A Quick Guide to Image Optimization 

When it comes to websites, SEO should always be at the forefront of your strategy, and that includes optimizing your images. Image optimization is just one more thing that makes search engines like Google happy, so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Here’s a quick guide on how to optimize your images and why it’s important. 

Image size 

One of the first thing that tends to come to mind when discussing image optimization is reducing the file size or resizing the image. If the file sizes of your pictures are huge, they slow down the loading speed, resulting in a negative visitor experience. Customers want pages that will load quickly and provide the information they need, so when your pages are taking too long to load, they’re likely going to go to a competitor instead. We recommend keeping images on your site to below 500KB, as long as the quality of the image isn’t compromised.  

Image alt text 

When adding an image to your website, you’ll have the opportunity to add alt text. This is a description of the photo that tells visually impaired readers what the image is, but it also plays a part in how Google crawls and ranks your website. It can be easy to slip into bad alt text practices, like adding too many keywords in an attempt to have Google rank your site higher. Search engines have a much easier time understanding how the alt text relates to the rest of the website when it’s in a sentence format and has clear context. This helpful HubSpot article outlines the right and wrong ways to add alt text.  

Remove EXIF data 

If you’re using stock photography, you’ll want to remove the EXIF data. EXIF data on an image includes the date and time the photo was taken, the camera model, copyright, geolocation, and more. Since you want search engines to understand what your photo is, you can replace this data with information that is relevant to your business, including a couple keywords and your location.  

This tool will remove the EXIF data for you. One important thing to note: if you’re uploading images that you took on a camera or phone, you don’t need to remove the EXIF data, as it is automatically added. That data is beneficial, whereas the information from a stock photo won’t be relevant to your business. In addition, with this tool, you can view the EXIF data of an image rather than remove it. Try uploading a photo you’ve taken and view the data to get a visual of EXIF data and what it entails.  

Geotagging 

Geotagging is becoming an essential part of attracting a local audience. When you geotag an image, you’re adding geographical coordinates, which helps search engines know where your business is located quickly and more efficiently. This strategy is great for customers in your area to find your business—for example, if someone searched “auto repair shop near me”, then Google can display your website or Google Business Profile in the search results based on your geotagged images. Simply upload your photo to this site, insert the latitude and longitude of your location or general area, and download the result.  

Incorporating geotagged images also increases your sites search rankings because it makes your site look more credible to Google. However, there is a fine line. If you start filling your site with geotagged images that aren’t beneficial to the website, Google catches on that quickly as well and you will get the opposite effect. 

 

When you leave your website design and development to the experts at That’s My Idea Marketing, we’ll make sure all of your images are optimized using strategies like these and more. We’ve been providing digital marketing services to businesses around the Twin Cities since 2003!