5 Best Image Optimization Tips and Tools for SEO

Image optimization SEO tips

Optimizing images for SEO is one of the basic on-page SEO technique for improving rankings of your blog.

You'll often hear the advice that you should make use of good images and visuals in your blog posts. However, along with it, the way you optimize the images on your blog posts matters a lot. Optimizing images properly gives you an edge over the competitors in your niche.

In this post, I'll present you some of the powerful tips to optimize your images for SEO.

Use relevant images

Using relevant images is the best image SEO tip, anyone can give you right now. I'll tell you why.

Do you know that when you upload an image of a certain flower, Google can determine what flower it is? Yeah. You heard it right.
Google has the capability of recognizing the images that it comes across. It is made possible with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

That means Google can now know if you are using irrelevant images in your blog posts. Google has recently developed a software that can determine the image and describe it in complete sentences.

Here's an article by ClickZ on how it affects marketers and indirectly bloggers like us.

The takeaway is that always use the image relevant to the content you are writing. Because Google can now expect the images that should be in your content.

Use meaningful image names

The auto-generated images are like DSC002, SCR001 or like IMG123, so on…

You should rename these images to meaningful ones before uploading them to your blog posts. The image name should have 2-5 words in it.

Like if you are uploading an image of Lotus, name it as "lotus-flower.jpg". It helps a lot for you to gain some organic traffic from Google images.

Use proper ALT tags

Alt tags
If the image is a screenshot, then mention the word 'Screenshot' in the ALT text.
Trees alt text
For this image, you may use the alt text – "Alaskan trees covered with snow during sunset".

Google has become intelligent enough to detect ALT tag manipulation and stuffing.

ALT tags are meant to describe the image in some words. It helps search engines determine the image. If the image is broken for some reasons, the alternate text is what which is displayed instead.

Tips for ALT tags:

  • Keep it concise.
  • Keep it self-explanatory.
  • Include a keyword in it (once).

Missing to put ALT tags for the images, is a mistake as far as on-page SEO is concerned.

Some bloggers, misuse ALT tags and stuff keywords in it. In fact, last year I was using a plugin that automatically stuffed ALT tags on my blog, and crushed my search traffic.

Resize the images properly before uploading

Resizing is one of the important things you should do to reduce the overall size of the image you are uploading.

Most of the screenshots that you take are more than 1000px wide. This unnecessarily increases the size of the image. For my blog, I use the images that are 640 px wide. So before uploading any image to my blog, I resize it to 640 px wide.

You can use tools like FastStone Photo Resizer and Bulk Image Resizer. I find the latter one handier.

For Mac, you can use softwares like iResize or you can directly do it with your terminal (refer the tutorial). Just drag and drop the images to load up the file name. I find the Terminal method easy.

If you are using any image compressing plugins that I'll describe below, the plugin can do the job of resizing for you.

If you edit your Photos on Photoshop, you can use the option "Save for web". This option optimizes your image for the web, using only web-friendly colors in your image. It decreases the size of your images by at least 130%.

Save for web Photoshop

You can trigger the option by pressing Control + Shift + Alt + s in Windows and Command + Shift + Option + s in Mac.

Even after doing this, there'll be a room for compressing the images losslessly.

For this, there are several softwares. The best of them are RIOT for Windows and ImageOptim for Mac. These are the image compressors I am using right now.

If you are searching for the best JPG/JPEG compressor for both of the platform, then give JPEGMini a try.

Other power tips to reduce the image size:

  • Use bicubic sharper option while saving in Photoshop.
  • Reduce to lower color palette.
  • Reduce the resolution, and make sure the image appears lossless.
  • Reduce the depth of the image.

After doing these things, upload the image to your WordPress blog post.

You can also install WordPress plugins like  ShortPixelEWWW image optimizer, and WP Smush It. These plugins strip off additional information and compress your images losslessly, on the WordPress end. Among these, ShortPixel seems to be having a great free plan and also the best compression when compared to other plugins.

Finally

Which image format is best?

JPG, PNG, and GIF are the most popular image formats on the web. GIF is meant for animations. Using GIF images in excess may harm your SEO. So, it's out of the topic.

JPG suits well for images of people, cats, flowers, and landscapes. PNG suits well for screenshots, and other textual images.

Using PNG for portrait images may unnecessarily increase the size of the images. On the other hand, using JPG for screenshots increases the size unnecessarily. Keep these things in mind.

You can use both the formats of images on a single page; mixed up. No issues. It no way hurts SEO.

Why does image optimization matter?

The page load time is one of the Google ranking factors. Google recently stressed the importance of mobile user experience. So, the elements that take most of the time to load are images. These images should be properly optimized to make the most of SEO.

I hope this guide helped you. Thank you.

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