Website SEO optimizing is the headache of many webmasters. People use various methods to get a good ranking place in search engines, such as using SEO plugins, applying SEO friendly themes, and so on so forth. However, have you ever thought that images also have influences on SEO?
Now, images are indispensable components of web pages, which are used to enrich website content, beautify website design, as well as attract visitors’ attention. Usually, people just put related and elegant pictures on their website while they ignore to optimize those pictures to be SEO friendly. Based on yearly experiences in this field, our editors assure you that images do have great influences on SEO. In the following, we are going to give you some advice about how to create SEO friendly images in WordPress websites.
A Brief Overview of Image Types
Anyone who has ever covered any mapping software like Fireworks and Photoshop can notice that there is a bewildering array of image types. Generally the website images can be sorted into two broad categories, including:
- Vector Images – that consist of geometrical primitives, such as curves, points, shapes and lines. The vector graphics may be a perfect option for logos and backgrounds as they support small file size without loss of detail or distortion.
- Raster Images – that include points of color or rectangular grid of pixels. They are composed of three main file types – JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs. A raster is usually characterized by the image width and height in pixels and cannot be magnified at random.
Add Alt Text to Images
Have you ever thought about how can search engines know the content of an image when robots crawl on your website? If they can’t get the information, accordingly, you’ll get fewer chances to get better ranking position in search engines. Thus, in order to create SEO friendly images, you need to inform search engines what the photo talks about. The process is quite simple and several codes can finish the job perfectly.
For example, you add a picture of a beautiful house to your website, then, just add alt=”beautiful house” to your image tag. Here is our example:
<img src="beautiful-house" alt=" beautiful house" />
Use Relative File Name
Apart from adding alt text to help search engines index website images, file name is another way to achieve the goal. After downloading or making a picture successfully, rename it according to the content. Besides, it would be better if you can keep consistency between file name and alt text.
Pay Attention to File Size
You may be confused about how can file size affect SEO for they are totally irrelevant terms. Definitely, file size doesn’t influence SEO directly, but it has a close relationship with page loading speed that matters a lot to website ranking place in search engines. If you use numerous images with big size and high definition, they bound to consume many server resources, which can slow down your website.
When it comes to image resize, here goes 2 situations.
Resize Images before Uploading Them to Website
You can resize images before uploading them to your website with downloaded software and online tools, which are free in most cases. Personally, I prefer to use Photoshop and Picture Resize Starter. Both are very easy-to-handle and rich-featured. They can not only help users adjust the sizes of images, but also add many stunning effects to source photos, such as adding characters, adding background, rotating pictures, and so on so forth.
For some readers in favor of using online tools instead of downloading overmuch software on the computer, we would like to brief you on a step-by-step guide on how to resize images with PicResize. That is an online image customization tool designed for resizing, shrinking and cropping pictures as needed. You can edit single picture or resize bulk photos as you like.
Access to picresize.com and get started to edit an image step by step. Select a proper image source from the drop-down list, which enables two options for you, including “From URL” and “From Computer”. The pitch on in the following guide is “From Computer”.
And then, click “Browse” to select a picture from your computer. Click “Continue” to edit this image. It takes a few seconds to turn to the edit page.
There are four steps available for you to customize this image. The first one is “Crop and Rotate Your Picture”. If you wish to crop a certain part of this picture, you are required to click & drag on it to make a selection. Click “Crop Selection” to confirm the selection. Note that, the “Revert to Original” function is used to undo the crop selection. Besides, you can rotate this picture by means of the Rotate Menu which enables four options for you.
Move to the second step “Resize Your Picture”. You can resize the picture 25%, 50% or 75% smaller than before, or even customize the size according to personal needs.
The “Choose Special Effect” mode enables more than 10 effects, which makes your picture more special and eye-catching.
The last step is “Save” picture as a proper image format. Select the most suitable one from four options, including PNG, JPG, GIF and BMP, and then click “I’m Done, Resize My Picture!” to get the ball rolling.
