Image SEO and Alt Tags: 7 Advanced Image Optimization Tips

This article will provide 7 advanced SEO optimization techniques that can be applied to images on your website. These techniques are sure to help you gain more traffic from Google and improve the quality of your site’s ranking.

Image SEO is a process that determines how well your images are optimized for search engines. This includes the use of alt tags, which are text used to describe an image. The “what is image optimization in seo” article will teach you how to optimize your images for search engine rankings.

When it comes to image SEO, the first thing that generally comes to mind is optimizing alt tags, but there is a lot more that could be done.

Image optimization is, without a doubt, one of the most underappreciated aspects of SEO; however, this does not have to be the case. 

It’s fairly unusual to see photos on a website with large file sizes and inconspicuous file names that are shown on the site at much lower sizes than the original image. 

The issue is that most beginner’s SEO manuals only cover the essentials, which means that improving alt tags is pretty much the only thing that is ever covered.

But don’t forget that image search is a major thing in and of itself, and may send a lot of traffic to your site. Our latest visual search guide does an excellent job of demonstrating how important picture search is.

And, let’s be honest, who hasn’t used it to look at cat pictures?


Image SEO isn’t something that should be overlooked, and in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to optimize your site’s photos so that you may rank better in image searches. 

We’ll go through the following topics in this picture SEO guide:

What Is the Importance of Images?

Images assist to put your material into perspective.

The correct visuals may help users better comprehend and connect with textual information, as well as break up long blocks of text.

A solid block of a couple of thousand words is one of the least entertaining things you can read. 

But, putting users aside, Google’s long-term ambition is to shift toward visual search, which began with a complete redesign of Google Images a few years ago.

Images are progressively taking up premium real space on the SERPs, frequently above and beyond the organic results.


Important note: Images should be carefully picked. 

We’re all accustomed to seeing the same stock picture on every other website, so when you employ unique photos that serve to express the message you’re trying to tell, you’ll really stand out.

The value of photos and image search cannot be overstated. Image optimization should be a component of your continuous SEO strategy and considered one of the finest techniques to follow.

What is Image Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Image SEO, often known as image optimization, is all about enhancing the pictures on your website for two major reasons:

  1. To get a better ranking on Google Image Search.
  2. To increase a web page’s overall exposure and optimization.

This entails a variety of chores, including as accurately identifying files, adding and optimizing alt text, lowering file sizes, and more, all of which will help Google better comprehend your site’s photos. 

Given Google’s improvement in the use of AI and machine learning for picture identification, one of the most often asked issues in regard to image SEO is whether these jobs are still essential.

Yes, to put it simply. Even while their capacity to do so has grown dramatically in recent years, Google still can’t understand all sorts of photographs. It’s also crucial to recognize that image SEO isn’t only about assisting search engines in comprehending what a picture depicts. 

One of the biggest reasons of sluggish web pages is poorly optimized pictures, and making adjustments may have a significant influence on how quickly your site loads and your PageSpeed score.

However, improving alt tags is frequently the end of picture SEO. And although this is undeniably an essential component of the process, it is just one of several. 

Understanding alt tags and alt text, as well as their function, is a good place to start.

What Is the Difference Between Alt Tags and Alt Text?

Alt tags or alt text, sometimes known as alt descriptions or alt characteristics, are often mentioned by SEOs. They relate to the same object and are used interchangeably.

But what exactly are they?

Here’s how Matt Cutts stated it to me a long time ago in a simple manner. (Everyone misses Matt.)


For search engines and users using screen readers to view a web page, alt tags give a text alternative for an image. Alt text was created with the intention of making pictures more accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Simply said, they’re a written explanation for each picture that explains what it depicts. 

They look like this and are part of the HTML code inside an image tag:

<img src=”cute-kitten-playing-ball.png” alt=”cute kitten playing with a ball” />.

The descriptive language included inside the alt property of an image element is known as alt text.

Alt text may boost your site’s SEO performance by providing more relevant signals to a web page and assisting Google in better understanding and ranking an image’s contents.

