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How can you optimize photos for better SEO rankings?
How can you optimize photos for better SEO rankings?

Better optimization of your photos and media, can help rankings and SEO. Learn what to check and how to optimize your photos.

John avatar
Written by John
Updated over a week ago


1. What is the criteria for good photos?

All visuals such as logos, photos, infographics, and videos have a strong impact on SEO. When optimizing media content for your website, always make sure you check:

  • Quality of the picture

  • Alt text

  • Loading speed

  • Captions and image title

  • Format of the photos

  • Add image file names

  • Mobile friendly photos

2. Quality of the picture

You want your pictures to look good so that people will want to stay on your website to explore and read your content. Whether you are using photos, graphics or infographics, choose your pictures carefully and make sure they are aesthetic and of good quality.

If possible try to get unique photos that will stand out. Stock photos are a quick solution, but for long term results think where you could source high quality photos just for your website. Using stock photos you risk using the same photo as other websites. And always remember to put the credits and respect the authors rights. Do not use the logo as the photo on your website.

The longer visitors stay on your website and the more pages they visit, the better your bounce rate will be. This can help you reach better positions in search engines as the bounce rate is one of Google’s ranking factors.

3. What is Alt text?

Google’s algorithms are becoming more and more complex and are able to read and understand ever more content. Add a short description of your pictures in your HTML code. This description will help search engines understand what your picture is about and will even be read out loud by screen readers used by visually impaired users.

One of the rankingCoach tasks is to guide you step by step through the process of optimizing the description of your pictures. Don’t forget to add your keywords in your alt text when it is relevant!

4. Loading speed

The size of your pictures has a big impact on the loading time of your website. Therefore, if your website is not loading fast enough on desktops or on mobile devices, you should take a look at the size and the format of your pictures and compress them. Be careful not to lose the quality of the pictures in the process. To check if your photos are affecting the speed of the site, check this Google tool.

5. Captions and image titles

Image captions and image titles do not have a direct effect on your SEO. Captions are just visible on your website and if you add captions to your photos better the changes this will keep the visitors attention and increase time spent on the website. Users will also most likely spend more time and engage with the content if you include an image title with call to action such as read now or download, to your photos.

Feel free to get in touch with our support if you have questions about the optimisation of your photos or with the associated tasks. Our team is here to help.

6. Format of the photos

Choosing the right format for your photos is also another part of the good optimisation process. There are many formats available, but most common are: JPEG, PNG and WebP. Each has its own reasons why to use it, but in general with the JPEG the quality of the photo might be impacted, but you can adjust the photo better. The PNG has a better quality, but size is larger and might not work for all. And with the WebP this is the only format supported by both, chrome and firefox

7. Add image names

When saving the photos on your device, the most common is that the photos will be named IMG1_111 or some other similar style. This is the default naming of the photos on the devices. But when adding the photos remember to rename the photos to be as descriptive. This way you can help Google find the photo quicker and also find and show your website. Naming the photos as for example photo 1, photo 2, and so on will help for sure. But if you add more descriptive naming such as small-yellow-flower this can increase the speed and visibility for search engines.

8. Mobile friendly photos

Making your photos responsive is another way to improve your SEO results with the photos. This means that the size of your photos will change depending if the user is searching on the phone or website. Making the photos responsive can be done by giving a photo a new value in the width, and once you add a new value to the width, the height of the image will be adjusted automatically. Also remember to use relative units such as percentage, and not pixels. For more information on Google Guideline check out this link

Any further questions? We have additional articles on more topics here:

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