SEO 101: Steps for Optimizing Images on Your Website

This is the third post of Boucher + Co.’s “SEO 101″ series. “SEO 101” is a bi-weekly column focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and commonly-held myths associated with “good” SEO practices.

Let’s face it, images make your website look better. Much better in fact. But while they may make your website more visually appealing, they may also make your website less appealing to Google and search engines. Fortunately, by following a few simple steps when building your website, you can enjoy a healthy combination of images and text, and boost your search engine appeal.

Why are images so bad for search engines anyway?

While Google is good at plenty of things, it’s not good at reading images. The faces, and text, that appear in images are for the most part unreadable by Google. For that reason, it’s better to use text in place of images for certain website elements. When that’s not possible, finding a way to include text alongside an image is crucial for SEO efforts.

Steps to take when building your website to ensure is SEO-friendly

Balance the number of images with the amount of text on the page

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the amount of websites containing too many images and too little text are many. Images are great, but they must be backed up by corresponding text (see below). Don’t rely on your site’s images to provide text to Google – the search giant won’t notice.

For every image, include alternative text and title tags

The great thing about basic HTML is that it includes built-in image property tags for simplifying your SEO efforts. The “alt” tag allows you to specify alternative text to display in case the site’s images can’t display. And the “title” tag is great for including a short description or story behind the image – something Google loves.

Embrace CSS image replacement techniques

You can use images for page headings, a practice that generally makes a website more visually-appealing. When done right, you can deliver a great visual experience while preserving SEO efforts. Check out these awesome CSS image replacement techniques to learn how to include proper text alongside images for page headings, among other uses.

Remember, a website’s priority should be to become SEO-friendly. It’s great to be visually-appealing, but visuals alone cannot deliver the marketing punch and quality leads delivered through Google and other search engines. Take a few minutes each day to optimize all pages of your website using the steps above, and you will receive more leads and quality web traffic.