Does your site include images? Most do, but did you know that including images can actually boost your search engine optimization? That’s right, including photos and other visual media on your website can help boost your position in search engine results, meaning more traffic to your website, which equals more sales and revenue! But how exactly does it work? How do images increase SEO? Keep reading to find out.
The Importance of Keywords in Alt Text
Keywords are essential to search engine optimization, especially in image alt text. It’s important to think about not only what an image is portraying but also what it’s trying to say. Creating a keyword-dense alt text will help your image rank upper in image search outcomes and thus bring in more traffic from viewers who are looking for images based on keywords.
Optimizing Image Titles
When you use a tool like Google Image Search, you’ll notice that, below each image thumbnail, Google provides information about what it found when it scanned the image. These bits of metadata, called tags or keywords (in some search engines), appear as an extra bit of text below each picture. Many people don’t realize these tags are actually searchable and can help drive traffic to your site.
Optimizing Image File Names
When you post images to your website, make sure you optimize them for search engines. A good way to do that is by ensuring that every image has a descriptive file name. Adding key terms like making money can also help. Just don’t overdo it; a title tag of makingmoneyimage might be a bit much, for example.
Image Sprites and CSS Backgrounds
Both image sprites and CSS backgrounds, which position images within a website’s layout in order to decrease total page-load time, can significantly increase your website’s search engine visibility. That’s because, according to Google, a site’s overall load time is an important factor in its ranking.
The first thing to consider when deciding whether or not you should use images in your content is file size. In general, images that are larger and more detailed will perform better than those that are smaller and less detailed. The most optimal size is between 600 and 1,200 pixels wide. All other things being equal, larger images will rank higher than smaller ones. There are a few exceptions though—particularly if you want to get traffic from mobile devices or other sources where download times may be longer.
Exact Match Anchor Text Links and Images
One of my favorite ways to get started with backlinks is to use exact match anchor text links and images. This helps me build natural looking backlinks, it’s easy to do, and I can usually tie them into content I already have on my site. If you’re not sure how to do it, read our tutorial on how to add image anchors (AKA hotlink with your anchor text)!
How Google Crawls and Sees Websites
Knowing how Google indexes and crawls your website will help you decide if adding images is a smart move for your SEO efforts. Most of us understand that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo scan websites to index their content. But what you may not know is that they aren’t just scanning text—they’re also reading your site’s HTML code.
Google’s 2015 Algorithm Update
I’m referring to Google’s Mobilegeddon Update, which sent a shockwave through digital marketing circles by penalizing websites that weren’t mobile-friendly. (If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to go mobile.) But it turns out there were other changes in play when Google rolled out its algorithm update. Digital marketers and search engine experts have speculated about other elements of the update for months.
Analytics Tools to Track Traffic from Search Engines
Analytics is an important part of your SEO strategy. Using third-party analytics tools will allow you to keep a closer eye on your rankings and traffic for free, which will in turn help you fine-tune any issues that may be affecting your rank. Google Analytics is a popular option, but it can be expensive and difficult to set up. Instead, consider using alternatives like SEMRush or Ahrefs.