Optimizing Images for SEO
An aspect of SEO that's often overlooked in when optimizing a webpage is the optimization of the images. When search engines visit your website to index the information, their efforts aren't just limited to the textual content and links. Major search engines like Google and Yahoo have incorporated images as part of their regular search results.
Search engines added images as part of their strategy to deliver more relevant results to user. No longer do they just appear at the top of a results page. Images now appear along side news stories, or as part of the description for streaming videos.
SEO for Images - Not Just the ALT Tag
Optimizing the ALT tag attribute is nothing new; it's a basic rule of SEO when optimizing a page. Although the ALT tag remains essential, search engines give it less importance because of its history of keyword spamming.
There are other ways to have images contribute to your SEO efforts.
- Use an image caption.
Placing a small caption next to, or underneath, an image will clue
the search engines of what the image is about. A caption allows you
to be a little more descriptive than you can with the ALT tag.
- Use your robots.txt.
Make sure the folder that stores your images is not blocked by your
robots.txt file. Store pictures of your products in a folder accessible
to the search engine spider, but keep your header graphics and other
adornment-type images in a separate folder that is blocked.
- Lower the image weight.
The less "weight" an image has, the faster a webpage can load. Page
load times not only influence your search engine rankings, it can
affect your traffic. If visitors have to wait a while for your page
to load, they may instead decide to leave.
- Optimize image file names.
Naming your images appropriately makes it much easier for search engines
to find them on your site. Try naming an image using keywords that
link the image to the subject of the webpage. The key, however, is
not to overdo it - 3 to 4 keywords is enough. Use dashes instead of
underscores between the keywords.
Image SEO and Keyword Prominence
Many webmasters don't realize that images can factor in keyword prominence (how early and often a keyword appears). Images can be used to remove irrelevant text from your optimized textual content.
For more information on whether your website is optimized, follow the link below:
» Website Evaluation
In SEO, it's very important to have your targeted keywords as close to the top of the page as possible. If the your site begins with “Welcome to Our Site” for example, this greeting has no relevance to your target keyword. Instead, it pushes the target keyword further down the page.
Because search engine spiders cannot “see” images like a human being, converting this phrase into an image keeps your target keyword, in a textual form, close to the top of the page. This strategy can also be used if you want to have your target keyword appear more often on the page without over-optimizing the page content.
Having excellent images are essential for any website. They can make an ordinary website appear more professional. But optimizing your website images for SEO can give you a slight edge over your competition. It can make your website more SEO-friendly and raise your its profile in the search engines.
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