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5 Best Practices for Optimizing Images for SEO

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of incorporating high quality images into your content, whether you’re writing a blog post or sharing an update on social media.
Here’s a few powerful stats about visual content:

Images can help to spark a conversation about your brand. And it’s no secret that the more your brand is talked about online, the better your content will be ranked by search engines.

Getting images to work for your SEO strategy is not as straightforward as it sounds, however. To help you master this, here are 5 best practices for optimizing images for SEO:

1. Give your images descriptive names.
While it’s easy enough to use the default name that your camera assigns to your images, take one extra step and rename your images with descriptive and in plain English. When coming up with image names, think about how your customers search for products on your website. Your website analytics can prove to be a powerful resource to see phrasing patterns that your customers use to perform searches.

2. Optimize your alt tags.
You can think of alt tags as a descriptive text alternative for your images when they can’t be properly rendered by browsers. When you run your mouse over an image, the alt text is what you’ll see. As a best practice, make sure that you complete the alt tags for every image on your website, using descriptive keywords. It should be noted, however, that alt tags are not the place for keyword stuffing. Instead, they should offer a relevant description of the image in plain English.

3. Reduce the file sizes of images.
We’ve talked about how slow load speed is one of the fastest ways to turn your website visitors off, and images can be big contributors of this. To prevent this, reduce the file size of your images when possible while still making quality a priority. A good rule of thumb for an e-commerce website is to keep images below 70kb.

4. Use the optimal image size for social media posts.
Using the optimal image size can make a big impact in grabbing your audience’s attention, ultimately boosting SEO. Here is a rundown of the optimal image sizes to use in your social media posts:

  • Facebook: 1280 x 628
  • Twitter: 1024 x 512
  • LinkedIn: 700 x 400
  • Google+: 800 x 1200
  • Pinterest: 735 x 1102
  • Instagram: 1080 x 1080

5. Know when to use each image file type.
The three types of image files that you’ll most likely encounter are JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs. In most e-commerce situations, JPEGs will be your go-to image file type. GIFs are lower quality than JPEGs and should be reserved for simple images such as icons. PNGs are becoming more popular as they support many colors and don’t degrade over time when saved like JPEGs do; however, they typically have a larger file size.

If you want to step up your SEO game, be sure to embrace these 5 best practices for optimizing your images. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

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