Dealing with Image SEO

Whether you are writing for a personal blog or for a professional Newspaper, you might ask yourself whether your posts require an image. The answer would most probably be yes.

Whether you are writing for a personal blog or for a professional Newspaper, you might ask yourself whether your posts require an image. The answer would most probably be yes. It’s because images help the readers better understand the content. Images let you spice up your posts by conveying information in a concise manner through charts, graphs or just plain old images. 

LibPixel can help reduce the complexity of image SEO and ensure that your website is found in the search results. In this article, we will review some of the best SEO practices and discuss how you can improve the page load time by optimizing the images. 

To Dos

Images should be added to all posts by default. It makes the content more appealing and as Google, and other search engines are focusing more on visual search, it might just give you an SEO boost in the future. And if your posts deal with visual content then it’s logical to pay attention to image SEO. 

Avoid Stock Images

Everyone uses stock images, which explains the problem with using stock images on your website. It gives the user a boring view of your website and will make it difficult for it to stand out from the thousands of other websites on the internet. 

Hence, always use original images. Ask your team to go out and take pictures or create relevant illustrations. There are tons of tools on the internet that can help you build illustrations or provide free ones that can be customized. 

If taking original images is difficult then you can always use services like Unsplash or Pixabay to get royalty free images that are relevant to the topic of your post. Use of GIF is also growing in popularity but, don’t go overboard with it as GIF can impact your site’s loading time. 

Help Search Engines

The saying picture tells a thousand words does not hold true for search engines. They are unaware of the content of the images, so help them out by identifying the content for them. 

  • Name Images Accurately: If there’s an image of people at a beach during sunset then naming an image people-beach-sunset.jpeg is better than naming it DSC00001.jpeg. The former provides more context and helps the search engines index it. 
  • Include Alt Tags: While adding images to your website, be sure to add relevant and expressive alt tags. This ensures that the website is usable by people with visual impairment who rely on screen readers to browse the internet. This is also in case users have turned off images in their browsers to save bandwidth. Google and other search engines value alt tags.  
  •  Add Captions: Seemingly a simple task, captions help grasp the attention of the reader and are read 300% more than the content’s body itself, as explained by yoast.
  • Place Images Where Required: Images are supposed to help readability and convey the meaning of text efficiently. The best way to ensure this is by placing the images alongside the relevant text to grasp the attention of the users.

There are tons of other good practices and recommendations, you can read more about Google’s suggested best practices here

Keep One Master Image

Adding multiple copies of the same image becomes necessary when you are trying to add responsive images on your website. Although this approach is necessary, search engines can have a hard time indexing multiple images and figuring out which is the master and which is a derivative. 

LibPixel provides a more efficient approach to this. With LibPixel, you can create multiple formats, sizes and make other changes to a single master image on the fly. This will allow you to save space and enables you to store only a single image and edit it as you’d like.

Reducing Page Load Time

Images tend to take the most time to load on any website, which dramatically impacts your pages SEO. Reducing the size of your images enables your pages to load faster and can have a significant impact on your website’s load time. This can reduce your website’s bounce rate, improve SEO and the quality of the experience users get from visiting your website. 

With LibPixel, you can manage image size on the fly by changing various properties of the images. This can save bandwidth and thus have a positive impact on the SEO. 

Now let’s discuss some of the attributes that you can change with LibPixel to reduce the size of the images and optimize the site loading time. 

Managing Size of Image

The optimal way of serving images is to manage the size of the image according to the device of the user. It does not make sense to serve a user using a mobile device, the same image that a user would get on a desktop PC. The image for the latter would have to be of larger resolution with better quality. While the former can enjoy quality experience without needing large images. 

Even a slight shift in the resolution of images can have a drastic impact on its size. LibPixel makes it easy for you to change the size of the image by letting you customize the resolution of the image and also allowing you to crop if necessary. 

Take the following scenic image for example, the original image has the dimensions of 4226 x 2847 and is 2.19MB in size: 

Original Scenic Image - 4226 x 2847 (2.19MB)

Now, with the help of LibPixel, let’s change its size and make it smaller to imitate it being served on mobile devices. 

Scenic Image With Height Fixed to 500 - 742 x 500 (62.9KB)

URL: scenery.jpg?height=500

By fixing the height to 500, we instantly get a reduction of 97% in the size of the image. This is staggering for a website that relies on a lot of visual data, it will improve the loading time and consequently give your website an SEO boost. 

Now let’s try setting the mode to crop, which will result in the cropping of some parts of the image but will result in further deduction in the size of the image. To set the mode to crop in LibPixel, you need to define both height and width and then the mode. 

Scenic Image - 400 x 500; mode = crop (33KB)

URL: scenery.jpg?height=500&width=400&mode=crop

Such changes would be required when you are trying to set an image to fit custom aspect ratios for mobile devices. By optimizing the image like this, we further reduced the image to 33KB from the original 2.19MB. 

It should be clear now how you can optimize the loading time of your pages by reducing size of the image by changing the resolution. 

Other Considerations

Apart from the techniques listed above, LibPixel also supports setting the DPR value and the format of the images. These two properties can further help in reducing or improving the quality of images to meet your SEO requirements. To limit the length of the article, we are not going to get into too much details of these properties. To read more about the LibPixel API and the customizations it supports, you can check out the documentation

If you are sharing your posts on social media, then be sure to define the Open Graph markup. It will define the image that should show up when users share your post on social media, and is proven to improve engagement. Keep these tips and techniques in mind when you are improving your websites and remove the redundant duplicates by using LibPixel to improve the SEO.

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