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How To Optimize Images For Search Engines, Social Media and People

image optimization

Optimize your images for search engines:

  • Keywords in alt text, text around the image, image name, page title;
  • Preferred image formatting – jpg;
  • Separate SE accessible image folder;
  • Image freshness. (SEW suggests re-uploading your images to keep them fresh);
  • Enabled image search option at Google webmaster tool.
  • Reasonable image file size (see the discussion at WW)
  • Limited number of images per page;
  • Popular and reliable photo sharing hosting (e.g. Flickr is reported to help in Yahoo! image optimization).

Optimize your images for social media:

  • (obvious) use really great images to give your readers another reason to spread the word;
  • (to get Digg thumbnailed submission) stick to jpg format and make sure the images can be resized to (or already are) 160×120 or 160×160 pixels (Unless you have an image that can be resized that way Digg will not offer the submitter a thumbnail to go with the post).
  • Create animated GIFs: They go hot easily!

Optimize your images for people:

  • People pay more attention to a clear image where they can see details (choose high quality images).
  • (Clean, clear) faces in an image get more eye fixation. (don’t use abstract images too often).
  • Keep them relevant: images are not the first thing a visitor sees on a web page but they can compel him to stay (according to the eye-tracking research web text is prior to images; when looking at a printed article people see images first; with web page they see text first – nevertheless images make the visitor stay and remember the page via relevant associations).

Gender specific:

  • women are better at recognizing facial emotions than men (research):
  • men seem to be more likely than women to first look at faces rather than other parts of a nude body (source);
  • women are more interested in images with more than one person (source).

Tools and fun for image optimization:

  • SEO Friendly Images WP Plugin – automatically optimize image ALT and TITLE with the help of post “%title” variable;
  • Play with Google Images labeling (and help improve the quality of Google image search).

How to find images online.

Post image: Feeling lucky punk?

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  1. 142 Responses to “How To Optimize Images For Search Engines, Social Media and People”

  2. Great to see a list that talks about more than just images for SEO but rather to satisfy everyone who is looking at them.

    By Billie on Aug 31, 2012

  3. I find generateanchors.com very useful to generate a huge list
    of natural anchor texts. It mixes everything pretty well.

    By Chris Webber on Sep 16, 2012

  4. I have implemented this same technique for SEO and it has helped me greatly. Thanks

    By Ben on Sep 24, 2012

  5. I was surprised to see that men are more likely to first look at faces. I came here looking for a good tool to identify missing alt tags – any suggestions?

    By Interior Design Ideas on Sep 28, 2012

  6. Hello Ann Smarty,

    Is a good ideea to begin a post with an image? WordPress SEO plugin don’t agree this thing and return the error “The keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of the copy” because in the first paragraph Yoast see a image code not the article text. I supose that WP SEO want to make a useful suggestion… I’m wrong?

    Thank you

    By Liviu Fratila on Nov 8, 2012

  7. Perfect tips to optimise SEO.
    But i want to ask one thing. Pinterest or Google images?

    By Anchit Shethia on Dec 29, 2012

  8. @Anchit Both? :)

    By Ann Smarty on Dec 29, 2012

  9. Very good posting I really appreciate.The best thing about pasting an image in your website or blog is that it will attract the attention of the reader. The image can sometimes give a better understanding pertaining to the topic that you write.

    By Taswir Haider on Jan 30, 2013

  10. Very nice post. I appreciate the succinctness and
    clarity of detail. Thanks for the great info.

    By Laurie J. Greene on Apr 7, 2013

  11. Great reading. Thanks for writing a hug

    By Dario Martinez on Jul 17, 2013

  12. Great post. Wish I’d have read this about 2 months ago, as I struggled with advice, useless tools, and spent valuable time searching for the info you’ve so concisely provided in this highly informative article.
    THANK YOU!

    By Kimberly D. on Jul 26, 2013

  13. thnkyou for the help.. i really appreciate your work.. and now i will keep in mind the information u provided keep post stuff like this…

    By harry on Aug 20, 2013

  14. Hey Ann
    Thanks for sharing these little nuggets!

    By David on Sep 4, 2013

  15. this is what i want to make my blog more seo friendly with search engine, thanks for sharing, keep sharing useful things

    By ahmadsite on Jan 27, 2014

  16. Thank you for the great information. Is there anything to bulk optimize the images? I have too many to do one at a time.

