Adding images to a website or web page can be a good way to improve the users experience, providing the images are relevant to the content of a website they can break up a text heavy web page into sections of informative text. Many people also overlook the fact images have the potential to drive relevant traffic to a website, this is because if images are properly optimized they will appear highly within the Google Image Search. Obviously then image optimization does have a place in SEO strategies and should be carried out by every web owner.
Image optimization tips:
Search engines are not able to read images directly, they rely on other signals such as the file name which is often used to determine the content of the image so irrelevant file names are not recommended. The file name is also a good opportunity to include keyword rich text on your web page.
Another signal used by search engines is the Alt Attribute; this allows a description of the content within the image in the HTML coding. The description is where the search engines get most of the information about the image from; again it gives another opportunity to use keyword rich text on your website.
While images can, and do contribute towards a positive user experience and help to drive relevant traffic to your website its worth remembering that image links are not as important of a signal as text based links. Image optimization should always be done for SEO but not by sacrificing other aspects of SEO.
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