This information can become quite overwhelming so I have tried to remove the fluffy words and serve up the facts.
Metadata – the data used to describe a digital asset, transitions your workflow from “finding” to “searching.” If the Metadata does not exists you will have to remember what folder your digital asset is stored in and on what computer.
Instead, your creative and marketing teams can quickly and efficiently retrieve assets by searching from associated fields in a database. And when you make smart use of metadata, they don’t even need to recall specific file names.
SEO – aspects of optimisation include a number of factors that you have to take into account for image and digital asset SEO.
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These include file size, format and name, image size and format, URL and folder structure, image content, and EXIF data.
- File size: The file size of images should not be too large to facilitate crawling for the Googlebot. File size of images also influences the loading speed of your website, a major ranking factor should be as fast as possible. (0.4seconds)
- File format: With regard to file format, common formats such as PNG, JPG or GIF are recommended for images. JPG is more suitable for photos, while PNG should be used for graphics and screenshots in order to keep the file size of images as small as possible. (Canva Pro)
- File name: The file name of images is an important factor for the ranking of images in image search. It should contain all essential keywords. These should match the actual content of an image and reflected as exactly as by the file name. The exact description of the content of an image by its file name is not only relevant for a good ranking in image search but also helps Google to thematically classify your website.
- Image size: Basically, large images have a more positive effect on the SEO of your website than small images (The rule of thumb is a length of at least 300 pixels for one side of an image. Too small images like thumbnails don’t rank well but clicking on it creates a larger image.
- Image format: The most suitable format is 4:3, as this is the most frequently clicked format. Avoid wide or high formats, as there is a risk that your image will be cut off on one side.
- URL and folder structure: The folder structure in the URL of an image file should also have a thematic reference to the image subject matter as a supplement to the file name, e.g. www.wordstyler.com/digitalassets/ebook/catalogue.jpg
- Content of a picture: Content for image SEO such as, infographics, should be clearly arranged and provide all relevant information. The content of an image must the topic of the page. Use unique and personal images instead of stock photos, as this is a sign of quality and sets your website apart from your competitors.
- EXIF data: EXIF data is information that is stored in the header of an image file itself including the shooting date and location or the camera name. These are often stored automatically by cameras, but you can also add them afterward by image editing programs. Google is able to read such information from an image file, it has not yet had any influence on the ranking of a website.
Surroundings and metadata
- Surroundings of an image: The text in immediate proximity to an image such as its caption is an important factor for image SEO, as it helps Google to understand the thematic context of an image. It should therefore contain the most important keywords for optimization. This also applies to the subheading above an image.
- Position: Pictures enhance the content of your website, use them where they match the topic of your page and provide value to users.
- Title attribute: A title attribute defines the title of an image, which appears when users move their mouse over an image. The title is less important for Google than for users. It should describe the image content briefly and informatively. In addition, the most important keywords for an image should also be included here.
- Alt attribute: An alt attribute specifies the text that is displayed when an image cannot be loaded, e.g. due to server problems or a bad internet connection of users. This is also very helpful for blind people because it is read out by screen readers. It helps Google with the thematic classification of an image. This short text reflects the content of an image and contains the most important keywords. You should include visual elements of an image (e.g. colors or patterns) into your title and alt attributes, since users often search for such properties (e.g. “red t-shirt”).
- Markups: Markups, e.g. with schema.org, can help to facilitate crawling and classification of an image by search engines.
- img tag: You can insert the image size here to speed up the loading of an image file.
- Internal linking and repeated use of images: Internal linking has a positive influence on the SEO of your website. For images, you can do this indirectly by thumbnails such as repeating the use of the same image on a website also has a positive effect on its ranking in search results.
- Backlinks: Backlinks are important for the SEO of a website. Websites that are frequently linked to can also have a positive influence on the ranking of the image files they contain.
- SafeSearch: The SafeSearch setting is a default on Google. It’s important to check whether images from your website may not be considered safe by Google otherwise they may not appear in search results. If this is the case, you should block the corresponding files for crawlers in a robots.txt file as otherwise, you run the risk that Google will exclude all images of your website from search results.
- Long tail search queries: Similar to the SEO of websites, it is easier to achieve a high ranking for very specific long tail search queries in the context of image SEO.
Use of image SEO
- Visibility: Image SEO leads to better visibility of your image files in Google’s image search. If the images are relevant for a particular search query, they can also be displayed in the results of the general Google search.
- Traffic: The higher ranking of an image in image search can lead to an indirect increase of traffic on your website because the URL of the corresponding page is displayed in search results when clicking on an image. To achieve such an increase in traffic, your image should attract attention in search results and therefore be clicked frequently.
- In the context of image SEO, the focus today is less on ranking in image search, but rather on optimizing and enhancing the content of a page and thus SEO of a website as a whole.
The ranking in image search can have a considerable influence on the purchase decision of users and is therefore particularly relevant for e-commerce sites.
- Easier evaluation of the thematic context by Google: By image SEO, it becomes easier for Google to understand the thematic context of the images of a website and the website as a whole. This is rewarded with better rankings.
- User Experience: Another important aspect is that image SEO can also improve user experience, e.g. by reducing the loading time of websites. This is particularly important for mobile optimization, as loading speeds in the mobile sector are usually lower than those available on desktop.
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