Image SEO: The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Website Images (9 Best Practices to Optimize Graphics For SEO)

Image SEO

Every webpreneur aims to reap the yield of every SEO strategy. You must have invested much in the on-site SEO elements, like keyword optimization, interlinking strategies, title tags, and improving the website speed.

Among them, only a few pay attention to image optimization.

It can provide a massive blow to your overall SEO health. You could inevitably miss out on longer user engagement and higher revenue generation.

Though a well-optimized image may not skyrocket your ranking on SERP, it can make your content stand out.

Moreover, visual assets attract an audience. Graphical representation and images simplify the concept for better understanding. They help the user and search engine comprehend what the content is about.

The good news is that optimizing graphical content is not difficult. Comparatively, it’s an easy process that can help gain more online sales and attention digitally.

What is Image Optimization For SEO?

What Is Image Optimization For SEO

Image optimization is the process of optimizing images on the website so that search bots can easily scan and find them. As a result, it improves your search engine rank, visibility, and web traffic, helping your content earn backlinks.

Image SEO is a broad subject that includes factors like image size, alt text, keywords, file, loading time, and quality.

Most importantly, image optimization is an essential part of on-page SEO that many content writers overlook. Remember, improper or lack of optimization can turn your SEO performance upside down.

Note: A lack of proper SEO strategy for images can prevent crawlers from finding your pages, hamper the indexing process, reduces your web page’s link gains, and drive away traffic.

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Why is Image Optimization Important?

Why Is Image Optimization Important?

The most obvious reason why you should prioritize image optimization is that it increases your content’s visibility, which in turn increases traffic to your website.

Apart from that, image SEO can influence your SERP positioning in the following ways:

1. Boosts User Experience 

An optimized image with the right size and resolution will increase the user experience. It’s because it allows the visitor to navigate the site easily. On the contrary, large images occupy the entire screen and stop visitors from exploring other elements on the page.

2. Improves Website Speed 

Site loading time is one of the 200 search ranking factors on Google. Therefore, an image with the wrong formatting or size can reduce web page loading speed. It can increase the bounce rate as users click back and leave the site.

3. Enhances Content Accessibility

SEO factors like alt tags enable visitors using web readers to navigate your site with ease. This mode of accessibility attracts users, which leaves a positive impression on your image SEO metric.

The points mentioned above illustrate how quality image optimization contributes to better UX. It consequently stimulates the search engine to push your site on SERPs.

According to Jumpshot data, 20% of all web searches come from the image section on search engines like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Bing.

Furthermore, Google’s Gary Illyes points out the ‘massive potential’ of image and video searches that SEOs often overlook.

On Reddit, Illyes elaborates on this matter further in a statement ‘We simply know that media search is way too ignored for what it’s capable of doing for publishers so we’re throwing more engineers at it as well as more outreach.’

Note: Visual assets occupy almost 75% of the total page weightage.

9 Best Practices to Optimize Images For SEO

9 Best Practices To Optimize Images For SEO

Optimize images to ensure they are easily findable and don’t reduce webpage loading speed. Furthermore, TechJury’s stats say almost 92.6% of web users have confessed that images and visual assets influence their purchase decisions.

Remember the crucial statistics and follow these nine steps to building a robust SEO website:

Step 1: Choose The Right Image File

Step 1: Choose The Right Image File

The image file makes or breaks the website’s user experience. The wrong image file type can make the picture appear blurry or large.

Several image file formats are available, like vectors, rasters, JPEG, PNG, and GIFs.

So, which type should you use?

For a better SEO score, you can use either JPEG or PNG.

Joint Photographics Expert Group (JPEG) is a flexible and popular image file type. They preserve your image’s color shade and can use that to display the image on any device with high resolution. This file type works fine for blog posts.

But JPEG tends to lose compression. Since this image file type loses data, a web owner cannot use JPEG for professional photography.

Another good choice for the image file type is PNG. You can use them on any device.

The best part is that PNG supports lossless compression. That means PNG doesn’t lose data.

In addition, PNG allows transparent backgrounds but has big file sizes.

Two important tips to remember when choosing an image file type for SEO are:

  • When uploading images for blog posts, use the JPEG file type. In that case, JPEG protects the website’s speed and loading speed. You can convert your images to PNG if the site speed doesn’t change.
  • When uploading icons and logos, use PNG. They have better image quality, even though the file is big.

Besides these two, you can choose between lossy and lossless quality using WebP. Both Chrome and Firefox support this.

Step 2: Image Compression

Step 2: Image Compression

As the title suggests, image compression is a crucial step that you can’t overlook in on-page SEO.


That’s because they help maintain a perfect balance between image quality and size. Also, the smaller they are, the easier it is to load them.

Furthermore, HTTP Archive states that images occupy almost 21% of the total webpage weight.

Image compressions are of two types: lossy, which JPEGs use, and lossless compression, which PNG images have.

The type of compression you want depends solely on your chosen image type.

During compressing images, ensure that you maintain the right balance between the image size and quality.

Moreover, you must reconsider how to resize the image. Hardly will your users care if the blog post image size is a little smaller than the standard.

But when uploading a logo, ensure it has the optimum resolution and is visible. That way, even if the user zooms in on the visual, the logo is clear and not blurry.

There are image-compressing tools like Optimizilla and Resizing app you can use to convert files and resize and crop images. Also, you can use Photoshop and PicResize.

Searching for some WordPress plugins for image compression?

Use TinyPNG. In addition, WP Smush allows you to reduce the image size while retaining the quality.

Else, use a CDN like Imgix or Cloudinary. They optimize the image according to the device on which the picture or icon will appear.

Moreover, check your web page’s loading speed. Confirm if the image size is affecting the pace. For that, Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool is accurate.

