The “wall of text” effect that repels readers is well-known. Unbroken text not only looks daunting, it makes for a more difficult read because it isn’t broken down into smaller and more easily “digestible” information chunks. However, even text that is broken up with appropriate subheaders still makes the page look bland to most people. The reason is that it lacks visual appeal. Images that provide this appeal will draw the visitor to read your content. In many cases, images do more than this in that they help the visitor to understand and appreciate your content.
Because of this, images reduce visitor bounce rate, increase the length of their visit, increase the page’s social shares, and make return visits more likely. All of these are measures of viewer engagement, and will likely have a positive impact on the web page’s ranking. Choosing engaging images require that they support or enhance the content in a way that makes sense.
You can use diagrams to help the reader to visualize or grasp technical or conceptual content. Images are also useful for supporting content with an emotional component. When your images increase viewer engagement, the search engines will detect this and rank the web page accordingly. Image placement, therefore, is an indirect form of search engine optimization.
Optimizing Your Images for Search
- Make the image file sizes as small as possible. Large images or too many of them without compression will slow down the page loading speed. This will directly impact your SEO in a negative way. There’s no need to use extremely small images because there are a number of image compression tools and plugins available that will reduce the file size of images.
- Fill in the alt text. When adding an image to a web page, a field entry will appear that asks for a word description of the image. This description tells Google what the image is about. Don’t keyword spam this text because keyword spamming of any kind, doesn’t work and may have negative consequences. An accurate image description works fine. If a keyword naturally fits into the description, that’s even better.
- Give the image a title. This is another field entry when adding an image to a web page using a content management system. Again, choose an appropriate title for humans.
- Rename the image file. Make the image file name a keyword that accurately describes the image.
For more information about search engine optimization or if you require assistance in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us.