But a lot of people get this incorrect, and you don’t have to go far to discover a website with the identical alt text for all of the photos — a perfect match of the page’s major target keyword. 

How to Make Alt Text More Effective

When it comes to optimizing your image’s alt text, there are several best-practice guidelines to follow. 

It doesn’t have to be tough to create descriptive alt tags. Things’s better not to overthink it and instead let the image’s substance guide you.

Writing excellent alt text often entails utilizing common sense to explain what the picture depicts. We can simplify this into three best-practice guidelines that you should follow.


1. Be descriptive and specific in your writing. 

The contents of a picture should always be described in as much detail as possible in the alt text.

The more descriptive you can be when describing a picture, the higher it will rank in Google Image Search and provide context for how it connects to the content of your website.

2. Maintain relevancy

Alt tags should not be used to spam exact-match keywords; instead, they should be used to explain what an image depicts. 

The importance of alt tags cannot be overstated.

When a picture is more general in nature and isn’t as particular as others, try to create alt text that explains it in a manner that pertains to the theme of the page it’s on. 

3. Be different.

Use the alt tag for each picture on the page instead of the page’s primary target keyword.

Rather simply replicating the contents of another picture, always create original alt text that explains the distinctive contents of the image. 

But, in reality, what does well-optimized alt text look like? Let’s put one together for this picture of two kittens:


This is an example of a descriptive, relevant, and distinctive alt tag:

alt=”two cute ginger kittens sleeping with balls of wool”

This is keyword-rich and descriptive for search engines and screen readers.

Several website systems already have alt text choices set up; all you have to do is find them. 

On WordPress, How Do I Add Alt Text to Images?

If you’re using WordPress, adding alt text to your photographs is a breeze.

When you click into a picture in the editing window, a field for this will appear on the Image Settings tab.


Alternatively, you may also examine the alternatives by clicking on a picture from the media library.


On Shopify, how can I add alt text to images?

You can add alt text to both theme and product photos if you’re using Shopify. 

Go to Products > All Products and click on the product listing you wish to alter to optimize the alt text on product photos. 

Click into a media item on the product information page to see the preview media page. You may now add alt text by clicking.


Go to Online Store > Themes and click to edit your store’s theme to add alt text to theme photos.

The parts menu is located on the left-hand side of the page and allows you to navigate between picture blocks and, from there, individual photographs.

You’ll see a text box where you may type in your alternative text.


On Magento, How Do I Add Alt Text to Images?

Adding alt text to photos in a Magento shop is a breeze.

To do so, go to Catalog > Products, choose the product for which you’d want to add alt text, then scroll down to the Images and Videos area.

You may alter the alt text by clicking into a picture. 

1636525396_915_Image-SEO-and-Alt-Tags-7-Advanced-Image-Optimization-Tips121 eCommerce is the source of this image.

Wix: How to Add Alt Text to Images

You couldn’t add alt text to photographs on a Wix shop before recently. However, in recent years, the platform has put efforts into addressing typical SEO issues, and alt text modification is now allowed.

On the edit window, you may add alt text to photos by clicking on the one you want to add alt text to and selecting the settings choices. 

You’ll see an option for ‘What’s in the image?’ from here. and that’s where you’ll put your alternative text.


What Role Do Images Play in PageSpeed Scores?

When utilizing the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, image optimization is often mentioned as one of the key techniques to increase your site’s PageSpeed score.

The most probable cause is large photos, which makes logical.

Larger photos take longer to download, which slows down the loading speed of your website. 


This tutorial has further information on how to enhance your PageSpeed score. 

Beyond Alt Text: 7 Advanced Image Optimization Tips

Adding alt tags to images isn’t the only approach to improve them. 

You may boost your site’s overall organic performance as well as optimize photos to rank better in Google Image Search by doing a few things.

Many issues arise as a result of merely uploading raw photographs to your site without first doing some processing – never a smart idea.

Here are seven of the most successful advanced link optimization strategies:

1. Give your images appropriate names.

One of the easiest takeaways from Google’s image best practices recommendations is to make sure that your picture titles are descriptive.

