No matter what business you run, your website needs images. These images give your customers an idea of who you are and help you show off your products. However, many businesses struggle to appeal to customers because they have failed to optimize their images properly. This can hinder your success, so here are the top image SEO optimization tips to boost your website’s fortunes.

Be descriptive

Keywords are not only useful for your content; you also need to include them in your image file names. Rather than stay with the default string of characters your camera assigns after taking a photo, naming the image after the product will boost your chances of optimizing the image. You can use Keyword Planner to find out the most common searches for your product and use this as a framework to name the file.

Optimize alt attributes

Alt attributes are the text that your browser uses if the page doesn’t load properly. Including the right information is crucial for optimizing your images. Describe the image as you did for the file name, but also include product model numbers. However, don’t stuff it with keywords.

Pick the right angles

Anyone who sells a product knows that you need to include multiple angles so that customers know how the product looks all around. This approach also helps you boost alt attributes as you add information to each picture. You will have the primary image, but you may also have side, back, and top images, too. Include these descriptors in your images and reap the search engine rewards.

Reduce image file size

On the surface, the larger the image, the better. You want to be able to show something clearly that your website visitors can easily see. However, while larger images can be easier on the eyes, they also severely increase the page loading time. The average amount of time a customer will wait for a webpage to load is three seconds so decrease your image sizes to increase load times. Programs such as Adobe allow you to scale your images for the web, but there is free software available that can help, too.

Pay attention to file type

You should already be familiar with the t5hree image file types used online. These are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Picking the right file type that doesn’t take too long to load but is still clear will ensure your images are optimized correctly. JPEG files are the most established, but PNG files are becoming more popular, as they don’t degrade when re-saved the way JPEGs do.

Thumbnail optimization

It’s not just large images you need to think about. It’s also possible to optimize your smaller thumbnail images, and this is arguably one of the most important ways to increase SEO for your website and images. While small, thumbnails can dramatically slow your website down, so make it as small as possible (while still being clear), and adjust your alt attribute so that it is entirely different from the larger version of the same image.

Image sitemaps

Sitemaps are relevant for anyone who uses Javascript galleries or pop-ups. As search engines can’t crawl for images that are not present in the source code, you need to list these images as part of the sitemap. There are several ways to do this, including using Google’s Search Console to submit the sitemap. Alternatively, you can add a line of code to your robots.txt file. This should look like: Sitemap:

Watch out for decorative images

Decorative images are things such as backgrounds and buttons. They are vital for your website, but the cumulative file size is often too much for some sites to handle. Because of this, you’ll need to reduce the size of your decorative images by cutting out the middle, or making it a single color.

CDN caution

Content Delivery Networks help you host images and boost your site speed. However, you need to be careful when it comes to backlinks and CDNs. If you put your images on the CDN, there’s a risk that future links will direct to this rather than your site, which can hurt your chances of ranking. Therefore, although CDNs can be useful, not everyone needs to employ them.

Test, test, and test again

Testing your images will help you work out the perfect balance for your website images. Just because you’ve chosen a file size doesn’t mean you need to use it forever. If you aren’t getting the hits you want, consider increasing the image sizes or adding more images to your page to keep your customer’s attention.

Making the most of your images

You might not think images are as essential as descriptions or the quality of your work, but without them, you risk driving customers away, experiencing slow page-load times, and failing to rank high enough on search engines. If you want your business to excel in all areas, image optimization is something you must do as soon as possible.



Alisha Haqie is a writer for AAM Consultants. It’s a digital marketing company based in Lahore, Pakistan, with an office in Willenhall, U.K. She enjoys writing different topics about search engine optimization and digital marketing.