Tips for Good Image SEO
Website SEO efforts should not focus on just one thing. It is important to consider image SEO in addition to other organic SEO factors when optimizing your website.
Not only do images make for a much prettier, pleasing site experience for your users, Google has entire search results pages devoted to just images! Image previews are also prevalent in search results pages. Adding relevant, well-marked up images can add value to your earned position in search results pages.
Here are a few tips from Google’s John Mueller on how to better optimize images on your website.
Use images that make sense with the text on the page. Think about the keywords or phrases for which your users will search when looking for your content online. Do not embed text in images. Images need alt-text so that they are easily read by screen readers and translation tools. (Neither screen readers nor translations tools will work on text imbedded in an image.)
Context may also extend to site URLs. Google and other search engines will follow the page and image URLs when crawling a site. Relevant text therein is important. If pages or images move or change, it is important to use the proper redirects so as not to create a dead end on your site.
The most important page images should be near the top of the page. Relevant images should be placed near the associated text.
You may not think you have control over where the image shows up in search. But, that is not true. Included rich text via structured data can signal a search engine as to where to place the image. Is your image a photograph of a recipe? Is your image a photograph of a product? This is all relevant data that helps search engines properly categorize your content, and is conveyed through structured data.
High-quality images are important, as are high quality websites. While this may or may not have much relevance in search, people will spend more time on high-quality sites. That increased time on page should increase conversion rates. High-quality images are also more appealing in those search results pages, which will increase the click through rate to your site.
Sometimes, we don’t take our own images. There are a lot of great photographers who make their images available for use, with proper credit of course. If image attributes are required, use image licensing markup.
Designing your website for all types of devices is also important. Google moved to mobile-first indexing, but one should still design for desktops, laptops, and tablets as well.
Building high-quality websites is important on the front- and back-end of the site. Make sure your site is speedy. This might mean optimizing your image sizes or evaluating image loading techniques. This step is a bit more technical. Do not hesitate to hire a professional to help with this task.
Amp pages may be required for super-speedy page load times on mobile devices.
What if you don’t want your images found in text?
You can disallow crawling of images via the robots.txt file. While Google doesn’t recommend this, as people will sometimes search for images specifically. However, sometimes it is necessary and relevant to keep images off of search. The robots.txt file is what sends the signal to Google and other search engines not to include specific things in search.
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