Optimizing Blog Images to Improve SEO

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posted on: January 9, 2017

Bloggers spend a lot of time creating beautiful images for their websites, but they often miss out on optimizing these images for their sites. It is one of the most common and frequent mistakes I see. When adding images to your WordPress blog, there are five things you should do to maximize their SEO.

1. Reduce the file size of your images.

For most blogs, the max width of the most is around 600-1000px wide. There are some exceptions, and if you were an exception, you probably had your site built custom by a designer, and they would have told you what to do. Images should be saved down to less than 1MB. If you have more than five pictures per post, I would suggest trying to get your images down to less than 500KB. Image size impacts your load time. If it is slow on a desktop, you can be your money it will be slow on a cell phone.

If you are unsure of how you can save your images down for the web, here are a few good tutorials: Photoshop, Lightroom (my favorite), and Picasa.

2. Name Your Images Descriptively and in Plain English

Most people will upload images using the generic name their camera gave them, such as IMG-1202.jpg, but this naming is doing nothing for you. Descriptive and keyword-rich file names are essential for image optimization. Remember, Google doesn’t read the actual images, it reads the text associated with the graphics. Search engines crawl the text on your web page, including the keywords within your image files.

It’s easy to blast through hundreds of product shots and keep the default file name your camera gives them. But before you continue that habit, let’s discuss why that’s not a good idea.

When it comes to SEO, it’s important to use acceptable keywords to help your web page rank on search engines. Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is crucial for image optimization. Search engines not only crawl the text on your web page, but they also search for keywords within your image file names.

3. Add Title Tags to Your Images

At this point, you might be feeling pretty good about yourself because you regularly do both things listed above. I’d say 75% people do. These next three, about 75% of people don’t do. When you hover over your image in WordPress, the Image title will appear. Image Title Tag is not shown to the user when an image cannot be displayed. Instead, it is presented in a popup when the user hovers over the image. You can be that Google reads this when it scans your site!

4. Add Alt Titles and Descriptions to each Image

Alt Text (Alt Titles and Descriptions) is an attribute added to a picture. When an image cannot be displayed, Alt Text appears inside the image container. It also helps search engines understand what the image is about.  Alt Descriptions can be displayed on the attachment page for your image. You can enter as much information as you want in the description field. Like the story behind a photograph, how you took the picture or anything else that you want to share can go here. You can even add links in the description field. Honestly, I only add a few keywords.

5. Select “LINK To None.”

Ever find a Pinterest pin that doesn’t link back to the post, but to the actual image? You don’t want that to happen to you, and you want people to stay on your site. To do this, make sure you select LINK TO NONE when you upload your images

The number one mistake bloggers make when trying to optimize their blog images is KEYWORD STUFF.

Using the same phrase or word over and over again. There’s power in diversity, and be purposeful with your selection. Google hates repetition.

Think logically about phrases people search for. What do you search for? 

Have you been blogging for a while? Realize that you have hundreds of images that could be optimized…here’s the plan of attack I recommend to clients.

  1. Look at your Google Analytics. What are your popular posts? Fix those first.
  2. Support Pages – About, Contact, Press – make sure those pages are optimized.
  3. Go through your most recent posts, and fix each post individually. Maybe make a goal to edit 5-10 posts a day. It is something you can do with the tv on in the background.
  4. Moving forward, make sure that each post has optimized images. You never want to have to go back.
  5. If it is something you probably don’t want people to find, don’t worry about optimizing it. Don’t delete it. Deleting past posts is a recipe for disaster.

If you didn’t see my 5 Ways to Optimize Your Website’s SEO Post, you could definitely do a little bit of both when you are editing your content.

You might also like SEO-Friendly WordPress Themes for Bloggers and How to Conduct a Social Media Audit.

Want more SEO tips? Check out these posts!

Editor's Note

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