Photos and graphics have for a long time been considered as part of content at the periphery of SEO and online marketing. However, they are increasingly becoming essential for ranking algorithms which determine which websites get noticed and which ones are not in the digital marketplace. Techniques for optimising photos and graphics, known collectively as image SEO, are not always straightforward and it takes a good understanding of the underlying image technology to implement the strategies well. Here are five image SEO strategies that are driving digital marketing trends in 2019.
Go for Unique and Content-Relevant Images
Images are the most noticeable content on your website or blog. Visitors will either be captivated or rebuffed by the type of images they see when they visit your site. Search engine algorithms are also becoming increasingly attentive to the nature and quality of the images used. Therefore, it is imperative that you include images that are unique and relevant to the text on your website. When a user searches for a certain image, they will be redirected to the page from which the search engine retrieved the image. If the content on that landing page is relevant to the search query, you have a greater chance of making a conversion.
Use High-Quality and Scalable Images
Always load images with high-quality resolution onto your website. However, ensure that they are not unnecessarily large in terms of file size and bandwidth. The traditional JPEG format is ideal as it offers the best compromise between a high-quality resolution and the lowest file size. These images are more easily scalable for viewing across different computers and portable devices such as mobile phones with nifty screens.
Always Include a Caption and Alt Text with Every Image
Images that are well ranked on search engines are the ones with the most accurate and complete descriptions it requires for an effective SEO strategy. These include captions and alt text descriptions. The trick involves ensuring the captions have the most relevant keywords. However, you should not write your captions solely for the web crawlers and search bots. It is important to ensure that the image descriptions, especially the captions, are informative and understandable to human readers as well.
Use Structured Data with your Images
One of the biggest image SEO concepts driving digital marketing strategies this year is structured data. Structured data is coded in-page mark-up used to provide backend details about the information on the website so that search engines can understand your content better. When you optimise your website for structured data, Google can display your images as part of what is called rich results on search result pages. Google currently supports three structured data formats: JSON-LD (recommended by Google’s developer guidelines), Microdata and RDFa.
Always Include Image Data on your Site Map
A site map is a text file which includes a textual description of the organisation of your website. When you include complete descriptions of images (title, description, URL location, caption, alt text and license information), your images have a much higher chance of being ranked.
If you are struggling to get your content ranked, all you need to do is put added focus on the images and graphics on your website or blog. These five image SEO strategies will help you ranked high on search engines, giving a boost to your web traffic. You can employ these methods to get your website to the top this year!