Optimizing images for SEO starts from the moment images are uploaded to the site by the programmer. Otherwise, they need to be downladed, optimized and uploaded again. This not only means extra work, but can also generate 404 errors if pictures are not replaced throughout.
Of course, this is work you can do with some plugins or automation, for a fee, but there is always the risk of other errors.
Why it’s important to optimize images
Images contribute to the overall size of the page, often making up more than 80% of it, which means they can influence the loading speed of the site. With Google’s new Core Web Vitals update, sites that load fast will be rewarded. This is precisely why images need to be properly optimised.
What to keep in mind when optimizing an image
- JPEG – used for photos of designs, people, places, etc.
- PNG – used for logos, graphics, screenshots and images with transparent backgrounds.
- Webp – is an image format that has replaced JPEG and PNG since WordPress version 5.8 and has the main advantage of being up to 30% smaller.
- SVG – ideal for logos and icons.
The size of the image must be adapted to the place where it will be displayed. Thus, there is no need for an image of 2000 px on the large side if it will be used as a thumbnail for related articles.
The ideal size for the featured image is 1200×630, with a 12:6.3 ratio, as this is how it will be displayed correctly by Facebook. And the ideal size for the site should not exceed 1980 px on the large side, full HD resolution is enough.
Image size is also important for SEO because it adds to the resources loaded by the site and can increase the site load time.
The ideal size is under 120kb, depending on the size of the image.
Although the actions can be done in Photoshop or another image editor, for image compression you can use https://tinypng.com.
The image name should describe as accurately as possible what is in the image.
From an SEO point of view, an image with the name dsc0132 or slider-1 has no value, which is why renaming is important. You can change the title of the image by downloading it, optimizing the name and uploading the image to all the pages it exists on.
Ideally, the image should be uploaded from the start with a name that is representative of the page it is uploaded to or what is in the image.
For example, if it is an image for a seo optimization LPthen the image name should be optimization-seo-site.jpeg or .webp.
Where an alt tag can be placed for the image, our recommendation is that it be in line with the page title.
Changing the alt tag is a simple action, there is no need for the technical team to be involved in this step. It can be changed later by the SEO team or directly by the author of the article.
In conclusion, some of the optimization for images starts at the stage when the technical team is working on the site and uploading images to the page. For this reason it is important that images are uploaded in a format and size that meets SEO standards, but also with a representative name.