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10 image SEO tips to create a website that users will love

Run a test on your image-heavy page with WebCEO’s Speed ‚Äč‚ÄčOptimization tool to see how well you’re doing.

Image from WebCEO, November 2022

Pay special attention to the Cumulative Layout Shift metric, because it is another Google ranking factor and is also affected by images. If you want to lower your CLS, look for ‘Avoid large layout shifts point in Optimization opportunities.

4. Make Your Images Responsive

Let’s go into a little more depth about image dimensions.

Ideally (and realistically), you want your images to look good on all kinds of devices. But screens come in all sizes, with PCs and phones being the most obvious choices.

So, how do you effectively display the same image everywhere?

The trick is to manipulate your image. That is, automatically scale to fit any screen.

How To Make Images Responsive

WordPress automatically responds to images, but if you need to do it manually, here are a few options:

5. Optimize Image Names, Alt Text & More With Keywords

“Keyword” is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear “SEO.” Or maybe it’s just me?

There is a whole list of ways that keywords can make your images more SEO-friendly.

You just have to know what to use.

How To Make Images More SEO-Friendly

Try adding targeted information to these five areas to improve your SEO game:

Then check your website in WebCEO’s On-Site Issues Overview for any missing ALT text.

Image from WebCEO, November 2022

6. Geotag Your Images For Local SEO Benefits

A local SEO guide for all the stores out there. Adding geographic metadata to your images gives search engines more information to work with.

If there are coordinates attached to a picture of a place, the search engine can find out exactly where that place is. And if there is a user who is interested in that particular site, that image might match their search query.

How To Geotag Your Photos

Modern cell phones and cameras often have a fingerprint sensor. If you don’t have one, you may want to use software or the internet for this task. For example, GeoImgr is free and user-friendly.

7. Create An Image Sitemap

Sitemaps offer the fastest way to help search engines find your site pages. But a different map just for your photos?

It may seem overwhelming at first, but Google actually recommends it. Here’s a quote from Google’s blog:

Image maps can contain URLs from third parties, unlike regular maps, which enforce horizontal restrictions.

So you don’t even need to transfer a picture to your own section, and it will still work for you. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

How To Create An Image Sitemap

However, there is a catch: websites tend to have a lot of images.

Creating a map yourself is a useful option (with Google providing an example), but entering hundreds or thousands of image URL and hand forever. And, unfortunately, there are very few free automation services that do it for you.

Yes, you can just write a script for finding URL images and put them in a map – if you are an IT god. For the weak, we can recommend Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider, which comes with an XML Sitemap Generator. Its free version can create geomaps for up to 500 URLs.

Image from ScreamingFrog.co.uk, November 2022

8. Use Image Caching To Speed Up Your Site

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. Learn a browser that saves images and it will keep them for as long as needed.

Ok, you don’t need to teach searchers anything, but you get the idea.

Once an image is stored in the cache, the browser will retrieve it from there instead of reloading it the next time you visit the website. A real time saver.

How To Set Up Image Caching & Speed Up Your Site

Open your website’s .htaccess file and set your images to expire. Here’s an example:

Expiration times can be shorter than a year. Feel free to set yourself up depending on how often you update your photos.

9. Mark Up Images With Structured Data To Help Google Understand Your Content

Structural data tells search engines what is on a page.

All websites can benefit from it, but it is a real godsend for e-commerce sites in particular. It’s not just regular searches that can be rich snippets; Image search results also get additional enhancements!

Image from Google.com, November 2022

See that little tag that says Products and words In stock? You bet the user is one click away from visiting that site.

Google Images supports product types and sizes. Good use.

How To Mark Up Your Images With Schema

To create structured data markup for your pages, consider using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool. It’s free, but requires a Google Search Console account associated with your domain.

Image from Structured Data Markup Helper, November 2022

Markup Helper can search and validate your code. If you want something else, there is also Rich Tester (another free tool).

Easier than you’d expect, right? The only downside is that it won’t happen quickly; maybe up to three weeks.

10. Make Your Images Shareable

Get additional media coverage from social media. There can’t be too many of those.

The more shares your pages have, the more relevant and relevant they appear to search engines.

How To Make Your Images Shareable On Social Media

First things first: users are more likely to share a unique image. If you put an honest effort into making your own photos, that’s a good start.

Generally, enabling the option to share your photos doesn’t require a lot of hard work. WordPress already shares hero images. Just copy and paste the URL of the page when creating your ad.

Image from Facebook.com, November 2022

WordPress does this trick by inserting OpenGraph tags into the pages’ metadata. Here’s an example:

The secret lies in – you guessed it – those properties = “og” stuff. If your site doesn’t generate it automatically, you may want to enter your pages’ metadata yourself.

However, it is easier to install an attachment like Share This Image. Users can then share images of your website on social media with just a few clicks.

Wrapping Up

Google is experimenting with AI and developing new types of search, but images are not going anywhere. If anything, image search should be more advanced in the near future, which means there will be new image SEO techniques.

But the existing foundation does not seem to change much. Organized now, and with high standards, your website will be ready for the big storm in the SEO picture.

The opinions expressed in this article are personal.