    By jery jhon on Jan 29, 2014

  17. Awesome Ann! Just what I needed to prepare the images for my site!

    By Chic Mamma on Feb 4, 2014

  18. Thanks for the tips! I’m probably not going to go back and change ALL my pictures, but all new pictures will be added with alt text.

    By Devin on Mar 13, 2014

  19. I use joomla, how do optimize images on page.

    By Thành Thái on Mar 19, 2014

  20. Our images are quite large, but we try to keep it high quality. Thanks for the tips.

    By Wine Dine Daily on Mar 26, 2014

  21. thanks for valuable tips, Ann!

    By Alvie on May 20, 2014

  22. You wrote everything in good way and I do agree with your post and Image optimization is huge part of SEO.

    By Deepak on Jun 20, 2014

  23. how do I know the alt text is missing???

    By Tonny marezco on Jul 24, 2014

  24. sorry my bad english.
    I’m confused how to change image alt.
    Because at the time of posting, all the pictures I’ve added alt image.
    But when in check with seo quacke, all image no alt image.
    Please help, thank you.

    Regard,
    Sany Trisandi

    By Jual Sosis Bakar Bandung on Oct 14, 2014

  25. Hi! First of all thank your for sharing

    I like very much the tips of the article about how to optimize the web images for improving our SEO

    Now I usually use the SEO Friendly Images WP Plugin to “alt” of my forgotten images

    Mª Jesús

    By Mª Jesús on Oct 20, 2014

  26. Just checked back to see the name of the optimization plugin :) We try to keep the images in good quality, but it does slow down the site.

    By Glamorous Bite on Dec 8, 2014

  27. Images are mandatory for a website, since they help in better user experience. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Same goes with the images on a website. They make the content more interesting.

    By Raja Habib on Dec 24, 2014

  28. Pretty well known strategy, but yes it is advisable to remember some knowledge.

    I personally treat SEO just like an addition to internet business. PPC I guess is much more efficient if you consider factors lite time and results.

    All in all it is fine to work on your SEO by any means

    By Adrian on Mar 1, 2015

  29. Few more ideas from me:

    * try hotlinking the images, or even copying to another site (don’t change filename or edit it or md5sum will change)
    * place within same block level HTML elements as keywords
    * use the word “photo” in the alt text

    By LeSEO on Mar 16, 2015

  30. Thank you for this insightful post. I have been looking for ways to optimize my images. I hope these ideas are still relevant. I love your tips!

    By Jacquelyn Ward on May 5, 2015

  31. im confuse, i’ve using ALT tag for all images in my blog, but seoquake always said that there 25 images without alt tag. help me please :'(

    By Sandi Mulyadi on Jul 13, 2015

  32. Thanks for this useful information.

    By Tamas Boruah on Jul 16, 2015

  33. I’ve added alt to the pictures in my web
    But with seo quacke, no alt. Why?

    By khaihoanphong on Jul 30, 2015

  34. I did not know that a picture can be optimized for search engines.
    thanks

    By Mario Mangone on Aug 4, 2015

  35. Your article helpful me a lot,Thank you so much

    By kowneaw on Aug 11, 2015

  36. Thank you for the great information. Is there anything to bulk optimize the images? I have too many to do one at a time.

    By Joey on Sep 15, 2015

  37. how do I know the title text is missing???

    By Tài Liệu on Sep 22, 2015

  38. Ill be sure to use some of these tips for my website.

    By Justin Covas on Oct 9, 2015

  39. Very useful post, what should be the ideal size of an image? I mean size in kilobytes.

    By Jacob Koshy on Dec 4, 2015

  40. Nice Article, Your article is very helpful for me. Thanks for the article.

    By Amir Hamjah on Dec 6, 2015

  41. How do I optimise images properly? I do a 3 step process to bring it to lowest size but still, the page speed of my blog is relatively slow.

    1. Compress using Image Optimiser online tool
    2. Run it through ImageOptim Mac app
    3. Run it through image compressor WordPress plugin.

    My articles are usually 2000 words long and I tend to add more the 5 images per post.

    It takes close to 2 seconds to load an article. Any tips on that front?

    By Isha Dsouza on Jan 19, 2016

  42. Thank you for the great information to optimize the images

    By Shankar Banjara on Jan 26, 2016

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