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5 tips for optimal image SEO

There are several benefits to optimizing your images for the web, your website loads faster and you can search engine optimize your images to be visible in the image search. In this post, we were going to go through both how to optimize your images on the website and also how to search engine optimize your images so that they are visible in the search results of images.

Optimizing images for the web: 5 tips for optimal image SEO

  1. File format
  2. File name
  3. Alt texts
  4. Compress images
  5. Structured data

Optimizing Images for the Web: Why?

Why should you optimize your images for the web? What are the benefits?

There are actually two reasons that matter most:

  • Improve the speed and load time of your website
  • Drive more traffic from the visual search result


Fast loading times on websites are a major ranking factor for Google. During the summer of 2018, the search engine announced that they had started using charging time as a ranking factor, even on mobile devices. It was also in connection with this if Google switched to a mobile-first index. Images on websites are often the biggest reason why loading times are slow, so there is a lot to be gained by optimizing images for the web.

It is also beneficial to search engine optimize your images for the visual search result, Google image search. By doing this, it creates yet another chance to drive traffic to your site! These two reasons together create a greater importance when it comes to the success of search engine optimization. There are many more reasons but in our opinion these are the two biggest.

Optimizing Images for the Web: How?

How should you then optimize your images, both to improve loading time and for search engine optimization? Below are 5 tips on how to optimize your images, what you can think of to search engine optimize them in the best way and at the same time make your website even faster!

1. File format

JPEG or PNG? It can be very difficult to know which file format your image should be in. Our tip is to use JPEG for standard photographic images as this format has a good color reproduction, relatively small file size and good quality.

If you instead have a graphic image that does not have as much color, for example a logo or if you have an image with a transparent background, then you can instead use PNG.

2. File name

The file name of your image is important, especially from an SEO perspective. In order for Google and other search engines to understand what your image represents, it is important to name your image so that it describes what it is. A tip is also to use your keyword, so that Google can more easily rank your image in the visual search results.

It can also be beneficial not to use å, ä and ö in your file name. Also, do not use weird characters like!,?,% Or #, it can be difficult for Google to understand what it is.

3. Alt texts

Alt texts are also part of images that describe what it represents. Here you can think the same as the file name, to use an alt text that describes the image together with your keyword. By using the keyword and describing what the image represents, you will help Google and other search engines understand what it is about.

4. Compress images

In order for your website to improve the loading time, it is important that the image is not too large. Ideally, the image should not be larger than 500KB but a good guideline is below 1MB. To optimize images for the web, it is then good to compress them. It can be done in several ways, if you use WordPress for your website, there are several extensions (plugins) that can do this smoothly and easily for you. But there are also several websites on the web where you can upload your image and the tool compresses the image for you.

We use Adobe Photoshop to reduce the size of our images, but we also have the Hummingbird extension to compress where needed further.

5. Structured data

Including structured data allows Google to display your images as rich search results, allowing you to increase your visibility and drive more traffic. This can be especially beneficial if you run e-commerce or if you publish recipes and the like.

If you run e-commerce and you want to search engine optimize your images for the search results of images, you can think extra hard about:

  • To use high quality images
  • To upload extra many product images
  • Adding a sitemap for photos

Optimizing images for the web: In summary

Now you know how to optimize images for the web! Both for optimal loading time but also for search engine optimization of your images. Your images can affect your loading time enormously and if you find that your site loads a bit slowly, you should definitely start by reviewing your images!

Do you want to read more? One tip is to read Google’s image guidelines!

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