discover how to optimize your images for SEO – WAU
If you have a blog you know that composing a post is a very complicated job. We have many things to think about when designing the text: keywords, formatting, SEO optimization, etc. After many hours invested in perfecting that incredible post, we finally put the article online and… we forgot to take care of SEO […]
If you have a blog you know that composing a post is a very complicated job. We have many things to think about when designing the text: keywords, formatting, SEO optimization, etc.
After many hours invested in perfecting that incredible post, we finally put the article online and… we forgot to take care of the SEO of the images.
Alt text, captions, URL. Are these terms ignored by you when selecting and optimizing your images?
So keep reading this article to learn how to optimize your images for SEO.
Here you will learn:
- What is Alt Text
- The use of keywords in images
- Other aspects of an image that contribute to SEO
- Why it’s important to optimize your images
- How to use Alt Text to optimize your images
Starting at the beginning: what is Alt text?
If you work with blogs and Internet marketing, you should know the keyword concept. Keywords are the terms that define your text and that the user will play on Google to find your content.
A text that teaches how to tame a unicorn will have as keywords “how to tame a unicorn”, or even “tame”, “unicorn” and variations.
This concept is not strange for those who write for the Internet, but it is not something unique for the texts.
Images also have keywords
Think with me: how can Google find a specific image? It is difficult for your algorithm to work with something visual, so it needs a description of the image. That’s where the Alt Tex, or Alternative Text.
Without a good use of Alt Text when uploading and using images in your articles and posts, Google will not be able to find your image when users search, and therefore, you miss opportunities to present your work to new readers.
It is important to understand here the difference between Alt Text and the image title. Her title is her name, while Alt Text is her description.
Want an example? Come on. Imagine a photo you took while walking around Rio de Janeiro.
The photo is composed by the white sand of the beach, the waves in the corner and the Christ the Redeemer in the background. The name of the image can be something like “DSC98761” or even “Rio Vacation”, but its Alt Text would be something like “Rio de Janeiro Beach with Christ the Redeemer in the background”.
summing up: Alt Text is a description of the visual elements of the image (which search engines cannot identify) so that this image is better positioned in searches.
What other aspects of an image contribute to the SEO of the article?
Alt Text is one of the aspects of an image that most contribute to the SEO of your article, but there are other pieces of the photo that will dialogue with Google and help your text appear to more visitors.
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As we have already seen, Alt Text is a description of the visual elements of the image. He says what is in that photo so that Google can direct it to anyone who is looking for similar images.
However, if you want to optimize your image for SEO, you will also need to think about three other aspects:
- Image name;
- File size;
O image name, of course, is the name of the file containing the image. It is very important for image SEO (the so-called Image SEO) because it also dialogs directly with Google.
The search engine algorithm comes into direct contact with only two aspects of an image: its name and its Alt Text.
It is through these two elements that you will be able to tell Google what that image is about: what its name is and what it is.
Below we will teach you how to write a suitable Image Name and Alt Text for your article’s SEO.
The image file size collaborates with SEO indirectly. You should already know that the loading time of your page influences SEO, right?
If your page takes a long time to load, Google will give preference to faster sites that deal with the same subject. If your page loads quickly, you will gain that preference.
This is so real that Google itself has found that slower sites result in declining ad and sales revenue. According to the company, a page that appears in 10th place in Google searches and that has a loading time of 0.4 seconds and then falls to a 30th place, with a loading time of 0.9 seconds, will also have a drop in traffic and 20% ad yield!
That is, 0.5 seconds of loading time can be the difference between the site yielding 20% more or less!
And do you know which one of the main elements influences the loading time of a page? Whoever answered “Images!” Wins a prize.
That is why the size of your image file influences your SEO, even without talking directly to Google. Below we will explain exactly how to optimize each image, including how to make them as small as possible and still maintain their quality.
Finally, we have the aspect of the caption of the images, which also influences your SEO, even talking indirectly with the Google algorithm.
THE Nielsen, one of the largest American audience and results measurement companies, has previously said that “elements that increase audience attention include headlines, large print, bold or highlighted text, lists, graphics, captions, topics formatted in topics and tables of content”.
If you still don’t believe in the importance of subtitles, pay attention to what KissMetrics said: “Image captions are read, on average, 300% more times than the body of the text itself. ”
Below we explain how a caption influences your SEO, but we already said that it is a powerful tool to hold your reader’s attention and stand out in relation to other sites.
