How to Optimize Website Images and Videos for SEO?

Most businesses today have a website, but do they have an optimised website? Even though competition in every niche is strong, it doesn’t mean you can put in the effort to become equally competitive. Even better, what if you knew there were ways to surpass your competition?

That’s where search engine optimisation and strategies come in to inform you that you can be better than your competition. One of the website elements that are rarely optimised and search engine friendly are images and videos.

Their purpose is not just to enhance the aesthetics of your website, visual elements significantly impact your search engine rankings and overall user experience. Let’s see how to implement effective strategies to ensure your images and videos are primed for maximum SEO performance.

Appropriate file format

Many websites make the same mistake – they fail to use the appropriate image format. There’s a fine line between the right size that provides the right image quality, so choose wisely. Striking a balance between quality and file size is necessary to achieve a desired visual goal. JPEG is the suggested file format for photographs, anything else like a logo or any graphic, should be in PNG format 

The size

Just like you need to choose the right format, you also have to choose the right size. The website will take ages to load if image or video files are too large. A slow website is considered a poorly optimised one, so Google won’t favour it as authoritative or relevant. You have three to five seconds until a user decides to look for another website, so image compression is a must. To avoid lower search engine rankings, use image editing tools to compress images without sacrificing quality. Similarly, for videos, consider using video compression tools to reduce file sizes while maintaining clarity

Alt text

Alt text or image alt text is a textual description of each image you plan on using on your website. It has to be as descriptive as possible, as this text will be portrayed if the image can’t load for one reason or the other. Also, try to use relevant keywords within these textual descriptions, as it will provide valuable context for search engines and users. Avoid keyword stuffing at any cost as it can be a negative signal. Instead, incorporate relevant keywords naturally to ensure accessibility and ultimate user experience.

Lazy loading

Lazy loading is yet another image optimisation strategy you should know of to ensure your website is search engine friendly. This technique is beneficial as it delays the loading of images and videos until they’re within the user’s view, by reducing initial page load times.

There are different plugins you can use, but you have to be careful with adding too many plugins to a website. If there are too many plugins, they can reverse your optimisation efforts as it will slow down your website. It’s best to consult with SEO company Sydney on these and similar optimisation strategies as they will know what it takes to achieve the best end result.

Use descriptive filenames

Just like we’ve said, alt text is used to describe images as accurately and descriptively as possible. You also need to change the names of image files. If all images and visual elements are named img001, img002 and such, you need to give them proper names. Renaming your image and video files with descriptive filenames helps search engines understand their content and improves accessibility for users. Opt for descriptive names over general image names and also include relevant keywords, where possible and logical. For example, if it’s an image of a product, you can name that image descriptively using the name of the product.

Optimise images and videos for mobile devices

When you are in the middle of website design, you need to build two versions that are the same but also a bit different. A website has to be equally responsive, user-friendly, and aesthetic on desktop devices and mobile devices. If you only build a mobile version, it won’t look as good as the desktop and vice versa. This means that all image files and videos have to be in different sizes, as not all sizes are compatible with every device.  Embrace responsive design techniques, such as CSS media queries, to dynamically adjust the size and resolution of visual elements based on the user’s device.

Sitemaps

If you don’t have a website sitemap, this is something your SEO agency will suggest during the initial audit. Moreover, you’ll need to include one that also has images and videos. Including images and videos in your sitemap improve their discoverability by search engines, ultimately improving your website’s overall SEO performance. Generate separate sitemaps for images and videos and submit them to search engine consoles like Google Search Console to ensure proper indexing.

Metadata

While you’re auditing your website for missing elements that help with optimisation, it’s time to optimise image and video metadata. If metadata is missing from other pages, it’s time to update them as well. Metadata, including titles, descriptions, and tags, provides additional context to search engines about your visual content. Optimise metadata fields with relevant keywords while maintaining accuracy and coherence with the image or video content.

Use thumbnails

Another aspect of website image optimisation is thumbnails. Thumbnail images are small images that serve as the first point of contact for users, influencing their decision to engage with your content. Create thumbnails that fit your overall website aesthetic and that improve click-through rates. Test every version to see which thumbnails have the best performance and CTR.

Monitor performance regularly

The moment you implement any of the strategies mentioned above, you have to start monitoring website performance. The performance of your images and videos using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console will show the results of your efforts and also any untapped optimisation potential. Look into metrics such as impressions, clicks, and engagement to identify areas for improvement and optimisation.

 

Lastly, audit your website regularly. When you audit your website regularly, you’ll notice areas for improvement, errors that need fixing and content that needs further optimisation. If there’s any visual element that should be removed, or updated, these audits will reveal a lot.

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