So, you started a blog and published a couple of blog posts.
But, you’re struggling to get the traffic 😪
Don’t worry. I’ve been there back in 2018.
I started a blog and waited to see the unlimited traffic coming in.
But, I got only 7 visitors.
Just 7… (all thanks to my friends who visited 😅)
I got frustrated…
I got exhausted…
But, I never gave up!
I explored the internet to find out how to increase website traffic.
And I stumbled upon some fresh strategies.
Implemented the strategies and boooom.
Got the traffic SPIKE.
Okay. Not instant but in a couple of days/months.
So In this blog post, I’m sharing with you one of the strategies to increase traffic.
That is, Increase traffic by Image SEO.
In fact, I personally pulled in 1,327 organic visitors into my blog by doing simple image SEO.
In this post, I’m going to cover my step by step process to optimize image SEO to increase traffic.
- How to choose the best Image file type,
- Why I compress every image before publish,
- How to optimize image file name,
- How to write ALT tags and captions (the real dessert)
And lots more….
What is Image SEO?
As you know SEO stands for search engine optimization.
When you optimize your image to get exposure to the search engine is known as an Image SEO practice.
In simple words, if you type into the search engine “white dog images”.
You must get the results of white dogs.
Because the website owners have done Image SEO.
You’d seen I post a couple of infographics and screenshots in my blog posts.
Because sometimes images explain the point well that just plain text can’t.
…and my main goal is to give you actionable strategies that you can apply right away and get results.
Most of my blog posts are a how-to’ guides so it makes sense for me to add lots of images.
According to MakeTechEasier, more than 80% of search traffic comes from google.
So we will talk about How to practice Image SEO for Google in this post.
Now, let me show you how I do Image SEO to increase traffic (step by step strategy).
Increase traffic by Image SEO
Image file type
As you may know, readers and Google love the fast loading website.
Images play a vital role in the loading speed. The higher the image size, the more time takes to load it.
…and you can drastically reduce the size of the image by choosing the right image file type.
JPEG, PNG and GIF are the most commonly used image file types. (WebP is still new)
And all the file types have different unique points and file sizes.
JPEG format is best suitable for photographs, infographics, colourful types of images.
PNG format is best suitable if you have lines, text, diagrams, illustrations, or any similar elements in your images to show up.
And GIF is perfect to show moving subjects.
Ahrefs has done research to check which file type has a higher size.
And they find out,
(Image Source: Ahrefs)
The PNG image size is higher followed by GIF and JPEG.
You must be wondering, it’s better to use the JPEG file type.
NO! Not every time.
If you add images that have text, lines, diagrams, logo, illustration then PNG works better than JPEG.
See below, How the PNG file is easier to understand if text and illustration in the image.
(Image Source: Ahrefs)
And at the appropriate places, you can use GIFs too.
I often use JPEG and PNG as the image file type.
If my image has text and illustration I go with PNG and for colourful photographs I prefer JPEG.
Image compression tool
After settling the image file type, I move to compress the image.
This blog post’s featured image file size was 78.3 kb.
Which is a lot according to me.
I need to compress the image size, so the image loads faster.
I use a free tool “TinyJPG”.
Just drag the image and bam!
You can download your compressed version right away. (without seeing any ads!)
And the new compressed image size for my featured image is 22.3 kb.
So, I reduced the image size without compromising the quality 😎
(quality may reduce a bit then original version but you can’t spot the difference easily)
There are tons of other free tools available to compress images.
If you’re using WordPress then, Shortpixel or Smush would be a great option for you as a plugin.
I personally use Smush right now on this blog. But before uploading the images to WordPress I use the “Tinyjpg” tool which is free.
Change the name of the image
The “Image_3028.jpg” file name looks ugly. (If you hover over on the image you’ll be able to see the image name in the chrome)
So, I always rename my image file name before uploading it to WordPress.
You can rename the image file by what the image wants to describe.
