9 Image Optimization Tips for SEO Friendly Images [Infographic]

Eric Kazda  |   July 12, 2017   |  Posted in Content Creation

Did you know that articles with images, on average, get 94% more total views than an article without an image? It’s common sense for marketers to include images within their blog posts. But what are the best practices for utilizing these images regarding search engine optimization (SEO)? Discover how to optimize images for SEO and rank higher with our simple tips!

Nine Tips for SEO-friendly images

9 Image SEO Tips


Google primarily ranks based on user experience. They look for pages that are easy to read and understand for the visitor. Always write and format based on the reader’s perspective. That basic concept is the foundation for all the following tips.


Name your image file correctly.

The file name should accurately depict what the image is and the keyword you’re using. Don’t abbreviate words. If you must use company filing details in the name, still add a descriptive title after the file code. Separate the keyword-focused name in the title with hyphens.

For example,

Bad title = DsCm75929.jpg

Good title = sunset-cruise-hawaii.jpg

Change your image resolution.

Don’t use a 1500×1500 image resolution if you don’t want it to show up that large in your content. Only use the highest resolution necessary for the space the image will take up in the article. Higher resolution just means your page will take longer to load – losing you valuable web traffic. The standard resolution for web images is 72dpi.

Utilize captions.

Captions can provide needed context to the reader. Use them to add relevant information to the image. They should also feature keywords related to the image itself and the article’s overall content.

Add images to your XML sitemaps.

Google uses sitemaps to index your websites pages, but they can also index the images on your site. Make sure to add your images to all XML sitemaps you’re sending Google.

Reduce the image file’s size.

Separate from image resolution, the file size should also be decreased as much as possible. Small file sizes mean faster load times and less dead weight on the page.

Make your images responsive.

One of the reasons we love using WordPress for our clients is that it is SEO friendly for images by design. One of their default features is to change image size depending on what size screen the reader is on, whether that be a desktop or a smartphone. Just like how mobile-responsive websites are vital, responsive images are vital as well.

Create alt text that optimizes the image.

Alt text is used to take the place of an image if it can’t show up on the reader’s screen. If the viewer can’t see the image, it describes what they would’ve been looking at. This is especially helpful when optimizing your site for readers with visual impairment. If they can’t see the image, they can still understand the message. When you write the alt text for an image, describe exactly what’s happening in the picture using relevant keywords.

Use the right image at the right place in the text.

As Yoast says, “an image that is surrounded by related text, ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.” The image you use should add to the content, not distract from it.

Switch up the type of image you use.

If you can avoid it, stop inserting boring stock photos. There are so many types of image files that can add to your content and intrigue the reader – making your article more SEO friendly. Just be sure the image is not copyrighted! Mix it up with the following image types:

  • Photo you took yourself
  • Illustration
  • Meme
  • Infographic
  • Chart or graph
  • Animated GIF

Image SEO Best Practices in Action

Smartphone with Google Search

This image is relevant to this article because we’re talking about how to rank higher in a Google search. The image helps show the reader’s perspective. Here’s the details of this image on our site.

File name: google-search-on-smartphone.jpg

Alt text: Smartphone with Google Search

Image resolution: 72ppi

File size: 85k

Caption: Take advantage of Google’s search algorithm with these image optimization tips.

Start using these recommendations on your site’s images and you could organically rank higher in Google.

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Eric Kazda

Eric Kazda is a leading expert in the interactive development industry with over fifteen years of experience. With a mastery of critical development technologies, Eric has crafted innovative award-winning work for clients both large and small. Coupling this knowledge with a real world understanding of usability and technological feasibility, his work is developed to be accessible by every user.