Image Optimization

In an ever growing mobile world, the advantages of images on search results are obvious. Image results can be seen easier, while also being more understood and clickable then the main organic listings. This could be a reason for the increased use of images. Compared to October 2013, Moz reports that Google images are now shown in 32.4% of searches from 24.6% in 2013. This data was taken from a 30 day test (Nov 11, 2015 – Dec. 10, 2015) from Mozcast. The image below shows how often each aspect is incorporated into Googles search results.SERP featured rankings

With this information in mind, here are some important aspects to include when posting images on your website.

  1. Filenames: Giving your image a detailed file name is important. For example, using “my-new-puppy.jpg” is a lot more informative then having an image titled “img21582.jpg”.
  2. Alt Text: Alt text should always be an informative but concise description of a photo. The goal is to include keywords to accurately describe an image while staying away from keyword stuffing. Three to four words works best.
  3. Headers, Captions & Text: According to Google, it’s a good idea to place relevant text near the image. It would be helpful to provide descriptive captions and tiles for all your images.
  4. User Experience: Google is centered around the idea of it’s users and providing the best user experience that they can. Similar to content on a website, images that are high-quality and easy to engage with are likely to do better. Consider the following guidelines regarding image quality:
    1. Use high resolution and clear images.
    2. If the same image pops up several places on your site, think about making an individual page for that image. If you do this, be sure that you are using unique page titles, meta descriptions and relative on page text.
    3. The images should be placed at the top of the page as many people don’t scroll down to the bottom of the page.
    4. Select the effective height and width of your image for an optimal load time.
  5. Image Sitemaps: While everyone is familiar with a regular xml sitemap, you can also create an image sitemap. This is a helpful tool that will allow Google to quickly and more easily discover your images.

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