6 steps towards optimal graphics in SEO

You are ahead of the game if you are regularly using graphics/images/photos on your website. You understand that graphics can concisely deliver complex information in a simplified form. Human beings are wired to learn with visual imagery.

  • Visuals are responsible for 83% of learning,
  • When compared to text, visuals get processed 60,000 times more rapidly.

Unfortunately, many businesses and website owners don’t realize the significant part that visuals play when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Here at Coronation Internet Marketing – Phoenix SEO Consultants we’ve created the following checklist for publishing images so you won’t miss out on opportunities to improve your total SEO performance on the web:

1. Make appropriate use of the alt text inserted in the image file

Image files include written copy that describes the image which is inserted as HTML and which is known as alt text. There are two primary ways that alt text affects your SEO. These are its usability benefits and how it is seen by the search engines. Don’t try to stuff your keywords into the alt tags but be sure that it accurately describes the image.

Search engines use the alt text to understand the picture’s content which is of primary importance for SEO. You get the opportunity to use everyday language to tell search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo about the picture. If you are using images to make your page look more attractive or if you describe the images within the text of your article, then alt tags are not always necessary. Don’t stuff the alt text with keywords. Instead, choose relevant or related keywords and insert them into a well-written description. If you try to gain an advantage by using your alt text incorrectly, you could wind up with a penalty from Google.

Other benefits come with using alt text. For example, you website remains functional when the images don’t load or when a web surfer with a visual impairment arrives at your page. In either case, your users will still be able to engage fully with what you have to offer.

2. When appropriate, make use of image captions

Photo captions are read 300% more than the main body of the text according to Kissmetrics. You will gain more readers for your website when you use them. Try hooking your audience by adding a well-written caption to a big photo. You’ll wind up with better search engine optimization for your site because readers who are engaged are less likely to bounce.

cat reading a book

You may have tried to skim through the article but you are probably reading this caption. See my point?

However, if you caption excessively, this technique, like most other SEO techniques, can backfire on you. Only place captions on images that truly require them. Not all images need to be captioned. Look at the picture and ask yourself if it makes sense to a reader. If the intent of the image can be well-understood without a caption, the captioning text won’t help you rank higher in Google.

Relevance matters when it comes to subtitles. Your aim should be to help search engines understand why users will benefit from the image.

On the Content Guidelines at Google, the company clearly states that you will be sending the search engines a confusing message if your web page is about tomatoes and the image is a polar bear.

3. Use Schema to give a function to your pictures

Schema markup language is regularly used for text to determine the manner in which your content works. It is just as useful for graphics. The schema is used on only 0.3% of domains despite the fact that the tool is so powerful, according to Searchmetrics.

Using Schema, your pictures can be assigned a particular role. For example, when proper schema markup is used, when the term “strawberry shortcake” is entered as a Google search, your photo can be displayed with the recipe for strawberry shortcake on the search engine results page.

strawberry shortcake schema search result example

In fact, the markup used by Schema can state which image for an article or blog should be featured and which image is your company logo. When Schema is used with your graphics, searchers will find your optimized and helpful images in their search results and find them relevant and exciting.

4. The internal linking structure can be built with graphics

It can take many days for just a single graphic to be created when you consider the time spent doing the research, outlining it, and executing the final design. Why let all of your work be wasted by letting it just sit there once you’ve published it.

links of chain representing links within a site

If you are making custom graphics, take the opportunity to leverage them for several different uses within new content. For example, if an infographic you developed includes a statistic that you use in a blog post, why not repurpose that infographic content for your new article? You’ll be adding a valuable internal site link when you use it in a later blog post.

5. Your backlinks should contain an embed code

An excellent way to engage your audience is to provide them with a custom infographic or image. Your results will get a welcome boost when you make it easy for your readers to share the graphic. While it’s true that the reach of that image is expanded when this happens, there are also other implications for your technical SEO efforts to think about.

Make it easy for your readers to share your image by offering an embed code. When your image is hosted on someone else’s site using that embed code, they are actually creating a backlink to your website. Backlinks remain an SEO technique that is tried and true.

6. Make use of the sitemaps offered by Google

Get Google to crawl your website when you submit your sitemap by providing more information about the graphics on your site by using the Google image extension. You will start appearing more rapidly in search results when you ask Google to crawl your website. That invitation is extended when you submit your sitemap.

Web surfers have notoriously short attention spans. Custom images keep us invested and interested because they help us gather and retain information in a rapid manner. Some marketers forget about the implication this has for SEO. Both images and text should be leveraged for how they benefit search.