In this article, we will teach image SEO to know what points we should consider in our site’s images so that our site’s photos will also get a better ranking in Google image search. Images are one of the most important elements of every page on the site, the absence of which makes the page dull.
Images next to the content make the user read and understand the text better. But this is not the topic of this article.
Some sites, such as sites for downloading or selling photos, galleries, etc., need to be seen in the image search section. So they must follow these tips that we say in this image optimization and SEO tutorial. But some sites do not need to be seen in the image search section, but it is still good that we follow the tips to attract more input in addition to being standard and helping the SEO of the same content.
What exactly do seo images mean?
The meaning of image SEO is that the images of our site can be seen more in the image search tab in Google. For this purpose, we must follow some points in choosing the image, uploading it, and inserting it in the content, so that the images on our site can be seen better. Now, in the continuation of this article, we have mentioned these tips in detail so that by following them, you will be seen more in the image search and increase the input of your site from Google.
Photo SEO training in Google
SEO of images before uploading: choosing the right photo to insert on the site
Choosing the right photo is one of the most important and basic steps for image SEO. Both the photos should be relevant, and as much as you can have your original photo. In this section, I will discuss the points related to this issue.
Always use images in your content
Images help users better understand the content of your article and page. But this proverb is not true about Google and we must have text for Google (although day by day, Google is getting closer to understanding the content of images). But you can convey your content concept to the user faster and more easily by using images, graphics, charts, etc.
So use images for all your content. Google continues to improve its image search. Some time ago, it made many changes in its image search section. Years ago, it also added filters for better image searching.
Choose a photo related to the content
The photo included in your content should be related to the topic of the content. Don’t use the Yoast plugin to turn the light green! Try to insert the photo you choose around the content related to the image. If you are writing an article about animals, in one section of your content, you talk about panda bears, put a photo of the bear next to that paragraph or that section of content. In addition to the user establishing an easier connection with the text, Google also understands what the image is related to through the texts around the image.
Also, having original images that you have prepared yourself will rank easier. Using copy images does not help optimize your site’s image ranking. Google gives credit to the creator of that image and the person who first published it and shows his site more.
So having relevant text around the image will help rank that image, and using copy images will not help you.
Know the right photo download sources
If you can’t produce original images, it’s better not to use Google to find images. Some sites like Unsplash, freepik, pixabay, etc, have great images, and many are free. The images of these sites are less visible on Google. Of course, if someone else like you puts the image on their site, it will naturally be seen through that site. So if you can’t produce an image, at least use these sites to put a less-used image on your site. Again, nothing replaces your original image.
If you also have an online store, it is better to photograph and publish the products yourself rather than taking pictures from other stores.
SEO of images when uploading: image optimization for SEO
Now that you have chosen the image you want to include in the content, there are some points that you must keep in mind so that they have more chances to be seen in Google image searches.
Write the file name correctly
Image SEO starts with the image file name. Google should be able to figure out what the photo is related to just by looking at the photo’s file name. Therefore, the photo’s name must be related to the image’s content. Using the content keyword in the photo file also helps.
By choosing the right photo name, we mean the photo you upload should not have names like DSC8545.jpg! For example, if you want to insert a photo of the sunrise, the photo’s name should be sunrise.jpg. As much as the words used at the beginning of the photo name are the same as the photo’s subject and content, you have a better chance.
Choose the appropriate format
In general, you can’t just use a specific format. Each format has its own application. For this reason, here we have written a general guide for choosing a photo format:
The popular JPG format is currently the most used on the web. With this format, you can have both your quality and the right size for your images, and the color of the image will be very suitable and high quality.
If you want to have an image that does not have a background (transparent), you should use the PNG format.
If you want to have images with higher quality and smaller sizes, you can use WebP format.
You can use SVG format for icons and logos. This way, you can resize the image without losing quality.
An important tip: if your audience is using a certain device or browser more, make sure your chosen image format is displayed without problems on that device or browser. To see the browser and device of your website users, you should visit Google Analytics.
Appropriate size and dimensions for images
One of the most important things in SEO is site speed, and images are one of the reasons for increasing site loading speed. The lower the speed of your site, the more the user will enjoy the site and the more Google will value your site.
Now, one of the most common mistakes in websites is the use of large images on the site. For example, they want to insert a banner in their sidebar, the size of which is about 300 x 300 pixels, but the image they put is 2000 x 2000 pixels! It is true that its size is controlled with CSS, but it does not affect the size of the image, and the user must consume more kilobytes to load the image.
So if we want to display a photo in size 300 x 300, we set the photo itself in the same size and dimensions. If you see that the quality of the image is a bit poor at the same size, you can consider the dimensions to be slightly larger. In this example, we can consider the dimensions of 400×400 in order to show better quality and not place a large and bulky image.
