How to Optimize WordPress Images for SEO and Traffic

[This post is part of the WordPress Guide for Beginners – Step by Step Tutorials]

We use images to make our post look GOOD. It helps us to grab the readers attention easily. Sometimes screenshots can do a better job than a descriptive text. That’s why we add useful screen shots in our post.

So images are mainly used for satisfying the readers experience. At the same time these images can generate a huge search engine traffic from Google Image Search. All you need to do is optimizing the images properly.

We do optimize our post for SEO, but often miss the image part. And miss the traffic from image based Search Engine. If you want those traffic you have to learn how to optimize images for better ranking.

Here’s the few things you can do to make your images search engine friendly.

1. Reduce Image File Size

Heavy images may make your pages slow which is bad for SEO and your readers. Cause page load time matters for SEO and People don’t have much time to wait for the images to load. They will use ‘Back Button’ if they are from Search Engine.

WordPress has an option that lets you re-size images from Post Editor. Actually it doesn’t resize images, it just resizes it in HTML or CSS from large to smaller. As a result, browsers load large images first and resize them later.

So to ensure that images are not affecting load time, resize the images without sacrificing the quality.

I am using ACDSee Photo Manager. At first it seems hard to you to guess the What would be the proper image size for your post. Once you make it as habit it will be easier for you.

Read: WP Smush.it Plugin: Reduce Image Sizes for Faster Loading

2. Give Proper Image File Name

Most of the time images are named like image001.jpg . By this name it is really tough to determine what the picture is about. So it is better to use a relevant and descriptive name for your images.

In this case, If you are using a photo of a girl in WordPress SEO related post. Its name should be wordpress-seo.jpg rather that sweet-girl.jpg.  Another good thing is to use hyphen on name to separate words. (wordpres-seo.jpg is better than wordpressseo.jpg)

3. Image Formats

This is not a serious issue. But if you are serious about image quality and page load time then you can use proper image format. Here is the list of commonly used format with their uses.

.jpg – Used for the picture like photographs.

.png – Used for the graphical picture like banner, logos etc

.gif – Used for animation banner.

4. Add Alt Text

Alt text refers the Alternative text. It is the most important part in Image SEO aspects.

When we see a picture of a meme, we immediately recognize what the picture is all about. But it is impossible for Search Engine Bot to understand the picture instantly. Most of the search engines are text based, they can’t read the images. Alt text helps bot to understand the images.

Picture takes time to load. At first it shows a blank space instead of picture. If you don’t have any alt text then readers and bots won’t understand what’s happening to the blank space.

Read: How to Add ALT Tag to Images in WordPress for more Traffic

5. Add Caption

A nice caption make a images more attractive. So add a caption, if needed. Caption has no affect on search engine ranking.

Here is a Screenshot which can help you to understand the Image SEO practices.

WordPress Image SEO practices

Over to You

It seems that you have to do a lot of work just for optimizing the images. But it doesn’t require too many works. Once you make it habit it will be easier for you. Besides if you are running an image based website or a photography site, then this things are must for you.

Do let us know if you have any other tips for image optimization. And don’t forget to share it with your friends.

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Istiak Rayhan
 

Istiak Rayhan is the founder of RoadToBlogging.com, a blog that aims to make bloggers' journey easier. Istiak loves to help newbie bloggers to build a better blog. Here's more about him.

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