Digital Marketing Image Optimization Inbound Marketing On-Page SEO

Optimizing Graphics for SEO 101

Did you know that a whopping 65% of the world’s population are visual learners? That means that well over half of the world’s population can be placed into two styles of learning: visual-linguistic, and visual-spatial. These two forms of visual learning focus on engagement with written language; such as reading and writing, as well as visual materials found on the web; like videos, webisodes, and pictures.

How should this impact your current search engine optimization (SEO) strategy?

With an increasing number of people relying on the internet for answers to their questions, and using search engines to find that information, it’s important to make sure you are paying attention to all aspects of SEO in your current marketing strategy. There are a million easy ways to optimize your website, but optimizing images for SEO is one of the simplest.

If you have an SEO strategy in place, it helps Google find your website with proper citations and caters to the content your website. Your next step is to help that 65% of the population learn more about your product or brand in the simplest way they know how: through visual graphics and images.

Choosing the Right Graphics for My Website

The great thing about your company’s website is that you are able to reach your audience through video, audio, text, and an endless number of graphics. According to marketer Jeff Bullas, “94 percent of content with images get more views.” The important thing to consider when using graphics on your website is what kind of graphics tell the best story to my audience about the piece of content written?

For example, if you’re a car dealership in Philadelphia creating a blog post on parallel parking tips, you could use relevant pictures of people parking their vehicles and optimize your graphic accordingly. On the other hand, you could also use an infographic portraying a step by step process on how to parallel park your vehicle in one engaging picture.

The choice is yours, but the first step to optimizing your image for SEO is to choose the right image for your audience, your content, and to make sure that it looks aesthetically pleasing on your website.

Optimizing Graphics and Images on Site

There are a few simple ways to optimize the images and graphics on your website. Basic image optimization calls for the following things: alt tags, titles, and captions.

Using Image Alt Tags

Alt tags are important to use for search engine crawling purposes. Search engines are unable to actually see your pictures when they crawl your page or website, so providing image alt tags with the proper keyword term you are targeting in your SEO strategy helps search engines understand what your picture and article are about. Alt tags also boost SEO value for that image and page.

Look at our following example of a 2016 Nissan Altima Review:

In a vehicle review, the targeting keyword you want to optimize your content for would be the vehicle you are reviewing. In the following image alt tag, we are targeting the Nissan Altima.

Now put yourself in the legs of a search engine crawler. What do you see? From this example we can see that the keyword “Nissan Altima” has been targeted. More specifically, we can see that the 2016 Nissan Altima’s interior will be understood by search engines that crawl this page.

You can learn more about best practices for alt tags in Google’s image publishing guidelines.

Using Image Title Tags

Image title tags are the image’s actual title. Think of the title tag as similar to the image alt tag, but instead of writing the title for a search engine using your keywords you’re writing it for humans, so it can be more conversational. Adding a title tag allows you to give your image a name, and allows the user to understand what the image is on your website.

In the following example of an image title tag (in the same Nissan Altima vehicle review), you can see that the keyword is used in the beginning of the phrase, and the title also depicts what the image will portray to users on the website.

When hovering over the image, users will see the image title and have more of an understanding about what the image’s overall purpose is for the content piece.

Image Captions

Kissmetrics states that “website users are 300 percent more likely to read captions” than text. Image captions should be used sparingly and appropriately, and should still remain relevant to your article and crafted in an engaging way. If used correctly, image captions ultimately have the power to increase average time on site and decrease your website’s bounce rate.

Below is a picture of another 2016 Nissan Altima vehicle review. The image caption is placed below and gives more detail than the page’s heading. The reader is able to skim the page, understand what the picture is depicting and also has the option to read more about the interior features the vehicle offers on the left.


Stream’s Kick-Start Step:

Take a look at your current image alt tags, title tag and captions. Are you following the best practices listed above? If not, consider making changes to help increase the likelihood that someone will reach your image via search. This can also help to increase the overall keyword value of the image you are optimizing and the overall keyword value of your content page.


Are You 65% of the World’s Population?

Now that you’ve learned the basics to optimizing images and graphics for SEO on your website, your next step is to execute these optimization tactics in your on-page SEO strategy.

Utilizing relevant and engaging images not only increases your website’s SEO value when properly optimized, it also increases your audience’s experience with your website.

If you still want to learn more, download our FREE SEO checklist to learn 17 ways on improving your organic search results, the proper way to start a link building strategy, and simple steps to integrating content into your SEO campaign.

Happy Optimizing!