Whether you’re writing pages or blogs for your law firm or any other business, chances are you’ll ask yourself whether your content needs an image or not. The answer is always “Yes.” Images bring your content to life and also contribute to your website’s SEO, and the content experts at ENX2 Marketing can explain why.
Always Use An Image
Images, when used correctly, will help readers better understand your article. The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” probably doesn’t apply to Google, but it’s certainly true when you need to spice up a page of 1,000 words. It often doesn’t matter how well-written your page is, 1,000 good words and 1,000 dull words look similar in appearance.
So we’re making a simple recommendation: add images to every article you write to make them more appealing. What’s more, since visual search is getting increasingly important — as seen in Google’s vision for the future of search — it could turn out to provide you with a nice bit of traffic. And if you have visual content, it makes sense to put image SEO a bit higher on your to-do list.
A while ago, Google Images got a brand-new interface with new filters, metadata, and even attribution. These cool new filters show that Google increasingly knows what’s in an image and how that image fits into the larger context.
Finding The Right Image
It’s always better to use original images than stock images. Your team page needs pictures of your actual team, not some dude and his stock photo friends.
Your article needs an image relevant to its subject. If you’re adding a random photo just to get a green bullet from the Yoast SEO plugin’s content analysis, then you’re doing it wrong. The image should reflect the topic of the post or have illustrative purposes within the article. Also, try to place the image near the relevant text. If you have an image that you’re trying to rank, try to keep that near the top of the page (if that’s possible without feeling forced).
There is a simple image SEO reason for all of this: an image with related text ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for. But we’ll discuss image SEO later on in this article.
If you don’t have any original images that you can use, there are other ways to find unique images and still avoid stock photos. Flickr.com is a nice image source for instance, as you can use Creative Commons images. Just remember to attribute the original photographer. We also like the images provided by sites like Unsplash.
But whatever you use, you’ll probably find that images with people in them always look like stock photos. To fix this problem when you can’t take your own pictures, edit them a little. Add your slogan, your logo, and some text in your brand’s font. You can still make an original graphic while using stock images.
Obvious alternatives for photos could be graphs or illustrations. Also, an honorable mention should go to animated GIFs, as they are incredibly popular these days. But even though animated GIFs are popular, don’t go overboard. It’ll make your post harder to read, as the movement of the image distracts your readers’ attention. They can also slow down your page.
Preparing Images For Use
Once you have found the right image, the next step is to optimize it for use on your website. So before you add your image, there are a number of things you need to think about:
- Choosing the right file name
- Choosing the right format
- Scaling for image SEO
- Using responsive images
- Reducing the image’s file size
Of course, you could just export the image and experiment with quality percentages, but we prefer to use the highest possible quality images, especially given the popularity of retina and similar screens these days.
Adding The Image To Your Article
While Google is getting better at recognizing what’s in an image, you shouldn’t totally rely on their abilities yet. It all comes down to you providing the context for that image — so fill in as much as you can.
Your image is ready to use, but don’t just throw it into your article anywhere. As mentioned earlier, adding it close to related textual content helps a lot. It makes sure the text is as relevant to the image as the image is to the text, something users and Google prefer.
The image caption is the text that accompanies the image on the page — if you look at the images in this article, it’s the text in the gray box below each one. Why are captions important for image SEO? Because people use them when scanning an article. People tend to scan headings, images, and captions as they scan a web page.
The alt text (or alt tag) is added to an image so there will be descriptive text in place if the image can’t be displayed to the visitor for any reason. The alt text is there to enhance your website’s accessibility. So be sure to add alt text to images you use, and consider including the SEO keyphrase for that page if it’s appropriate to do so.
When hovering over an image, some browsers show the title text as a ‘tooltip.’ Chrome shows the title text as it was intended. Title text for images is similar and a lot of people who use titles simply copy the alt text, but more and more people leave them out altogether. It is better to include this information in the main article text, rather than attach it to the image.
Add Image Structured Data
Adding structured data to your pages can help search engines display your images as “rich results.” While Google says structured data doesn’t help you rank better, it does help to achieve a more fleshed-out listing in Image Search.
Optimize Your Images For Search Today!
Image SEO is a combination of a number of elements. With Google getting better at recognizing elements in images every day, it makes sense to make sure the image and all its elements contribute to a good user experience as well as SEO. It would be foolish to try to kid Google. Besides contributing to SEO and user experience, images can also play an important role in conversion. So don’t underestimate the importance of image SEO on your site!
For image SEO expertise you can rely on, contact the digital marketing pros at ENX2 Legal Marketing today.