars vis-a-vis your content.
There are surely many other benefits to using structured data especially that content has other visual elements that we are unmindful of but can contribute to better search engine processing and healthier ranking.
D. More image SEO suggestions
Put in your keyword in your file name. Drop the non-topic related words such as ‘to, a, how, what, and where.’ Stick to the main keyword and choose a crisp file name.
Do not use images that cannot be viewed well on digital devices especially smartphones. Check the sizes of which to ensure easy viewing. There is nothing quite irritating when viewing a picture that is too small to be appreciated or too big to fit into your mobile device.
Find out which devices your target audience use and adopt the best picture format. If they are more smartphone users, portrait format is best but if majority of your website visitors are laptop or desktop users, landscape format is best. Google analytics can provide you information about your visitor traffic.
If you have a mix of both smartphone and laptop or desktop users, then it is best to vary your image SEO for beginners formats to cater to these segments.
Our goals here are effective communication and improved ranking, which I’ve established to be closely related.
The trick to using images is to determine the smallest compression size applicable to your image SEO for beginners without compromising on quality. A WordPress plugin can easily determine this for you.
E. Introduction to video optimization
Why would I discuss video SEO here? Well, many of my tips pertaining to image SEO are also relevant to video optimization.
Just like image SEO for beginners, video is another form of content that can be used to improve your visitor traffic and SEO ranking.
Just like images, videos also require more time and skill than blogging, but it is also because of this characteristic that videos are comparatively underutilized.
With the widespread use of YouTube and other video-focused sites, you may want to consider using this tool to further enrich your content and provide a respite from the visual monotony of too much text.
Plus, when you decide to embed a video, you can provide options for your variety of visitors and broaden your reach.
Usually, videos can be viewed even when your audience is mobile or multitasking which is harder to accomplish with text reading.
Others also upload their videos to YouTube and link them to their published content which, in turn, allows them to tap these high-traffic sites and direct its traffic toward their own sites. So, when you optimize your keyword in your embedded videos, you also get to optimize your website content. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
When you’re ready, go ahead and explore as many avenues to reach your audience and get your message across. The more impact you make, the better your traffic, and the higher your profitability in the long run.