“jordan-air-1-mid-front.jpg,” for example, is preferable than IMG00353.JPG.

Generic filenames are assigned to photographs exported from a camera or smartphone (or even a screenshot). Don’t use the default filename when uploading a picture. Instead, give it a descriptive name that helps to contextualize what it displays, and use dashes to divide the words rather than underscores. 

When uploading photographs, make this a part of your checklist. 

If you’ve previously submitted photographs to a website, change the filenames to something more informative. It won’t take long and will be well worth your time. 

2. Resize images to fit the dimensions of the display

Another typical problem with photos is that the image file has substantially bigger pixel dimensions than the image on your site. 

The primary camera of an iPhone X, for example, generates photographs with a resolution of 4032px x 3024px. 

But let’s pretend that the image’s maximum width on your site is 600px. 

The file size difference between a 4032px wide picture and a 600px wide image is enormous, and employing many images wider than their display size may soon add up to a dramatically higher page file size. 

Make certain that photographs are resized to their maximum display proportions. 

If you’re using WordPress, a plugin like Resize Image After Upload may assist you with this. Otherwise, resizing photos in Photoshop or using a program like Canva would suffice.

You should also make sure that you’re using CSS to scale pictures responsively.

3. Image File Sizes Should Be Reduced

Resizing your photographs to their maximum display dimensions is one of the easiest methods to minimize their file size, but it isn’t the only one.

This is something that Google advises in their image optimization guidelines:

Experiment with different quality settings for your photographs for the best results, and don’t be scared to scale down the quality if the visual results are nice and the filesize savings are significant.

— Google

How can you make your picture files smaller?

Using one of the three open-source tools suggested by Google: 

However, if you are unfamiliar with utilizing such tools or want a speedier web-based alternative, you may utilize a program like Optimizilla to compress your photos.

Alternatively, if you’re using WordPress, you may use the Smush plugin.

4. Create a Sitemap for Images

If you want Google to find all of the photos on your site and have them appear in Google Image Search, you need construct a dedicated sitemap with all of the images’ URLs.

Simply said, building an image sitemap boosts the likelihood of your photos appearing in search results, and although you may reference images in an existing sitemap, it’s typically best to create a separate map that search engines can utilize.

Here’s an example provided by Google to assist you understand the format you’ll need.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?> <urlset xmlns=” xmlns:image=”″″ xmlns:image=”″ xmlns:image=” “> > url> url> url> url> url> url> url> url /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /loc> /image:image> /image:loc> image:loc> image:image> image:image> image:image> image:image> image:image> image:image> image:image </image:loc> </image:image> </url> </urlset> 

When generating an image sitemap vs one that contains your web pages, there is one significant distinction.

As Google puts it, “Unlike ordinary sitemaps, which impose cross-domain limitations, image sitemaps may include URLs from other domains. This enables you to host photos on CDNs (content delivery networks).”

This ties in well with why you should use a CDN to host your pictures.

5. Use a CDN to host images

The majority of the time, a website’s whole content is housed on a single server. 

Consider the case of a website hosted in the United States that is accessed by a person in Europe. 

Images, for example, will have to travel a longer distance to reach the visitor in Europe, slowing down the page’s loading time. 

A CDN (content delivery network) works by caching your website’s pictures across numerous servers in various locations across the globe, allowing them to be provided to users from the nearest location.


Cloudflare, Fastly, KeyCDN, and Amazon CloudFront are all popular CDNs.

You may quickly set up a CDN on WordPress using plugins like W3 Total Cache, or you can use the integration tutorials provided by each provider, such as this one from Cloudflare.

We also urge that you read our advice on essential CDN SEO strategies.

6. Make use of Lazy Loading

We can’t overlook the reality that photos are often the assets on a website with the highest file size, and hence the reason of slower site performance. 

We can’t just go without photos; it’s not an option since they’re critical to a positive user experience. 

However, we may utilize lazy loading to delay the loading of an image until it is required.


