Since SEO revolves around many different parts, it’s easy for businesses to overlook some of the smaller tasks that can boost on-page SEO. With so much competition online, it can make a significant difference to make your website stand out from the sea of others by optimising your images to improve your competitiveness in the search engines.
Why Images Matter to SEO
While most people practising SEO understand the importance of text and keywords, many don’t realise that images are also important, especially when it comes to user experience or UX. Studies have shown that people are far more likely to read content that includes an image, and remember that content afterward as well. When visitors land on your page, images help improve their experience, which really counts positively toward your SEO. When visitors are enjoying your page, they’re more likely to have a look around to increase the chance they’ll buy your product or service.
Many people today will use Google images when looking for information about something online. If a searcher notices an eye-catching photo that stands out from the others in a Google images search result, he/she is more likely to click through to that photo’s website to get the information he/she needs. This is why you need to use good quality images on your site because images can definitely increase your traffic, to drive sales. Here are two easy things you can do to optimise your images so they resonate with your visitors to improve your SEO.
Use Images That are Unique and Relevant
Visitors are more likely to react to an image on your page before they even start to read your content as humans naturally focus on images. When someone lands on your page and sees a great image that is relevant to your content, they’re going to have a good impression of that page right away. Remember that the perceived value of your text and/or the products or services you sell is directly impacted by the quality of your images.
It’s always best to use your own images whenever possible when it comes to SEO because they tend to do better at increasing views, clicks, and conversions. However, that’s not always an option as you may not have the right photography equipment or images of your own that pertain to the text on your page. If this is the case, you need to find a relevant image that appeals to your page visitors and connects with them. Instead of grabbing the first stock photo you find, spend some time digging deeper into free stock photo sites to find one that isn’t used all that often.
Use the Best Possible Format
Google and your visitors prefer high resolution images that are formatted properly. So what’s the best possible image format? Here are the most commonly used image formats along with some info on each to help you choose the right file formats for your images:
- JPG: The JPG format is usually best for ecommerce websites because it’s the smallest file size with very good quality. This very common image format is used on websites that feature full colour photographs because it does great with complex colours and shading.
- GIF: Use GIF for thumbnails and never for large images of your products because there’s no way to effectively reduce GIF sizes. This fast loading format is usually the best choice for images that feature solid colour, text, and simple shapes.
- PNG: The PNG format works great for images with sharp contrast like where there are lines or text in the images, as well as for images with large areas of solid colour. PNG is also ideal for images that need to be edited over and over again because this format won’t affect image quality when repeatedly editing and saving a file.
Image optimisation is an important task to do when you want to give your website the extra spark it needs to outrank the competition. At the very least, take these two basic steps to ensure your images are optimised both for Google and your site visitors.