search marketing

Image SEO: 11 Must Know Tips

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

We’re in the home stretch of Website Photography Month. I hope you’ve gotten the inspiration and information you need to improve your website photos.

Photos can have a huge impact not only on the way your website looks but also on its search rankings.

11 Image Optimization Tips

1) Use at least one image on every web page and blog article. 

Having at least one image on every page/post ensures that when the page/post is shared on Facebook, an image is shown. Studies have shown posts with image get far more views, clicks, likes and shares. Views, clicks, likes and shares help search rankings. Plus having an image on a page looks better than all plain text. People will connect better with your content and want to share it and link to it.

It’s always better to use a photo you’ve taken, but stock photos are fine for blog posts and some web pages. We recommend pixabay.com and Unsplash.com for free stock images.

2) Publish only good photos.

Having a photo on a page will increase likes and shares, but only if the photo is decent. If it’s blurry, dark, or difficult to understand, it has the opposite effect.  People don’t share ugly pages.

3) Honor copyrights

No, you can’t just grab any picture you find on the Internet and use it on your website.  Even if you’re a church or nonprofit, copyright laws still apply.  Again, use your own photos whenever possible. Otherwise, use photos from a free stock photo site.

4) Use images to enhance your point

People are much more likely to understand something if you show them rather than just tell them.  And when people get the point you’re making in an article or web page, they are much more likely to stay longer, share your content and link to it, all of which help your search rankings.

There are many different ways to use images to make a point including:

  • When citing statistics show a chart
  • When explaining how to do something on a computer, include screenshots
  • When sharing a person’s story, show their picture
  • When trying to be funny, include a funny image

5) Optimize the image file name

Before uploading an image to your website, make sure the filename describes the image.  Naming a photo of your church something like Journey-Community-Church-Safety-Harbor-FL.jpg will help the image and web page rank better for relevant keywords than 024.jpg

6) Use the JPG file format

Some cameras and photo editing tools save images in the .PNG format.  If you convert a PNG image to JPG, you can reduce the file size of the image by 80% or more.  This free, online photo editor can do it in seconds.

7) Resize photos and crop photos for smaller file size and faster load times

Most cameras today – even the one on your phone – take photos that have far more resolution than any phone, tablet or computer screen.  Putting original photos on your website will cause your website to load very slowly for visitors. Google also factors page speed into its ranking algorithm. Read more on resizing and cropping images to the ideal size here.

8) Optimize the ALT attribute of the images on your website

Google is pretty smart but they can’t tell what’s in a photo (yet). We have to help them by putting that info into the image ALT attribute.  More on optimizing image ALT attributes here.

9) Post photos to your Google My Business profile and other local listings

When people search Google Maps or search Google for a local organization like a church, school or local business, Google shows content from Google My Business listings.  Listings with photos are far more engaging and more likely to have people call, click or visit them.  You can read more about adding photos to your Google My Business listing here.

10) If you take photos regularly, share them on social channels

Some of the most popular social networks are visual – Instagram, Snapshat, Flickr, Pinterest.  Even Facebook is largely a visual medium.  If you take photos regularly, consider using visual social networks like this.  You can grow your community and engagement this way.  Some of these networks allow you to include a link to a web page or blog post, which can bring more people to your website.

11) Use quote images

Just about everyone loves a good quote, right?

A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit. -Joseph Roux

Click to share this image on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Instagram

If you would like to get more visitors to your website so you can reach your goals and live out your mission online, remember… we’re church SEO and Christian SEO pros.  Request a free consultation so we can talk about your organization.

Comment and discuss… which of the image SEO tips stands out to you?  Which do you want to take some action on?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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