Do Images Really Help SEO?

This might be the million-dollar question when it comes to search engine optimization. Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not exclusively related to keywords and backlinks. The use of images as an SEO tool is rapidly gaining attention from digital marketing professionals, and for a good reason. New research has indicated that up to 20% of search engine inquiries are performed through Google Images. If you aren’t already utilizing images as a part of your SEO gameplan, here are a few things you should implement that can take your website’s performance to the next level.

Where Do Images Fit In?

The good news is that you’re most likely already using images on your website, which means that they can already be found in a Google image search. Just like with any other keyword search, images related to a specific product or service can be found via a search engine. 

How Can You Optimize Your Images? 

Optimizing your images can be an SEO game-changer, but where should you even start? Here are a few easy steps you can right away to ensure that your images will perform miracles in any search engine.

Compress Your Images

If you have a basic understanding of good SEO practices, you already know that your website’s speed can play a huge role in how well you perform in rankings. Excessive image sizes can seriously slow down your load times and make for a poor user experience for those visiting your site. Properly compress your images and you can improve your overall speed by up to 33%.

Avoid Stock Photos

Originality is a major key to creating SEO-friendly images. If at all possible, create your own unique images that will prevent you from being confused with any other brand during an image search. This will help you stand out from the crowd and build an even stronger online presence.

Put Keywords in File Names

The same keywords that you apply to your website content can be easily used to boost your images. For example, an image called “img_001A4.jpg” won’t perform nearly as well as one named “coffeeshop_ATL20.jpg.” Put your keywords to good use by adding them to all of your image file names.

Use ALT Tags

An alt tag or alt title is a feature of your HTML coding that allows you to give an image an alternative name any time it can’t be loaded. For example, a customer may be searching for images of coffee shops nearby, but their poor connection prevents the images from loading. Instead, they’ll see a descriptive text of each picture. You can use this to your benefit by opting to have descriptive and enticing alt tags that will catch their attention with or without the image. 

Conclusion

Images are an underutilized aspect of SEO that can yield tremendous results for your business. Apply these simple practices to the pictures on your website to raise your SEO game even higher.