Images are great for SEO!
Written by Lilit Asatryan
Recently I have talked about what makes a blog picture great in "Catchy Blog Picture matters" blog post. Today I would like to reveal some tips which I have learnt from my own experience when blogging with Joomla! Indeed, one of the important things in blog is the picture and if you care to optimize your blog image properly, it will surely boost your website's SEO! Here are some simple must-know tips for you to make the most out of the image you use to benefit your website's SEO.
Give your image a NAME!
Images also need and should be named, just like humans. Imagine if none of us had names, how difficult it would have been for others to call us, recognize us. Names are our inseparable parts which make us unique. So, name your images, thus identifying them. Having proper descriptive keywords for the image name helps your website PageRank. Care for your visitors who will be searching for images on your website - They certainly do not search for DCM1223579.jpg.
It is also important to make sure you have the decent metadata for the image. When adding an image in the article with an editor in Joomla!, fill in the proper information for the image, caption it!
Make sure you optimize the Alt tags
Google robots do not know what's on your picture until you let them know. How? Use Alt tags!
No wonder you searched for your products in Google Images and never saw them show up. This is one of the best SEO practices for optimizing your images. Add appropriate alt tags which are relevant to your image and make sure you do not exceed the wording over 15 words and more or put too many keywords. Google recently punished websites with keyword stuffing.
What are the Alt Tags? Go to any webpage with an image, view source code and look for image source. This is what you will find. And the second part with Alt is where you should fill in the information for Alt tags of your image.
For more detailed information on the importance of Alt Tags you are welcome to refer to this video talk by Matt Cutts.
Do not go over with the Image size
CAUTION: Large-size images on a webpage increase your website's load time!
If you want to give your users a nice chance to have an ultimate user experience and view larger images, make sure, you go through Photoshop with those pictures; use "Save for Web" option keeping the image quality and the possible lowest size at the same time. An alternative to this can be having properly-sized image and an option to view the image larger in the pop-up or in a new tab.
Also mind, Google uses page load time as a factor in their ranking algorithm.
JPEG, GIF or PNG? This is another story, to cut it short I would advise for PNG and then JPG for many reasons, but choose carefully depending on your needs and the features these three image types offer.
Use the images you are allowed to
The laws with images protected by copyright and many other things which you should know will take a whole lot of time and effort from you to examine, but you need to know.
Negative side effect? Yes, you cannot just search for some images in Google Images and use the one you like in your blog. If you did not create the image then it's not yours to use unless you have the permission. As from my own experience, I mostly use images which we create ourselves, very rarely do I purchase an image.
Where to get images if you cannot create and do not have money to spend on? There are some great free resources such as Creative Commons, Smart Photo Stock and also Flickr (in the latter make sure you search for images filtered by Creative Commons).
I would strongly advise you to go outside and take pictures yourself! You owe it, you have the right use it!
Optimizing your blog picture is an art that you want to master especially if you are frequently blogging. Attract visitors, cut off the loading time, and make them easily recognizable for Google and for those searching for it.