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Shounak Gupte
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Web development and SEO wizard.
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How to Optimise Images for SEO

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Image optimisation is an important part of online commerce. The correct optimisation helps attract shoppers while reducing website load time. Here are some clever tips to optimise images for those whose products do not seem to show up on Google searches.

Naming

The first, and perhaps the easiest, technique is to name your product in simple and plain English. Many people often upload hundreds of product shots, settling for the easy path of keeping the default names given by their camera. The very essence of SEO is the use of acceptable keywords in order to help the business page improve its rankings. The creation of descriptive file names with keywords is therefore absolutely critical to the SEO process for images. The search engines not only crawl the text on the webpage, they also search for keywords in the file names of the images. A clever technique is to look at competitor websites and look at the phrasing patterns they use. Applying similar patterns to your own naming process is almost guaranteed to improve the rank.

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Alt Tags

Alt tags are the alternative to text for images when they cannot be properly rendered by search engines. Even in cases where the image has been properly rendered, hovering over images with the mouse pointer will, in most cases, show the alt tag created for the particular image. The alt tag does more than help in rendering though. It affects the SEO value of the website. The alt tag will help the search engine associate images with specific keywords, helping the website achieve a better SEO ranking. In fact, many experts have suggested that this is the best way for one’s products to show up on Google search results. However, one should be careful with them. Make proper descriptions in plain English just like you would with the image names. It might also be helpful to include serial numbers of the products being sold. Do not stuff the alt tags with keywords or use them for overly decorative images as this might result in penalties.

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Dimensions and product angles

SEO works much in the same way for images as it does for word content. Even with all the available optimisation tools, quality content is still one of the most important elements required for a good SEO ranking. The same goes for images. Make sure to strategize the dimensions and product angles when presenting the images on the website. One of the most common techniques today is showing multiple angles of one’s products. When selling a car, for instance, show the interior, the rear of the car, the rims, close up images as well as underneath the hood. To get the most from these photos, make sure to fill out alt tag for every one of them.

File sizes

Most customers will only wait between 3 and 5 seconds for websites to load on either their mobile devices or computers. It is amazing how much website loading speed can hurt your business. Amazon loses up to 1.6 billion dollars every year if their websites slow down by a second. Image size is one of the factors that determines the load time, so they must be reasonably reduced.

(Feature image courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock/Jack Moreh)

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By Shounak Gupte


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