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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.

The World Has Changed, So We Change the Way We Create

Guest Post by Anna Davalos, Owner, Alejo Media

If you haven’t already realized, we are officially a video-centric world. The pandemic didn’t make this so, it just accelerated what we video producers have known. Video reaches the world.

Of course, before Covid we did everything in person – we filmed you, we interviewed you, we invited you in to sit with our editors as we worked on your project.. But just because it’s tougher to do this now doesn’t mean we can’t create beautiful videos just for you!

To name a few:

Graphics! Motion and animated graphics are a great way to illustrate exactly what you want. These 3-D images come alive to create your vision, especially the “what ifs”. If you can imagine it, we can create it with graphics.

The images you envision may already exist! In stock footage. We pros often turn to stock images when we can’t film ourselves. This can be a great option when filming in person just can’t be done. It’s professional, can be very high resolution, and help fill in gaps in projects. We also have the option of previewing these images before buying them. So you don’t have to pay for images you don’t want.

Maybe we can’t film your employees on their computers. But you can. User Generated Content (or UGC) is all over YouTube. And while you aren’t a professional videographer, our team can give you tips on how to film what we need. We can give you the audio equipment and our editors can give it that very professional finished look and sound. We will walk you through the filming process. Given this pandemic the public wants to see authenticity. We are all in this together. And employees helping their companies succeed is very authentic. It will give your clients a sense of inclusiveness.

Let’s talk photos. A good editor can create miracles with a beautiful still photo; make them move, sparkle, even rain. With creativity, artists posing as editors and powerful software photos take on new life.

Life is different now, the way we create has to be different too. And it can be just as impactful, creative and unique as you.

About the Author

anna davalosAnna Davalos is an award-winning video producer. She started her career as a television news producer and has traveled the globe covering everything from politics to the Olympics to climate change.

Her true love (besides her family) is storytelling. Everywhere she goes Anna learns something new, and she brings that experience to your project, to create unique, one of a kind video just for you!

Anna also hosts a podcast with her PR partner Ashley Bernardi. It’s called 2 Girls Talking. She lectures at universities and delivers video training workshops.

Build in Image SEO

Images are an important element of online marketing and communication. They bring your content to life. Done properly, they also contribute to your search visibility.

Yes, Use Images

Images, when used correctly, help readers better understand your article. They illustrate what you mean, break up the monotony of paragraphs of text, and make your content more enticing.

Another reason for images – visual search is getting increasingly important. Google has an interface that lets people search via images with filters, metadata, and even attribution.

Use the Right Image

It’s always better to use original images – photos you have taken yourself – rather than stock photos. Your team page needs pictures of your actual team.

Your content needs relevant images. An ideal image will reflect the topic and illustrate an important point. An image with related text ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.

Stock Photos and Other Alternatives

If you don’t have any original images that you can use, try stock images. Pick options that fit your content. Graphs and illustrations are also effective.

Optimize Each Image

Once you have found the right image, there are a number of things to do before you use it,

  • Use a file name with your focus keyword
  • Use JPEG format for larger photos or illustrations, or PNG if you want to preserve background transparency in your image
  • Resize and optimize your image – resize the image to how you want it displayed

Add the Image

Place the image close to related text content. Include a caption, for SEO and for users. People tend to scan headings, images and captions as they scan a web page.

Also give each image an ALT tag. The alt tag displays if the image can’t be displayed to the visitor for any reason and when users mouse over the image. Add alt text to every image that includes the SEO keyword for the content. Describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it.