There is no doubt that images make a positive difference to the content you have on your website. And why is that? Photos add interest to every piece of writing content you have. They also improve on-site metrics and user engagement. In a past article, we discussed how to link from an image to another page. Every page of your website should have at least 1 image above the fold. That would be something visible as soon as the page loads. Images also reinforce your SEO focus and add considerable traffic to that page. In this article, we cover how to SEO images in WordPress.
But to achieve this, you should have a clear SEO focus for the page. Then you should make all pictures on that page have reinforcing signals. Using SEO image optimization will help you rank in search engines for more keywords.
You do this by addressing some key factors and optimizing your photos to be SEO friendly. Without effective image optimization, you’re throwing away a helpful SEO resource. That will improve your website’s user experience, speed up page loads, and improve rankings.
Now, let’s dive deeper into a couple of strategies to optimize images for SEO!
Source Great Images – Original is Better
Your website’s images should stand out. Suppose you populate your website with stock photos. In that case, it will make you appear unoriginal and blend in with the tens of thousands of other websites. People can spot stock photos as they are often a little generic. Those stock photos often include subjects that businesses of your size cannot source. Additionally, search engines like Google have an interest in classifying what is in the image. They use advanced software to review images and try to identify what is in the image. They also determine if they have seen that image before. Using the same picture as dozens of other sites is not an ideal situation and could be as bad as using duplicate text content. You would not expect duplicated blog posts to rank well, would you?
Well, Suppose you have seen websites with almost identical stock photos used. In that case, it might be best not to repeat that same mistake. Because even if your stock photos are optimized, they won’t have the same SEO benefits as an authentic, original, high-quality image.
Users will have a better experience using your site with the more original images you have. So take advantage of using original photos as much as you can!
Many people find that when too much image content is uploaded to their website, it takes a long time to go through each file individually to discover what they were searching for. And the same thing can happen to you!
Thankfully through image SEO, web crawlers can easily find the pictures you were looking for when searching the net.
This is because it is questionable if web search algorithms care about the visual content of the image. What matters most is whether the image is suitably marked up with structured data and alt text, enabling web crawlers to quickly identify and locate the desired image a user needs.
That is why it’s essential for every image you upload to be optimized for SEO since it not only makes it easier for web crawlers to recognize your photos but also increases the visibility of your website in search engine results.
It is not clear if right now Google can review the subject of an image and adjusts web rankings based on what is in images. There are some patents that Google has been granted that show they are interested in image recognition but may not be currently using that. It was discussed in 2021 if they use Image Recognition in rankings.
Best Image sizes for a WordPress Site
The best image size really will depend on your site, the theme and what looks best there now. The real secret to doing SEO on images is to make the images the smallest possible that still looks good. This really is in download size and how long it takes to download. You could have better web-hosting or something like a Content Delivery Network. But you could also have images that are smaller in pixel resolution. And then use a good program to save the image in a resolution and quality that works for a website. Really websites are low resolution compared to printers or printing images on a color printer. The resolution of a monitor is only 72 dots per inch. So there is no reason to save images at 300 dpi. You can also make the images smaller in dimension. The first step to determining what size to make your images is to select a WordPress theme and how you are going to have your homepage, category pages, posts and pages. Then you can place an image on each and see how they look.
WordPress blog posts should ideally have an image size of at least 600 x 337 pixels for most posts and pages. You might want to have larger images as WordPress can save multiple sizes of the same image. You should also experiment with your homepage images for the hero images. If in doubt review the WordPress theme documentation to see what they recommend for images for the unique positions.
Image size best for SEO
In a previous section, we talked about looking at the WordPress theme to determine the smallest size that looks good and fills the space needed. That would be the size in pixels. There is also a size in kilobytes. That is the amount of bits that are needed to load the image.
When determining the most suitable kilobyte size for SEO, it all depends on its optimal file size. That means larger photos or full-screen background images shouldn’t be larger than 1 MB. Additionally, smaller pictures should not exceed 300 KB. The smaller the better. It will load faster and reduce overall server usage. Try saving the images at different sizes and look at the images and see where the image compression starts affects image quality.
Although it’s unnecessary to set the height and width if you’re not intending to use either, doing so will improve user experience. Additionally, it enables browsers to scale the picture before loading the CSS. By doing this, the website loads without resizing as the images load.
Web Standards and Delivery
It is worth noting that for both the user experience and SEO, speed is very much essential. Fast websites regularly get a higher ranking in search engines as images lengthen the time it takes for a page to load. This means that your website will load more slowly if there are large amounts of image files to download, since it takes longer to download than text. You can ensure that your website’s photos are optimized for the web.
You can use editing photos on a program such as Adobe Photoshop when optimizing images by selecting the save for the web format. Almost any version of Adobe Photoshop has the ability to do that in even older versions. You can also download a WordPress image compression plugin to minimize file size. There are also websites that compress images, such as Image Resizer.
