Optimise images for the search engine: here's how!

by Guidebook

In the fight for the top positions in search results, a lot of work is invested in search engine optimisation of texts. That is by no means wrong. But don't forget the images - because SEO is worthwhile here, too.

Our last post was about the high value that pictorial representations can bring to your online presence. have. They illustrate complex information, break up monotonous blocks of text and arouse the curiosity of today's impatient user. Now we will look at how to make images and graphics attractive to the search engine.

Why?

Because Google loves images at least as much as your users do. They offer added value to readers and thus improve the ranking of websites. But search engines cannot find the images seebut identify and categorise them primarily with the help of the source code. In addition to image size and format, metadata is therefore a must for every image. SEO. In other words, you have to describe images.

Here are the 5 MUST DO's of image optimisation for search engines.

01

Small file size

Before you upload a stunning image, you should be sure to minimise the file size.Large files slow down the loading speed of websites enormously and thus worsen the ranking. Search engines (and users) attach great importance to speed.

A small rule of thumb: always compress images to less than 80 KB. For example, use a free image editing programme such as Gimp. Don't worry, the image quality after compression is still perfectly adequate for the vast majority of purposes.

Attention: File size is not equal to image size. The image size (pixels) can be somewhat larger. Users should not have to search for the image.

02

The correct file format

Select common file formats such as jpg or png, whereby jpg can be compressed more effectively.

03

Meaningful metadata

The important metadata of an image include file name, title and especially ALT tag. They appear in the HTML code of the web page and can be "read" by search engines. For this reason, they should be chosen wisely.

File name

Pictures are often uploaded to the net without adjusting the file name. The result is meaningless names like Bild01.jpg or 181214.jpg. This is a terrible waste of SEO potential, because the file name is the first instance of presenting the content of an image to Google.

 

It is therefore essential that you always use meaningful keywordswhich make clear what is to be seen in the picture. Ideally, these should be written in lower case and, in the case of several words, separated by hyphens. Please replace umlauts with oe, ue and ae. A suitable file name for our example picture below would be "weinbergschnecke.jpg" (if it really is a snail...).

Image title

After you have successfully uploaded an image to your website, you can specify further metadata in the backend. This includes an image title. Here it makes sense to simply take over the file name, but in normal notation - i.e. without hyphens.. This is visible to Google in the source code and to the user in part when they move the cursor over the image.

ALT tag

Most important - and yet often neglected - is the ALT tag. This is a Alternative text for an illustration, which only becomes visible when the image cannot be loaded. For example, due to a poor internet connection or a browser problem. In addition, screen readers of blind and visually impaired people use these alternative texts to display images. read aloud.

This is an SEO opportunity that you should take advantage of, because it helps Google to classify the image thematically and relate it to the context. Use a short descriptive sentence here or - if appropriate - other relevant keywords. (e.g. snail biodiversity in the forest)

04

Relevance & Uniqueness

Just as with text content, the magic word for images is relevance. Images are not inserted simply to look nice. They have to fit into the context.

Likewise: Homemade photos - if you have the opportunity - are always the best choice. Stock photos are logically used by many websites and accordingly offer no novelty value. Especially for small businesses and blogs, it is of course not always feasible to create an image for every topic yourself. In this case, stock photos are of course a good alternative. However, pay attention to the required image source,

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