To identify this model of images, you can get help from gtmetrix.com.
Use responsive images
If you use WordPress, this important SEO issue is solved! It is better if the images have srcset tag so that it is possible to display the images based on the size of the user’s screen. This feature has been added to WordPress since WordPress 4.4.
Reduce file size
In addition to the size of the photo, the size of the file itself must be the minimum. If you work with Photoshop, export the website images through Save for Web so that the photo file has the smallest size. If you don’t use Photoshop, you can use various online and offline tools, such as imagecompressor.com, to reduce the size of your images.
In WordPress, there is also the WP Smush plugin for this. By installing this plugin, you can reduce the size of all the photos on your site with one click. You can even set it to resize every photo you upload from now on automatically. There is also an Imsanity plugin for this. This plugin can even reduce the dimensions of uploaded images. For example, you specify that no photo above 1000 pixels should be uploaded on the site. If a photo exceeds these dimensions, it will shrink by itself.
SEO of images after upload: Information related to images for better SEO
We said that Google still can’t accurately understand what search to display the image to the user just by looking at the photo file. That’s why we have to help Google here. We can describe the image using text. There are different methods that we want to address below.
Using captions is good for image SEO
On some sites, you have seen that under the photo, a short text related to the photo is written, which explains very briefly about the photo. Users pay more attention to texts that are more visible. Captions are like post titles; they are seen well, and the user can relate to your content better. Also, Google realizes that the text is related to the image and understands the subject of the photo better.
Texts around images are important for image SEO
As I said in the previous title, the text around the image is very important. The image and the text surrounding the video are important for video SEO. Before or after inserting the photo, try to use words related to the image and describe it. Using the content keyword in the paragraphs before and after the image is even better. The title of that part of the article that is marked with heading tags can also be effective.
Alt tag and Title tag are effective in image SEO
In the image tag that is <img>, there is an attribute called alt. Basically the purpose of this alt is to display this text instead of describing the image if the image fails to load for some reason. This tag is very important in image SEO, and it is better to fill this tag for all your images and describe the photo in a few words. Using keywords in this tag also helps SEO.
The more relevant the alt description and the more detailed the description of the photo, the better. So that both the user can understand and the search engines can understand that image. In general, the more texts related to the images around the photo, the better the photo is recognized.
In addition to the alt tag, we also have the title tag. It has probably happened to you that you moved your mouse over the image on a site, and a short text was displayed in a tooltip. This text is basically the same text that is written in the title tag. Some browsers display this tooltip.
Use schema and Structure Date
With the help of schema, you can make page elements more tangible for search engines. In some schemas, we also have the image field, if you set the schema correctly, this image will be seen in the results. For example, if you search for an article on Google with a mobile phone, you may see the index image of the article. Or, for example, you have searched for a recipe and you see a picture of the food.
Although Google has said that simply having a schema does not help SEO, but we must implement these standards so that Google likes our site.
Have Twitter and OpenGraph cards
If your site is designed and configured correctly, there are social network tags in your site’s <head> section. One of them is related to the image. These tags help that, for example, if you want to share a post on Twitter, Facebook, etc., the index image of that post will also be displayed on that social network.
If you use WordPress SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO or Rank Math, these tags will be included for your site.
Optimizing images in SEO
The sitemap for images (XML image sitemap)
If you are a photo-oriented site (graphic sites, photography, etc.), maybe your visibility in image search is more important than being visible in Google web search. You can also create an XML sitemap for your site’s images and register it in Google’s search console to index your images better and faster. Especially if your images are original and not copies, the chances of your images being seen will increase.
If the visibility of your site’s images is not very important, you don’t need to use a sitemap for images.
As you read, image SEO is a set of factors that are done to increase the chances of images being seen in Google image search. Suppose we want to tell the most important points of this article quickly and the SEO of photos in Google; first of all, your images must be original. In that case, the file name must be written correctly, the dimensions and size of the image should be appropriate, describe the image with the help of the alt tag of the images. Pay attention to the text around the image element and write content related to the photo and keyword using standard codes and schema.
Always try to follow these things to optimize your website images for SEO. If you haven’t done it yet, you can start with important posts and pages of your site. Also, if you use WordPress, there are plugins to do some of these things automatically. And, of course, now that you know these tips, do it on your site to see your site’s images in Google Image Search. Always consider the user, and don’t just optimize your site for Google!
Finally, we have some special offers for you. You can download the SEO training book for free from the site. We have also prepared an SEO site checklist that will help you optimize your site’s SEO. Also, if your goal is to learn SEO completely, we recommend the SEO training course.
We hope this article has been useful for you and you have learned good tips for optimizing and SEO your website images in Google. If you have any questions or comments, I await you in this article’s comments section.