Content optimization to achieve a better position within Google results includes both text and images or any other element that is part of the content.

Developing a good strategy that complements the SEO optimization of each of these aspects is key to achieving success in positioning.

Importance of images in SEO

Although on many occasions images are not given the importance they have when it comes to optimizing a blog or a website, the truth is that Google has been clear about it for a long time. In 2001 it already launched “Google Images” and since then it has been giving more and more weight to graphic content.

The «Google Images» project arose after the madness that Jennifer López unleashed with the already famous green dress that all users wanted to see after wearing it at the 2000 Grammys. It was at that time, after an avalanche of searches from different countries to be able to see the garment worn by the singer, when the great search engine put in true value what the images mean for users.

Little by little, this gave way to universal searches where information appears on texts, images, videos, shopping, apps… A single search activates all possible types of results, offering quality information. That is why betting on image optimization means taking a step further in SEO results.

Image optimization for Google

The first thing to keep in mind is that Google cannot see what is in an image. It is not people who analyze the content, but robots that read codes. Therefore, an image uploaded to the Internet without proper optimization is empty content for Google.

Understanding this is essential to properly assess all the aspects that you are going to have to take care of in each image. And, furthermore, uploading a well-optimized image to the Internet is taking another step forward in web accessibility for people with disabilities, since it allows any accessibility software to recognize the content of the images just as Google would.

Factors to consider

Each image has several different text fields associated with it, in addition to some specific technical characteristics:

  • Weight of the images: The more the images weigh, the more they slow down the loading speed and worsen the user experience. The appropriate thing is that each image does not exceed 100kb whenever possible. You can lower its weight before uploading it to the web, or do it through an optimization plugin within the web. Keep in mind that the first option will always be the most effective.
  • Image Name: The image name is the name of the file. Often it is not given importance, many believe that it does not matter what name is used in the file. However, this is going to be the first aspect that Google notices, so you must use the main word that represents the content.
  • Title: It is the title of the image, a field different from the name of the file. It should briefly describe the content. In this case the words are no longer separated by hyphens, but normal spaces are used.
  • Description: You can include up to 100 characters to make a more detailed description of the content of the image. Note that this is necessary for good positioning, but can also be used as a caption if you want to include it in your content layout.
  • Alternative text: The alternative text is used to improve the accessibility of the users, and as content to show if, due to a loading error or another type of error, the images cannot be seen. It has a lot of weight within the positioning of images.

You can introduce all these concepts on your website through plugins or specific tools of your CMS. For example, in WordPress the CMS itself includes this option in its basic configuration. If you do not use a CMS with these characteristics, you will have to include all the information in the HTML IMG tag.

In addition, although it is obvious to say it, you must take into account the quality of the image. It is not something that Google will take into account a priori. However, low-quality images draw less attention from users and therefore receive less web traffic. In other words, poor quality can be synonymous with poor positioning of that image.

How to include links in images

Another aspect that you must take into account is how to include links if you want your graphic content to become calls to action and direct web traffic to a specific page.

The first advice I can give you is that if an image has a link, you should make it clear. Either through the content of the image, or through the text that accompanies it.

On the other hand, the link will use as “anchor text” or anchor text the words that have been entered in the alternative text. You must take this into account when using these links within your link building or link juice strategy.

Review and audit of your SEO optimization

As a last piece of advice, do not forget that all your SEO positioning optimization actions must be reviewed with certain frequency. Constant updating is essential when developing a good positioning strategy on Google.

It is necessary to check that the images load correctly, that you have included text in all the necessary fields, that the links are not broken… Only by carrying out audits with a certain frequency will you be able to always keep all aspects related to your positioning up to date.