How Important are Optimised Images for SEO on Google?

How Important are Optimised Images for SEO on Google?

Images are an essential part of any website. Not only do they break up blocks of text and make pages more visually appealing, but they also play a key role in search engine optimisation (SEO). With image search being a huge part of Google and other search engines, optimising your images for SEO has become more important than ever.

File Format

The file format of your images matters for SEO. JPEG is generally considered the best format for photographs, while PNG works well for logos and illustrations with flat colours. Other formats like GIF, BMP and TIFF are less optimised for the web. Using the right file format ensures your images load quickly and index properly in search engines.

Search Result

Optimised images allow your web pages to rank better in Google Images and standard web search results. When you upload an image, be sure to include relevant keywords in the file name and alt text. This helps Google understand the content and display it in search when users look for related terms.

Image Content

The content of your images should align with the topic of your web page. Google analyses images and the surrounding text to determine relevance. Using stock photos unrelated to your page content can negatively impact rankings. Include clear, high-quality photos that enhance the user experience.

Google and Other Search Engines

When you do an image search on Google, you’ll notice useful information displayed along with images, like related keywords and the web page source. By optimising image file names, alt text and surrounding content, you can rank highly in image search results and drive relevant organic traffic to your site.

Image File Size

Large file sizes lead to slow load times, which hurt your search rankings and user experience. Use image compression tools to reduce file size without sacrificing quality. Image formats like JPEG and WebP are optimised for compression. Having fast load times also signals high quality to search engines.

Page Load Speed

In addition to compressing images, limiting the number of images per page, using responsive images and optimising code can improve page speed. Google has page speed as a ranking factor, so optimising images to avoid a heavy load time boosts your SEO.

User Experience

Visitors should see clear, crisp images that engage them when browsing your site. High-quality visuals that support your content create a positive user experience, which leads to higher conversions and lower bounce rates. Both metrics are SEO rankings factors according to Google.

Optimise Your Images

Use relevant keywords in file names, employ descriptive alt text, compress files and focus on creating a great user experience. This ensures your images help, not hurt, your search rankings. There are also image optimisation tools that can automate parts of the process for you.

File Type

Stick with optimised JPEGs and PNGs over other image formats. Vector files like SVG can also be great for simple graphics. Avoid overly large file types like BMP and TIFF.

Content Delivery Networks

CDNs allow for faster delivery of image files to users by storing them on servers spread across the globe. This improves page load times on your site. Using a CDN is an easy way to optimise images for site speed.

Large Images

If you need to display high-resolution images, also include compressed versions for mobile and smaller screens. Google recommends responsive images that load differently based on screen size. Large files impact site speed, so aim to keep image size optimised.

Google Images

When you do a Google Image search, you’ll see pages that host those images along with related keywords. By optimising your visual assets for SEO, you can rank highly in Google Images and drive qualified traffic.

High-Quality Images

Compressed images don’t have to be low quality. Use your compression tools wisely to maintain image resolution and clarity. Remember that high-quality, relevant images improve user experience and SEO.

Add Structured Data

Adding schema markup to your images, such as ImageObject, can provide Google with useful context and help images rank better in search results. Markup also enables rich results like image carousels.

Page Load Times

Fast page speed is a ranking factor, and large images can significantly slow things down. Use compression, efficient formats, CDNs and responsive images to minimise file size and load times.

Images Search Results

When you search for images on Google, you’ll see related keywords and source pages for those visual assets. Optimise your images with keywords in titles, filenames and alt text to rank highly in image search.

Quality Images

Well-optimised images don’t have to sacrifice quality. Maintain resolution and use compression wisely. Crisp, clear visuals that engage visitors and complement your content should be the goal. This improves SEO and UX.

Rich Results

Adding markup lets Google understand your images better. This can enable rich results in standard and image search, like carousels, sliders and more detailed image packs. Optimise images for rich results.

In summary, images have become a vital aspect of SEO. With visual searches on the rise, optimising your images for the web, speed and engagement is key for rankings. Use the proper file formats, descriptive names and alt text, schema markup and CDNs to display fast, relevant images that improve user experience. When done right, images can take your SEO to the next level in 2023 and beyond.



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