How Important Are Images for SEO?

How Important Are Images for SEO?

14/11/23 | Devon Tebbutt

In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimisation (SEO), business owners and marketers are continually exploring various strategies to improve their websites’ rankings and visibility. Content quality, backlinks, and keywords often dominate discussions about SEO, but there’s another aspect that’s frequently underestimated – images. Images play a pivotal role in SEO, contributing not only to user experience but also to search engine rankings. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of images in SEO and how they can impact your website’s performance.


Enhanced User Experience


One of the fundamental principles of SEO is to provide users with a positive and informative experience. Images are an integral part of this user experience. They make your content visually appealing, breaking up the text and making it more engaging and readable. When users enjoy interacting with your content, they are more likely to spend more time on your website, ultimately reducing bounce rates, which is an important factor for SEO.

Additionally, relevant and high-quality images can help clarify the information you’re conveying in your content. A well-chosen image can visually summarise the topic and captivate the reader’s attention, increasing their understanding and engagement with your content.


Image Alt Text for Accessibility


Alt text is a critical aspect of image optimisation for SEO. It’s not just a feature for providing a description of an image; it also serves as a valuable accessibility tool. Screen readers and assistive technologies rely on alt text to describe images to visually impaired users. Therefore, by providing informative and accurate alt text for your images, you make your content accessible to a broader audience, which can contribute to higher rankings as search engines prioritise accessible websites.


Image Search and SEO


Search engines, such as Google, offer specialised image search options. When users perform image searches, they are presented with a grid of images related to their query. This provides an additional opportunity to attract visitors to your website. By optimising your images and providing suitable alt text and descriptions, you increase the likelihood of your images appearing in these search results, ultimately driving more traffic to your site and increasing your click through rate.


Page Load Speed


While it’s important to have images on your website, too many large files could slow your website down. Page load speed is crucial for SEO as search engines tend to favour fast-loading sites as they provide a better user experience. Images that are not optimised for the web can significantly slow down your website’s loading time. By optimising images for size and format, you can enhance your site’s performance and potentially rank higher in search engine results. If you’re struggling with this, a tip is to ‘smush’ (yes, smush) your images. Smush is a well-loved plugin which is an optimisation tool that uses lossless image compression to save disk storage space and speed up your site. Give it a go!


Visual Content for Branding and Recognition


Images can play a significant role in branding and recognition. Using consistent and recognisable visuals can help users remember and recognise your brand. When users can easily identify your content and brand, they are more likely to trust and engage with it. This trust can lead to repeat visits, increased authority, and a higher likelihood of ranking well in search results.


Mobile Friendliness


Mobile-friendliness is an SEO ranking factor, and it’s becoming increasingly important as mobile device usage continues to rise. Images should be optimised for mobile devices to ensure that they load quickly and look great on smaller screens. Mobile-optimised images contribute to a better user experience, lower bounce rates, and improved rankings on mobile search results.


Structured Data and Rich Snippets


Structured data, often referred to as schema mark-up, can be used to provide search engines with additional information about your content, including your images. By implementing structured data for your images, you can potentially have them displayed as rich snippets in search results, making your content more visible and enticing to users.


Local SEO and Image Optimisation


For businesses that rely on local customers, image optimisation can be especially valuable. Including high-quality images of your physical location, products, and services can enhance your local SEO efforts. These images can appear in Google Maps and other local search results, attracting nearby customers.


Video Thumbnails and Video SEO


If your website features video content, image optimisation extends to video thumbnails. Video thumbnails are often the first visual representation of your video content in search results. By choosing appealing and relevant thumbnails and optimising them for SEO, you can increase the likelihood of users clicking to watch your videos.


Active Internet Marketing – Northampton’s Leading SEO Agency


Images are not just decorative elements on your website; they are valuable assets that can significantly impact your SEO efforts. By optimising images for user experience, accessibility, and search engine ranking factors, you can enhance your website’s overall performance and visibility. Don’t underestimate the power of images in SEO, as they can be the visual edge that sets your website apart in the competitive world of search engine optimisation.

Here at Active Internet Marketing, we have years of experience working as the leading SEO agency in Northampton. If you’re wanting to start your SEO journey, we’d be more than happy to help. For more information, please give us a call today on 01604 765 796. Alternatively, you can complete our online inquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.