In addition to PicResize, there are many other powerful image resizers available for image optimization, such as JPEGMini, ImageOptim, Image Optimizer, and so on.
Resize Images after Uploading Them to Website
If you prefer resizing images after loading them to the website or you want to make some changes to loaded photos, the following methods are preparing for you. Broadly speaking, there are two commonly used ways to change image sizes in WordPress: adding codes and using plugins. The two methods have their merits and demerits – codes are troublesome but take little server resources while plugins are convenient but resource-consuming. Here, we’d like to show the plugin method.
Whenever you want to embed a picture into your page or post, you need to add a line of code to where you want the image to display. For example, you intent to add a center aligned image in your post, you need to use the following codes at first:
<img src="image url" alt="Picture" />
Then, just add the following codes at the end of your original codes and set the width and height as you like. For example:
<img src="image url" alt="Picture" style="float:right; margin-left:8px; width:120px; height:120px;" />
Add Caption to Each Image
Since alt text is used to show search engines a brief introduction about your image, the image option is a great method to deliver picture information to your visitors. The caption should be concise and to the point as well as help visitor have a rough idea of this image at the first glance. It’s not difficult to add an image caption in WordPress and that is easy to handle even for beginners.
Take the following image as an example, the text said “A monkey is drinking coca-cola to relieve summer heat” is the caption of this image.
Use WordPress Plugins
The solutions listed above are all manual ones that may consume extra time and energy. If you run a big website with many little things, then, you’d better utilize a plugin to make all images SEO friendly with several clicks. In below, our editors select several easy-to-use WordPress plugins to help webmasters optimize images easily and quickly.
SEO Friendly Images
The plugin adds title and alt attributes to all website images automatically and you just need to click the mouse for several times. Alt attributes cater to search engines while titles tell visitors the content about a picture. Compared with adding those attributes manually, the plugin helps to save a lot of time. Besides, the practice also makes posts W3C or xHTML available.
WordPress SEO for Image
WordPress SEO for Image is an advanced plugin to optimize image SEO by automatically changing title tags and alt tags of images, using more meaningful and relative alt tags, as well as helping to manage alt tags of all images. Besides, the plugin is quite easy to be installed and its setting page is intuitive and simple.
Google XML Sitemap for Images
You may have already added a WordPress sitemap to boost website SEO by helping search engines to index your website content. However, you may ignore that WordPress also offers Google XML Sitemap for Images that finds a way to tell search engines about images, videos, and other contents on your site that they may ignore.
Bulk Resize Media
The plugin adjusts large images automatically, which keeps the image size as large as possible and removes the original image for website speed concern. Besides, it allows users to configure maximum height, width, as well as jpg quality. Apart from optimizing photos, Bulk Resize also helps to resize all attachments as you wish.
WP Resized Image Quality
To tell the truth, WP Resized Image Quality is one of the best image resizer in the industry, for rich features and simple interface. The plugin helps to compress uploaded thumbnails and images. It gives users options to set image quality, which ensure pictures to look proper and beautiful.
Resize Images after Upload
Resize Image after Upload is created for changing uploaded images within preset width and height. After a picture is resized successfully, the plugin will destroy the original one automatically to save resources. The plugin utilizes standard PHP resizing functions that are extremely simple and easy-to-handle.
Set Image Optimization on Your Schedule
Since you have mastered the essences of image optimization, you need to carry out the earlier mentioned practices into a documented and repeatable process. To wrap it up, just follow the listed five-step sequence to increase both page loads and SEO rankings.
- Crop and resize the image accordingly so as to minimize file size and maximum visual impact. Be sure to use the right file format for the job.
- Create a keyword-rich and SEO-relevant name for your uploaded image.
- Add easy-to-understand “Alt Text” to each image, using the HTML “alt” tag or image “alt” attribute.
- Give a concise title for all images, using the image’s HTML “title” tag.
- Do not use the same name, alt tag and HTML title for images. And use cool WordPress plugins or third-party tools to protect and optimize the website images.