Assets aren’t loaded until they’re required, which is known as lazy loading. This means that the website loads significantly faster when a person first visits it. It’s not only for photos; it may also be used to load files like JavaScript.

Consider this: those assets will never be loaded if a user never scrolls down to the second half of a page. And as a result, performance gains are obvious. 

Looking at what Google has to say about this, as well as presenting lazy loading as a PageSpeed Insights recommendation:

Lazy loading may speed up loading for large pages with a lot of photos below the fold by loading them only when they’re required or after the main content has completed loading and displaying.

— Google

Take a look at this article to discover how to install slow loading on your site. 

7. Take use of browser caching

Google PageSpeed Insights often recommends that you use browser caching.

Simply said, browser caching occurs when a visitor’s browser saves data, allowing assets to load quicker the next time they visit the website.

Images are downloaded and shown in the browser when you visit a website. Without browser caching, they will all have to be downloaded anew the next time this person views the website. However, with browser caching, the browser will already have these saved, resulting in a substantially quicker page load.

On sites where consumers often view the same pages, browser caching has a noticeable influence. 

Here’s where you can learn more about how Google advises caching. 

If you’re using WordPress, one of the many popular cache plugins may assist you in getting this up and running fast. If not, GTmetrix’s tutorial will assist you in doing so.

Google’s Page Experience Update and Image Optimization

Google has revealed that the Page Experience Update would be released sometime in 2021.

The safe browsing penalty, invasive interstitials penalty, HTTPS as a ranking factor, the mobile-friendly update, Page Speed update, and Core Web Vitals will all be considered in this update.

If you missed the news, “All other aspects being equal, this move implies that Google is more likely to rank your sites higher if they deliver a pleasant user experience,” as explained by Search Engine Land.

What does this have to do with image optimization, though?


First, you’ll note that Core Web Vitals, which includes LCP – Largest Contentful Paint, is one of the parameters that will be considered. This demonstrates how quickly a website seems to load; when a user thinks the page has loaded.

Google calculates LCP by timing the rendering of the page’s biggest content element, which is usually pictures.

Another Core Web Vital is CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift), which occurs when content continues to move even after a page seems to be completely loaded. Simply said, you may improve this by providing size characteristics on your photos (and videos).

Finally, we must keep in mind that the Page Experience Update takes Page Speed into consideration, and we’ve already seen how pictures might affect this. 

Having Problems With Your Website’s Images

We’ve looked at ways to optimize your site’s photos, but how can you uncover problems that are already present?

These errors may be highlighted using the SEMrush Site Audit Tool. The problems page of your site audit is probably the simplest method to get started, with the following concerns highlighted:

Internal and external images that are broken

Broken pictures degrade the user experience; you should repair any images that don’t appear as soon as possible. 

Any damaged pictures on your site will be clearly highlighted by the site audit tool, allowing you to either change erroneous URLs or replace the image.


Because you won’t be able to manage the source, the audit will also show any damaged external photos. The recommended practice is to replace these images. 

Without Alt Attributes Images

We’ve spoken about how important it is to have optimal alt text for your photos, and the site audit report will clearly show you which ones don’t have it yet.

This makes inserting alt text a little bit simpler by providing you with a list to go through on a page-by-page basis.



For the sake of the user experience and search engines, take image SEO seriously.

Taking the effort to correctly optimize your photos may have a significant influence on the amount of traffic your site receives from Image Search, as well as improve your users’ experience by reducing loading times. 

Not to mention that optimizing picture file names and alt tags helps to add contextual relevance to the rest of your website, which improves the page’s organic exposure. 

Many SEOs disregard image optimization, but with Google’s Page Experience upgrade coming next year, now is the best time to start. 

UPDATE: As of August 5th, 2020, you may utilize any image types supported by Google Image in Structured Data, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG. More information may be found here.


The “seo image naming convention” is a great way to optimize images for search engines. It’s important to remember that the alt tag should be written in the same language as the website, and it should also be descriptive of the image content.

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