Other Alternative Tools for How to SEO Images in WordPress
When scaling and compressing pictures, other image editing applications like GIMP can be used and is free on the Linux platform. Other viable alternatives you can use are Pixelied, Krita, PicMonkey, and Pixlr Editor (According to pixelied.com)
The best aspect ratio for your images
There are basically 2 styles of photos that most people are familiar with. That is landscape and portrait. Landscape is like it sounds the horizontal images that are often useful for taking pictures of landscape scenes outside. The other type is portrait, which as it sounds useful for taking a picture of a person that is taller than wide. So with that out of the way, most cameras, monitors and televisions are 16:10 wide screen aspect ratio now. That tends to be a good size and most people find that a familiar-looking aspect ratio for images on your website. The other good thing about this aspect ratio is that it is wider than taller. It tends to not push the article text down as much as if you were using a portrait image that was, for example 10:16 aspect ratio.
Do images boost SEO?
Yes! Image SEO is crucial to boost user page time on site, people might link to your image, and helps break up the text. A website’s images are not as important as its content, but they are important. So make sure that you don’t forget to include pictures when you’re writing articles or blog posts. It indeed makes a difference, and can improve your posts rankings.
The Image URL best for SEO
The URL that describes the photos is appropriate for the content and has the main page keyword in it.
Make sure your file name is keyword-rich so search engines can understand your images when they read them. You can do so by making the filename more descriptive, such as “fruity-loops.jpg,” rather than posting it with the default uploaded name of “img.jpg” or the like. Don’t forget to add alt text to your images; the alt text acts as the image’s keyword. Most cameras and phones save images with just a number like “DSC0518”. This has no keywords and is not improving your sites SEO at all.
Do image names Affect SEO?
Indeed, they do. It makes a difference since search engines index a website based on the images’ filenames, image, alt content and GPS coordinates. It tells the system that a particular image is relevant to searchers. Search Engine bots can quickly understand whole paragraphs and phrases. It is not clear if search engines understand visuals and use them in their ranking algorithms. So it is our responsibility to describe an image to Google bots in filenames and alt tags. If not, search engines may not be using the image subject as a ranking signal.
To make your image names SEO-friendly, include more keywords when renaming so that Google’s robots won’t think the names are spammy. Also, try using hyphens rather than spaces if you need to name a file with more than one word.
Can SEO read the text in images?
As we know, copy text is a primary ranking factor in SEO. Search engines read it and then use it for rankings. And most search engines, such as Google, do not seem to use the text embedded in an image for ranking. With that in mind, it does not seem beneficial to place text on images for SEO impact.
Write SEO-friendly alt text for an image
To improve your website SEO rankings, consider optimizing your image alt text. This will also give some of your visitors a better user experience if they have images disabled or have a slow internet connection.
Suppose you want to write an interesting image alt text for SEO. You should describe the image, add context relevant to your page, limit your alt text to 125 characters, avoid beginning your alt text with the phrase “Image of…” or “a picture of…”, and use targeted long-tail keywords.
Does alt text improve SEO?
Alt text, also known as alternative text, is an HTML attribute applied to the ‘IMG’ tag, which shows images on a website. It enables website owners to provide a plain-text description of the image. One reason it is there is to accommodate visually impaired people. Still, it also helps search engines understand the image’s context by reading the alt text. Plus, alt text in Google image searches helps with user understanding and increases the chances of more people visiting. By default, Alt text does not show on your page in many browsers. Some browsers may show your alt text if you hover the mouse pointer over that image.
The Best Image Format for SEO
Don’t start uploading images to your website until you’ve selected the proper file format. The most popular image formats on the web are PNG and JPEG. However, there are other options as well.
With PNG, you get images of high quality but have a much larger file size. Image quality is lower in JPEG, but can be adjusted to make sure it meets your needs. A third picture format is WebP, which works with Firefox and Chrome browsers and lets you choose lossless or lossy compression. It was a format created by Google. There is finally GIF, which is an older legacy format but still used often. It looks good for simple colors such as logos or cartoons.
JPEGs often are better than PNGs for photographs and skin tones. It turns out, however, that a JPEG image may shrink even further when converted to WebP. You should test a few images and save them locally before sizing a lot for a website. Try different pixel sizes and image formats. If you decide on jpg images, experiment with 60, 70% and 80% quality settings.
Conclusion of How to SEO Images in WordPress
Now that you understand all the strategies and guidelines for optimizing images. Optimizing photos for WordPress can now be a breeze!
Putting these how to SEO images in WordPress suggestions into practice will improve your site’s ranking in search engines. The results will increase website traffic. To get better results and to differentiate yourself from the competition. Start using these best practices, and you should notice a boost in image SEO.