Best practices for online images and video

Checklist for Optimizing Images for SEO

Search engines don’t just index words. Images are an important element in SEO. Used correctly, images also help readers better understand your content. Add images whenever possible to draw attention to your content and illustrate its meaning.

Image SEO Checklist

Keep these things in mind when incorporating  images in your online content. Optimize for the same keyword as the associated content.

  • Use a relevant image that matches your text
  • Use a relevant file name for your image
  • Match image dimensions to the largest image size displayed
  • Add a caption, if appropriate
  • Populate the image alt text

Picking the Right Image

Original images are always the best choice. Stock photos can work if you find one that is relevant. The image should reflect the topic of the post or have illustrative purposes within the article.

Rename the Image

Image SEO starts with the file name. Use relevant keywords in the image file name. Make sure the main subject of the photo is at the beginning of the file name.

Optimize the File Size

Search engines also care about speed, so making sure your images are streamlined for fast load times is important.

Basic guidelines:

  • Use JPG format for larger photos to get good color and clarity with a relatively small file size
  • Use PNG to preserve background transparency in your image
  • Use WebP for high-quality results with smaller file sizes
  • Use SVG for logos and icons

Resize the image for the largest size it will be displayed. Many sites will use the same image in different sizes, so keep the largest requirement in mind when sizing images.

Add a Caption

The image caption is the text that accompanies the image on the page. Studies show that people are likely to read captions online. They are short and reinforced by the visual. Add captions where it would make sense to the visitor for one to be there.

Provide Alt Text

Be sure to populate the alt text field for every image you use. Describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it. Be sure to use relevant keywords.