Image SEO - A Guide on Optimizing Images for Search Engine

Tati Khumairoh

Published at April 06, 2024 07:14 AM

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    In the search engine results, there are not only blue links. There might be images that show up in the very first rank. This is evidence that images are also important in SEO.

    Whether your pages focus on images or not, optimizing images in content is not an option, this is a must. This is because image SEO can bring your site to the right audience through image search. Therefore, you have to build strategic optimization for all of your image assets.

    In this article, you will see how image SEO works and the best practices you can adopt for your website. So, without any further due, let's dive into the explanation.

    What Is Image SEO?

    Image SEO refers to the practice of optimizing SEO pictures on a website to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results. While traditional SEO primarily focuses on optimizing text-based content, image SEO specifically targets the images that are part of a webpage.

    The goal of Image SEO is to enhance the overall visibility of a website on search engines, attract more organic traffic, and improve the user experience. Through this strategy, your SEO pictures ranking might be lifted.

    Image SEO Best Practices

    As stated before, SEO picture optimization can bring several benefits to the website performance, especially in the image search results. Therefore, there is an urgency to optimize the images of your website. To assist you with that, here are some image SEO best practices you need to follow:

    1. Choose The Right Format

    First of all, you need to choose the right format for your SEO pictures before using it in content. Selecting the appropriate image format is crucial for image SEO as different formats have distinct qualities that suit specific use cases.

    For example, JPEG is ideal for photographs due to its compression efficiency, while PNG is suitable for images with transparency or text. Besides that, WebP is a modern format that combines good quality with smaller file sizes. Therefore, you are recommended to use WebP for your SEO content.

    Choosing the right format is also important to ensure optimal image quality, faster loading times, and compatibility with various devices which contributes to a positive user experience and improved ranking.

    2. Compress Images

    Next, you need to compress images to reduce the file sizes without sacrificing quality. This is crucial for faster page loading, especially on mobile devices, where bandwidth and loading speed are essential factors.

    You can do it by utilizing image compression tools (e.g., TinyPNG, ImageOptim) to reduce file sizes. Then, you also need to maintain a balance between compression and image quality.

    3. Create Unique Images

    Original and unique images can contribute to a website's distinctiveness and enhanced engagement. That is why, you are advised to create your image assets rather than stock photos since they may be overused and can negatively impact user perception.

    Unique images not only provide a more authentic user experience but also reduce the risk of duplicate content issues. To create unique assets you can invest in original photography or use graphic design tools.

    4. Optimize Image File Naming

    Naming photos for SEO is equally important as optimizing content. That's why you have to choose descriptive and keyword-rich file names to help search engines understand the content of an image.

    The practice of naming photos for SEO can contribute to better image indexing and overall performance. Relevant file names provide context to search engine algorithms and users which can improve the chances of images appearing in relevant search queries.

    5. Give Strategic Alt Text

    Alt text is a textual description of an SEO picture. Strategically crafting alt text with relevant keywords not only aids accessibility but also provides additional context to search engines.

    A well-crafted alt text can improve SEO by helping search engines understand the content of images, which can contribute to higher rankings. Thus, you need to write concise and descriptive alt text and include relevant keywords naturally.

    6. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness

    Given the increasing use of mobile devices, optimizing images for mobile is essential. This involves responsive design, ensuring images adapt to different screen sizes.

    Ensuring mobile-friendliness of images is crucial for providing a positive user experience on mobile devices and contributes to better SEO performance. Here are steps to ensure mobile-friendliness of images:

    • Responsive Design: Responsive images should automatically adapt to different screen sizes, ensuring they display well on various devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
    • Optimized Image Sizes: Consider using smaller file sizes for mobile versions of your website, especially for slower mobile networks.
    • Use the "srcset" Attribute: Implement the "srcset" attribute in your image tags. This HTML attribute allows you to provide multiple versions of an image based on different screen sizes and resolutions.

    7. Add Structured Data

    Structured data, such as image schema markup, can provide additional information about the content of an image to search engines.

    Structured data helps search engines understand the context and relevance of images, improving the likelihood of being featured prominently in search results.

    To do it, here are some tips you need to follow:

    • Implement image schema markup using JSON-LD or other supported formats.
    • Follow Google's guidelines for structured data.

    8. Use AI-Generated Image Wisely

    With advancements in AI, generated images can be used strategically. However, it's important to ensure that AI-generated images align with your brand and the content they accompany.

    Even if AI-generated images can save time and resources, their relevance and appropriateness are crucial for maintaining a positive user experience.

    Therefore, you have to use it wisely for your content. For example, if you are selling a product that needs a real image, you have to provide a stock photo that pictures the product. This is important for user experience and ensures the factual accuracy of the product.

    You can use AI-generated images as an additional element to give aesthetic effects to your content. This way, you can avoid users misunderstanding.

    By implementing those SEO image best practices, you can improve the chances of ranking high for image search. This is quite beneficial for overall website performance as users may click your image and head to your page.

    Conduct Image SEO Audit

    Once you have implemented image SEO, you need to conduct a site audit related to your image. This is important to do as it can provide the complete data of your website health.

    To conduct a proper site audit, you can utilize Sequence Stat Site Audit features. This tool offers quite complete features to assist you in doing SEO, and site audit is just one of the many features.

    If you already have an account, you can head to the Site Audit menu and set up your audit specifications. Follow the tool's instructions to input your domain and any other required information.

    Then, initiate the audit process. The tool will crawl your website and analyze various elements, including images. This may take some time depending on the size of your domain.

    After that, the tool will return with the result. You can inspect any issue regarding your images. Here are the detailed results.

    As a result, you might encounter some image issues such as:

    • Image Broken: This appears when some of the images on your website cannot be displayed.
    • Page Had Broken Image: It is an issue when your page links to an image URL with one of the 4xx or 5xx HTTP status codes. So, the image cannot be displayed
    • Image File Size Too Large: If the loaded image file is too large, it will slow down the page loading time.
    • Missing AltText: this text will be displayed if the image cannot be displayed. Without using Alt text then Google will have difficulty reading it.
    • HTTPS Page Links to HTTP Images: This issue is an example of mixed content that occurs when an HTML page is loaded over an HTTPS connection but links to an image over an insecure HTTP connection.
    • Image Redirects: Occur when some image URLs on your website redirect to other URLs.


    For websites that rely on images, such as e-commerce websites, this image SEO strategy can be a tool to reach a wider audience. That is why these strategies are not only necessary but also mandatory. In the search engine, not only text that matters, but images and other multimedia content too. That is why it will not be enough to only optimize content without the image SEO.

    To help you do better and simplified SEO, you can use Sequence Stat as your helping tool. If you are not yet a user, then it is time to register and try the free trial of Sequence Stat!