Step 3: Develop Unique Pictures

Step 3: Develop Unique Pictures

When visuals pop up on your site, they have to be captivating enough to increase the user’s dwelling time.

Unique images have authenticity. It informs search engines like Google that your site has all the E-A-T principles. It helps you stand out and increase your online visibility.

On the other hand, a bunch of stock images can ruin your originality, and the users may treat you like nothing special.

Suppose you want to boost the online presence of a hotel. Like any other online hospitality organization, you can use generic images.

For a change, upload in-house pictures that reflect interior decor, on-site attractions, and other aspects of the hotel.

Observe how these pictures boost your traffic and audience engagement. What’s best, you can also earn backlinks when other website owners use your media and offer credits.

Original images have SEO potential that web hosts should exploit to the fullest. It improves the user experience and increases your chance of ranking for related searches.

Note: Google often features large images in its discovery section.

Google states in its Advanced SEO Resource, ‘Large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview: large setting, or by using AMP.’

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Step 4: Use Alt Text

Step 4: Use Alt Text

Alternative Text (Alt text) describes an image for user convenience. This description serves two purposes for the search query:

  • What is this image?
  • How does it help me?

Screen readers use alt text to convey this message to the visitor. Besides, the search engine bot reads the description to decide if the image matches the search query.

Adding alt text in WordPress is comparatively easy. Once you add the image, the image description box will appear on the side.

On Google Docs, right-click on the image to find the alt text. A box will appear where you enter the image description.

How do you write the alt text?

A simple formula for image description can be:

Alt Text= Target Keyword + Image Description

Now, want to boost your image SEO game? Like learning from your leading competitors.

Go to their website, right-click on an image, and select “Inspect.” Find the alt text in their site code.

Step 5: Create SEO-friendly Image Names And Descriptions

Step 5: Create SEO-friendly Image Names And Descriptions

According to John Mo from Google, image names don’t influence the holistic SEO performance of a web host directly.

However, SEO-friendly image names and descriptions inform search engine crawlers about the subject matter of the content. Also, Google considers this one of its SEO best practices.

Hence, creating optimized file names and image descriptions is crucial to a web page’s healthy growth.


Search engines, especially Google, rely on titles and descriptive snippets for images. When you use short phrases to describe an image, the crawlers consider them for ranking and indexing.

Step 6: Build Mobile Responsive Images

Step 6: Build Mobile Responsive Images

Mobile SEO brings you more than half of your website traffic. To be specific, the count is 59.6%. Also, Google prefers those businesses whose websites are compatible with mobile devices.

Therefore, optimizing your images with the right strategy for mobile is essential.


When done right, the mobile-friendliness of images can shoot your ranking status and boost user engagement. If image optimization is wrong, mobile SEO can increase bounce rates and lower conversions.

Run your website on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and check if the images have the best quality and don’t affect the loading speed.

Ensure the images are responsive. In simple words, they should be able to scale the device and resize it accordingly.

Check on them manually from different devices. Confirm that the image resolution and size are intact.

Pro Tip: Use Mozilla to get identical images with multiple sizes that suit different devices. They have the essential guide for srcset and size attributes available.

Step 7: Incorporate Schema Markup

Step 7: Incorporate Schema Markup

Schema Markup is a data type that provides context to search engines.

For better understanding, imagine you have a restaurant and plan to collect customer feedback. To avoid commotion, you design a format with a specific ranking system.

Such arrangements help your customers give feedback on the restaurant’s food and services.

That’s how schema markup functions. It arranges your data in specific formats that help crawlers understand if the content is a guide, listicle, or how-to. has three types of image formats:

  • LayoutImage 
  • Logo 
  • Photo 

At this address, you’ll find the designated code list. There, you can add structured data to your images.

It’s an essential technical matter that can enable you to elevate your SEO score.

Step 8: Include Images to SiteMap

Step 8: Include Images to SiteMap

SEO analysts suggest that while creating sitemaps, you insert images somewhere on the website blueprint.


The images on the sitemap allow search engine crawlers to navigate and index images. As a result, it drives traffic and increases the chance of earning backlinks.

Step 9: Determine Image Dimensions

Step 9: Determine Image Dimensions

When you mention the dimensions of an image, mainly its width and height, it contributes to a better experience for the user.

Many webpreneurs use AMP or PWAs. They define their dimensions in the source code itself.

Another crucial reason you should mention image dimension is that a browser uses it as a reference to scale the images. It stops the page from jumping while the CSS is loaded.

Determining image dimension prevents Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) problems. They can cause a disturbance in the Core Web Vitals optimization.

Therefore, ensure you enter all the right height and width details for every visual asset.


Mostly because this gives the browser an idea of how much space to allocate for the visual assets. Also, it prevents content shifting that can affect your CLS score.

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Seasoned SEO analysts like Neil Patel say that images bring value to users. Therefore, every content strategist should pay attention to how to optimize content images for better search engine positioning.

However, overflowing content with pictures to meet the requirement can leave a negative impression. Neither should you use images that have no relation to the context.

Consequently, visitors may find your site less accessible. Fix them on time before it drops your traffic and engagement metrics.

Asif Eqbal

Asif Eqbal is a SEO and digital marketing expert. Join Asif and the blog to get the best tips and info on affiliate marketing, eCommerce websites, blogging and several other areas of the vast digital marketing ocean. Asif managed digital marketing team for clients all over the globe helping them to grow their online business.

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Asif Eqbal

Asif Eqbal

Asif Eqbal is a SEO and digital marketing expert. Join Asif and the blog to get the best tips and info on affiliate marketing, eCommerce websites, blogging and several other areas of the vast digital marketing ocean. Asif managed digital marketing team for clients all over the globe helping them to grow their online business.

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