With over 50%1 of web traffic originating from mobile devices and 50%2 of marketers agreeing that visual content is essential to their marketing strategy, and the emergence of visual search tools like Google Lens and “Search By Image,” optimizing images is paramount for enhancing user experience and boosting SEO performance. Images are no longer static; they wield authority, impacting search rankings and delivering a seamless mobile experience.
For your images to rank, we’ve put together a quick checklist and guide for you to follow to optimize your images for visibility on search.
To start, optimizing your images is not isolated process and you’ve got to focus on the pillars of SEO:
- Crawling and Indexing: Ensure that your images are crawlable and indexable, giving them priority in search results.
- Page Experience: Offer a good user experience with images optimized for different devices and fast load times.
- Schema and Clickability: Implement the right image schema or structured data to demonstrate relevance to your site.
- Content and Relevancy: Optimize your website’s content and keywords for better image search performance.
- Local and Authority: Boost domain authority and signal link authority by using images consistently across various channels.
Now that you got your focus points in terms of Image SEO, let’s get into the step-by-step process of optimizing your images for search visibility:
Prior to Upload:
- Descriptive Filenames: Opt for concise, image-descriptive filenames (within 50 characters), avoiding special characters or underscores.
- Optimal Image Format: Choose WebP or AVIF formats, endorsed by Google for faster loading while maintaining quality.
- High-Quality Images: Engage users with sharp, high-quality visuals that enhance the overall experience.
- Originality Matters: Whenever feasible, opt for original images to reinforce your brand identity.
- Safety First: Adhere to Google’s content guidelines to ensure your images are suitable for all audiences.
- Device-Optimized Images: Ensure responsive images or device-specific sizes for ideal display.
- Alt Text Precision: Craft relevant, descriptive alt text aligning with your page’s content.
- Strategic Placement: Position images close to related text to convey your message effectively.
- Structured Data: Enhance visuals with structured data, possibly unlocking rich results.
- Lazy Loading: Enhance page loading by loading images as users scroll into view.
Now that you’ve optimized your images, let’s look into the technical SEO aspects that you shouldn’t ignore:
- Logical URL Structure: Organize image URLs logically for enhanced search engine comprehension.
- Image Sitemap Submission: Submit image sitemaps to Google for streamlined indexing and reduced crawling efforts.
- No to Stock Image Indexing: Exclude stock images from indexing to prioritize crawl budget for your unique content.
Local Listings Emphasis: Elevate local listings with premium images to boost your online presence and visibility in local searches.
Now that you know how to optimize your images, we’ll get to the next challenge. How will your enterprise and multi-location business ensure complete image governance, have a single point of truth, and publish to all web pages and channels with ease? And additionally, are you treating your images as an entity – this means there shouldn’t be duplicate images across your web pages and channels.
To solve this, we introduce to you Milestone Digital Asset Manager (DAM). Milestone DAM brings together 3 aspects – centralization, optimization, and search discoverability to solve the common challenges faced by multi-location and enterprise businesses when it comes to image management and search visibility.
- Centralized Asset Management: Milestone Digital Asset Manager is a centralized system integrated with smart optimization and SEO capabilities, streamlining access across Milestone products while preserving original assets.
- File Type Versatility: Supporting various file types, including images, content files, font files, and styling files, it offers flexible storage and organization options.
- Access Control: Businesses gain control with business-level access, product-level access, and role-based access, ensuring asset integrity.
- Comprehensive Optimization: It optimizes assets with file optimization, rendering optimization, and caching for improved user experience and SEO results.
- SEO-First Features: Advanced features like Image Quality Score, Entity Auto-tagging via Google Vision API, and image meta details auto-generation to enhance image selection and SEO.
- Scalable Architecture: Milestone Digital Asset Manager operates on Azure cloud, providing scalability both horizontally and vertically.
Image SEO is a powerful tool to boost your online visibility and drive more traffic to your website. By following the steps and principles outlined in this guide, you can optimize your images effectively and reap the rewards of improved search engine rankings and user engagement.