How to optimize your website images for SEO
You can quickly get yourself into trouble if you or other writers on your blog upload images all willy-nilly without giving any thought to SEO, page speed or accessibility.
If you’re not this far yet, be sure to look over Installing Flare and Yoast.
In a perfect world for every image you should:
- Properly name the file
- Change the resolution to a standard size for your site
- Compress the image with an optimization tool
- Upload it
- Add Alt, Title, and Caption tags
- Insert the image into your blog post
I’ve had clients upload original 2MB+ images straight from the photographer without changing the file name or anything! Don’t be ashamed if you’ve done this too, we all have at some point. Just make sure to follow these easy steps to foolproof your site:
Properly name your images for SEO before upload
Best practice is to save your image files after you’ve prepared them to have an SEO optimized name, and then upload them to the website. If it’s just you or a disciplined group of people then this works just fine. If you have images that you need to rename there is a handy plugin, Media Rename, that will allow you to bulk rename image files on your site.
Resize images when they get uploaded to your WordPress site
Imsanity is a cool plugin that let you set resolution limits when users upload files, and will automatically downsize images when they are uploaded. This makes it easy for you and everyone else managing your site to not have to worry about resizing images smaller when you upload them. Imsanity does it for you.
Compress / Optimize the images after they have be resized
Now that all your images are being uploaded smaller than a certain resolution, you also want to make sure that they are compressed to speed up your site as much as possible.
Make sure every image has Captions and ALT & Title tags
Image ALT and Title tags along with a Caption are easily ignored, but shouldn’t be:
- SEO relies heavily on the ALT tag and caption because search engines do not look at the image content AT ALL, but they do read these in order to understand what you are showing on your page.
- Disabled site visitors may be using a screen reader, and also will not be able to see your images. ALT, title and captions describe the picture to them. This helps make your site accessibility compliant (W3C).
- Captions have been proven to help readers skim content and get read often. So they also help you deliver key messages to your audience. Use them wisely!
Now that you’re finished here, you can move on to the next guide.