Always remember that every SEO in the world is not going to leverage your website or blog if its content fails to engage your reader.
And, as described above, headlines, captions, lists and good formatting are elements that increase the public’s attention on your material and, often, the reader’s first contact with your work.
Why is SEO in images important?
You may think that the most important thing in terms of SEO is the way you produce the text you want to publish or the use of your article’s keywords.
It turns out that using SEO to compose a blog post is a task that requires a lot of care so that the end result is as close to perfect as possible.
So ignoring the features that SEO for images offers is a mistake that many make – and shouldn’t!
First of all, a good configuration of the images of your text will make people looking for similar images stop at your site, but that’s not all that SEO does.
Want to know how it can help you get a better position on Google? Let’s take an example:
Remember that we mentioned above about subtitles helping to keep the reader’s attention in your article? So let’s now show how a simple caption can indirectly help to optimize your SEO.
Imagine that you are Google and you start to realize that many people enter Site X through searches, but leave shortly thereafter. They don’t even stay there for 10 seconds and they go back to the search page again.
What do you understand about that? That they didn’t find what they were looking for there, right?
So, the next time someone searches for the same topic, you’d rather show another site than Site X, because it doesn’t look very good.
This measurement of how much time people spend on a website before returning to search is called Bounce Rate (or bounce rate) and is delivered in percentages.
If your site has a 50% bounce rate, that means that half of the people who fell there through Google didn’t find what they were looking for and went back to search – which is a bad sign.
Your goal should always be to decrease that number. But how? Well, subtitles help to capture the reader’s attention, right?
By adding captions to your images, you will be able to communicate very quickly with your reader, letting them know if you are on the correct page or not.
A good caption will keep you reading and therefore lower your bounce rate. By lowering that rate, your site starts to be seen as relevant to Google, which will give it preference in search.
Do you understand how important it is to configure each field of images, even those that may seem useless to you?
Image SEO is important because it is your way of talking to Google, directly and indirectly. It will help bring more visitors to your website, but also to keep them with you.
Time to get your hands dirty: how to optimize your images for SEO
Ok, you’ve read a lot of theory, you’ve understood why Alt Text and the other elements of an image are important and how they’ll help you improve the experience of your site’s users, but also get you a better placement on Google.
But you want to know how to get the best out of this information. What is a good Alt Text? How to write an Alt Text that works well with SEO? What to put in a caption? And in the title?
We will help you in this now, giving tips on how to optimize your images for SEO and how to harmonize them with your text. Let’s start with Alt Text.
THE Alt Text function, as already said, is to describe the visual elements of the image and tell Google what’s there. Not only for Google, but also for your users if their browser is unable to load the image (alt text will be displayed in this case) and even for non-visual users, who use features that read what is on the screen.
In that case, you will need to keep the following in mind:
- Write Alt Text as if it were for a human, not for a search engine;
- Keep between 4 to 8 words to describe the image;
- Don’t fill the alt text with keywords: Google knows how to detect and will classify your site as a spammer;
- Be simple and succinct;
- Think about how Alt Text integrates with the text (more precisely with the part of the text where the image is inserted).
Some platforms, such as WordPress, already have the Alt Text field as soon as you upload the image, but to add an Alt Text via HTML code, just add ‘Alt =” here comes the text ’ in your image tag.
Let’s take an example? Imagine that your site talks about shoes and you have the image of a blue female shoe, of those very elegant, in your text. What would a good Alt Text look like in this case?
- An acceptable Alt Tex: “blue Shoe”;
- A great Alt Text: “Elegant blue female shoe from brand X”.
- A terrible Alt Text: “Blue female shoes shoes for women elegant shoes blue women party shoes women female”
Simple, isn’t it?
Let’s move now to the image title, another element that will contact Google directly.
The image title will appear in her URL and will be a high priority when Google searches for her.
The idea here is to put the essential keywords for the image. Here you can already think more with the head of the user who will search for the photo on Google, so always ask yourself how would you look for the image you’re going to use.
Also remember to avoid the misuse of keywords and to be concise, right? Using the example of the blue shoe photo, which we mentioned above, we could have the following titles:
- An acceptable title: sapato-azul.jpg;
- A good title: sapato-azul-feminino.jpg;
- A terrible title: shoe-blue-woman-women-shoes-party-elegant-blue-for-women.jpg.
Now that we’ve worked with Alt Text and the image title, we’ve finished talking directly with Google. Now it’s time to ensure that the image will work to optimize your user experience