Even though images are a relatively small factor in search engine algorithms, it still plays a role. Since optimizing your blog post images is as easy as saying “Jack Robinson”, there’s no real reason not to do it.
First off, realize that images can actually bring visitors to your site. I’ve gone into my Google Analytics and was quite surprised to find that my website ranked high for certain image-defined keywords, such as “hostgator logo”, “question mark image” and more.
Don’t underestimate the power of image optimization. With that said, let’s get into the quickest, shortest guide there is in the blogosphere to optimizing your images for search engines.
When you download images from the Internet, you might find that they have weird names – 912109382(2) or something of that sort.
Rename the file with your keywords before uploading it to your website’s media library. Some say that it’s best to space out each word in the key phrase with hyphens, like optimizing-images.jpg. Either way you choose to do it, just make sure that your keyword (and JUST your keyword, no extra numbers or filler words) is in the file name.
Including Alternative Text
Alternative text is what will show up if a viewer’s connection is too slow to download the image. Alternative text is the easiest way to let search engine crawlers know what your site is all about.
Thanks to WordPress, adding alternative text is as easy as pie. Whenever you upload an image to the media library, there’s already a textarea named “Alt Text” for you to fill in, as demonstrated in the image below. Your alt text should be the same as your file name.
Conserving Server Space
Whenever possible, use .jpgs or .gifs as the file type before uploading. Most of the other file types do not compress the image, and that results in a drag on your page load speed.
Keep in mind that compressed images will also be of considerably lower quality (especially .gifs).
There you have it – the quick & easy guide to optimizing your blog’s images. Here’s the basic checklist whenever you add an image to your WordPress media library:
- Use .jpgs and .gifs whenever possible.
- Name the file appropriately with either “keyword phrase” or “keyword-phrase”.
- Fill out the alt text with the file name/keyword.
Got any more tips? Share them in the comments!
Image credit(s): Ba1969 via SXC.HU