how to optimize images for seo irisemediaIf you run an e-commerce website, image optimization is an art that you will need to master. From reducing site load time to improving user experience, it is an important element for growing your online business and successfully marketing it to the right users. This blog post will highlight 6 must-know image optimization tips for your SEO campaign.

1. Image Descriptions

It’s very easy to upload hundreds of product shots and keep the file name your camera gives them. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, it’s vital that you use creative and descriptive keywords to help your webpages and their images rank on major search engines. The misconception among webmasters is that search engines only crawl the text on your webpage; however, they also search for keywords within image file names.

2. Optimize Alt Tags

Alt Tags are text alternatives to images when a browser can’t properly load them. Even when the images are rendered, if you hover over it with your mouse pointer, you will see the alt tag text for that image. Alt texts also add SEO value to your website. Using alt tags is highly recommended, especially if you desire for them to show up in Google images and web searches.

Tips for optimizing alt tags:

  • Describe your images in plain English, just like you would do for your image file names.
  • If your product has a model number or serial number attached, use them in your alt tags.
  • Don’t stuff keywords in your alt tags.
  • Don’t use alt texts for decorative images.

3. Reduce File Size

Most site visitors wait 3-5 seconds for a site to load on their computer or mobile device before leaving. Google uses page load time as a factor in their ranking algorithm. If you have images that slow down the loading time, you can count on your customers saying goodbye and your SE rankings going down.

4. Know Which Image Files To Use in the Right Situations

There are three types of files that are used to post images: JPEG, GIF, and PNG. JPEG files are somewhat of an old file type and have become the defacto standard for images on the internet. Gifs are lower quality images than JPEGS and are used for simpler images such as icons and decorative images. PNG images are becoming more popular as an alternative to GIFs because they support many more colors and they don’t degrade over time.

JPEG files are ideal for SEO because they take up the least amount of space and time to load. With PNGs you need to be careful because they are times larger than JPEGs and GIFs.

5. Add Image Captions

Just like Alt Text, captions matter. If Google finds an image without a descriptive file name, it may just grab surrounding copy which might make no sense in terms of the image. Captions help Google learn about the image and help you direct Google on what it is learning about the image. Keep it short and sweet, and again, use the keywords you target in your SEO campaign!

6. Don’t Keyword Stuff

This goes for all kinds of SEO, but we’ll say it again just for clarity: don’t keyword stuff when filling out things like image alt text and descriptions. Your alt text, captions and file names should be short and descriptive, not a long list of keywords. Remember to optimize images for your website visitors. Image SEO is as much about user experience as it is about achieving better search engine rankings.

About iRISEmedia is a Toronto digital media agency and SEO company, specializing in social media marketing and internet marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.

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