If you are a blogger, copy/content writer who works for SEO service, you will surely encounter the dilemma of adding images in articles. This is because, at one point, an image is good for making the message of your article more vivid. It will also clarify your explanation and entice your posts in a better way. For example, serving your data in a chart or data flow diagram will simplify your words. On the other hand, images can slow down your page’s loading time, which is bad for your SEO. So, what can we do to solve this problem? Below are several tips that you can apply if you want to use images in your articles. Check them out!
Use and Find images
First, you need to select images that have the same subject as your article. This is because an image that is surrounded by related text ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.
Preparing Images for Use in Your Article
After finding the right image for your article, you need to optimize the image. This way, your image will be suitable to be used for your website. Here are some of the ways:
Choose the Right File Name
A good file name should reflect its content. For example, your image is about beautiful beach scenery, you’d better name it with beautiful-beach-scenery.jpg instead of BCE219.jpg.
Scale for Image SEO
Having a faster loading time is important for your UX and SEO. Therefore, optimizing your image becomes necessary as images can have a huge impact on loading times. Especially, when you load a huge image and show it really small, like using a 2500 x 1500 pixels image and showing it at 250 x 150 pixels size.
Use Responsive Images
Responsive image is also one of the important elements for SEO. This is because bad image might ruin mobile experience and could increase bounce rate. With a responsive image, you will be able to serve a different image per screen width as the plugin adds the src set attribute to your images. WordPress adds this behavior by default from version 4.4. They urge you to update the RICG plugin to the latest version in that same article. If we can automate this process like that, it might be future of web images, IMHO.
Reduce File Size
Another thing that you should consider in SEO images is to make sure that the scaled image is presented in the smallest file size. You can find many tools for that.
Adding the Image to Your Article
As stated above, the image should be located close to the related textual content. This aims at creating a relevant image as it is the other way around.
Caption is the text in the gray box below the picture. This little number of text is important as people will use that text to scan an article. As it is stated by Nielsen in 1997, Elements that enhance scanning include headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, topic sentences, and tables of contents.
Alt Text and Title Text
A descriptive text will be added to an image when the image can’t be displayed to the visitor for whatever reason. This text is known as the alt text. When you add the alt texts, make sure to include the SEO keywords for that page and relates to/describes the image. Usually people will use the same words in the alt text and title text. They just simply copy it.
OpenGraph and Twitter cards
Social sharing is also one of the great tools to optimize images for search engines. In fact, if you add the right image, tag to your <head> section like this:
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://example.com/link-to-image.jpg” />
Your image will be included in your share on Facebook. Remember to use only a high–quality images for social platforms tend to use higher quality/larger images, but, if this doesn’t work, you can try to clear Facebook’s cache in the URL Debugger.
XML Image Sitemaps
Many web developers are wondering about XML image sitemaps, but all I can say is XML image helps Google index your images better, so, you’d better do so before SEO image.
Google now is able to recognize elements in a better way every day. Therefore, it is important to make sure all images and elements contribute to the user experience and SEO.
In addition, you can take these tips before including an image to an article:
- Use images in your XML sitemap
- Make sure image dimension match the image size as displayed
- Use a relevant image that matches your text
- Pick the right file name for your image
- Add OpenGraph and Twitter Card tags for the image
- Use src set if possible
- Reduce file size for faster loading
- Add a caption for an easier scanning of the page
- Don’t break the left reading line using an image
- Use an image alt text. The title text is optional
That’s all the tips you need to know before including an image in your article! Easy and effective for a better looking article!