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How to optimize images for a website

Visual content is more than just a pretty picture. Without it, SEO can lose a lot. And that’s why.

Is it important to optimize images

Due to the huge amount of information that we receive from everywhere, people are less likely to read articles in full, they are more likely to «scan» the page in search of interesting information, especially pictures. That is why the images on the site should not only be present but also be high quality and load fast.

Basic requirements for creating pictures

In total, there are 4 main requirements for creating pictures.

Image formats

It is best to use these formats:

 

  • JPEG — for regular photos;
  • PNG — for graphics made by the designer;
  • SVG — for vector graphics.

 

Another popular image format is WebP. It weighs the least, but not all browsers can support it.

Quality

The picture should represent an ideal ratio of size and quality, and firstly, the user should like it. So make sure the image is:

 

  1. Clear.
  2. Sharp.
  3. Match the content.

Image size and weight

Please note that the larger the photo, the longer it takes to load. Therefore, before adding images, try to compress photos using special applications.

Placement of pictures

Images must be stored on your site’s domain or subdomain. Otherwise, users won’t be able to find your site when they search through images.

How to reduce an image’s weight without losing quality

As it was mentioned, reducing the photo size helps to reduce the page load time. There are several ways to help you quickly and accurately reduce the photo.

Desktop programs

Among the most popular photo reduction programs:

 

  • Caesium;
  • Light Image Resizer;
  • Adobe Photoshop.

 

Each of the utilities allows you to reduce the size of the picture without losing quality.

Mobile applications

You can reduce the image size using mobile gadgets as well. For example, using applications such as Image Compressor, Pictools, Photo Compress 2.0. With their help, it is easy and simple to compress, crop, and resize images.

Online Services

To reduce the photo, it is not necessary to install special programs or use gadgets. You can also use online services that are not inferior in quality to those described above, in particular Iloveimg, Compressor, Resize Pixel. The process of compressing an image in an online service will take you a couple of minutes. You need to select the desired file and start the compression process.

How to optimize images on a page

Image optimization is a complex process. It is not enough to make the picture clear and light. It is necessary to work with a number of factors.

File name

Usually, the file name is generated randomly, which negatively affects search engine optimization. To avoid such problems, follow these rules:

 

  1. Use Latin, as many CMSs don’t understand Cyrillic.
  2. Instead of hyphens, put a space, it will be read by the search engine as hyphens.
  3. The title of the image should be relevant to its content.

File storage

To store files, it is better to develop a special structure and distribute pictures throughout the hosting. By storing all the optimized images in one place, you will slow down the work of the resource.

File locations

Pictures in the text should not be arranged randomly. They should correspond to the general theme of what is written and to the nearby text. That is, if you have prepared a text about the components of a computer, do not place a photo of a mouse near the keyboard.

Backlinks

Backlinks are the kind of anchors for links to images from external resources, which are taken into account by search engines. The main requirements for backlinks are that the anchor text and the content of the image must match.

Meta tags for images

Meta tags are used to describe what is in the image, the Alt attribute plays a particularly important role. Therefore, it is worth not only filling it out carefully, but also adding keywords. For optimization, it is also useful to fill in the title meta tag. This is the text that will appear in front of a person’s eyes when they hover over the image.

Site image map

For images that are uploaded to the resource using JavaScript, you need to create a special image map. If this is not done, they will not be indexed, because the search engine simply will not find them.

Micro markup

Thanks to it, images can be divided into categories. This contributes to the automatic optimization of the picture and will help it to get the top positions in the search results.

Image’s uniqueness

Everyone knows that uniqueness is one of the key ranking factors, and it concerns not only the texts on the site, but the images too. Therefore, before uploading a picture, make sure it is authentic by checking it through image search or special services.

Where to get unique pictures for the site

Adding unique images to your site is pretty easy if you know where to look for them.

Google search

The easiest way is to use Google image search. The main thing is to choose the Creative Commons filter — its authors allow the use of pictures with a link to the source.

Look for pictures in free photo banks and improve them with photo editors

Another way to get a new image is to find a suitable image on one of the free stocks, and then modify it using photo editors like Canva.

Reddit

All Reddit users automatically agree that the content they post is public. To use Reddit as a photo bank, you must:

 

  1. Install a browser extension called Reddit Enhancement Suite.
  2. Open the page and find the desired section.
  3. Set sorting criteria.
  4. Choose your favorite picture.

Conclusions

It is impossible to imagine SEO without images. They are a complete tool for optimizing and increasing conversion rates. Therefore, we advise you to pay enough attention to them, otherwise you risk losing high positions in search results.

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