If you upload only a single image into your blog post…
…then try to add your primary keyword as a rename image file which you’re going to put in the ALT tag too (I’ll cover more about ALT tags later in the post).
But, don’t stuff the keyword without any sense.
If your primary keyword is “white dog” and you put a “wolf” image and rename it as “white dog” it doesn’t make any sense.
So, be careful while renaming your image.
The best practice is, rename it as what is in your image or what is an image about.
Like, this blog post’s featured image stands for “how do I increased 1,327 organic visitors by doing Image SEO”.
So, I re-name that Image by “Increase traffic by Image SEO”.
The alt tag is the last and most important step for better exposure to google.
Back in the day, Google doesn’t understand the image language.
So, google used to pull data from the image’s alt tags to show on Search results.
But, nowadays google’s robots have become smarter.
So, that means alt tags are dead now?
If you put an appropriate alt tag, Google will understand your image well.
And ultimately it helps to drive targeted organic traffic.
If you’re using WordPress then giving alt tags to the image is easy.
Click on “add media” from your WordPress dashboard,
Upload your Image and enter Alt text/tag and hit “Insert into post”.
Use your main keyword as the alt tag to at least in a single image.
That doesn’t mean you optimise any images for your primary keyword.
That practice hurt you in the long run. If the image represents/describe your primary keyword then you can optimise it.
The best practice is, give alt tag/text what is in the image.
Let’s say if your image is about the “white tiger who is young” then you can enter “young white tiger” as your Alt tag.
Got my point?
This way you can drive organic traffic towards your website.
Just after the alt tag, you’ll find the caption tab in the WordPress media section.
Caption illustrates what you want to tell about with your image.
According to Neil Patel, captions are read more often than body text.
That doesn’t mean you add captions to every image. The best practice is to put it in the appropriate places.
I’d not added captions to my blog post before writing this post.
Because most of my Images easily get ideas to the readers what I want to describe via Images.
But next time I’ll add it up at the appropriate places. (You noticed I’d added in the first Image 😉)
Caption helps your readers to understand your Image purpose well.
So, if your image is heavy to digest for the readers add a caption to smooth it up 😋
And I’m sure you’re producing content for your READERS.
So, that makes sense to add a caption to the appropriate image.
Use a CDN network
You might be selected Singapore, the US or UK as your server location while you purchased hosting.
If you don’t know you can always check in your hosting dashboard.
In my case “Singapore” is my server location.
So, if someone from the US surfs my website then it takes more time to load the whole website compared to Singapore.
Because my server is located in Singapore and to reach the US takes a time (gap of seconds will affect your loading speed).
As a global blogger, I need to tackle this situation.
That’s why I use the Cloudflare tool to tackle it.
Cloudflare is a content distribution network (CDN). It has data centres located around the world.
(Image source: Cloudflare)
You need to connect your website with Cloudflare. (Don’t worry, It’s a simple process 😉)
So, someone from the US trying to explore your website then CDN sends the file from their nearest data centre.
That way your site loads faster and it helps to increase your website ranking.
Cloudflare offers a free plan and to be honest, it’s more than enough for you.
Check out this guide to set up your Cloudflare account.
Consider lazy loading
Lazy loading is where browsers postpone the loading of images initially. It loads the images whenever needed.
It means when you scroll down the blog post and reach the destination of the image, It gets loaded.
That way your primary content loads first and boosts initial loading speed.
What Google says about lazy loading,
You must have noticed lazy loading on my blog posts.
All the images in this post don’t pre-load but when you scroll down and reach the image destination, it loads it up.
That way, Initially my blog loads faster and users don’t bounce back instantly.
I use the Smush WordPress plugin for the lazy loading…
…the same plugin I use to compress image size. It’s free to use.
Yes! It is true. You can increase traffic by doing Image SEO.
In Fact, I pulled in 1,327 organic visitors.
…and if you’re running a blog then you know every visitor matters A LOT 😀.
I follow all these steps which I mentioned above to optimize images to get organic traffic from the search engine.
Follow and execute all the steps and let me know if it helps to increase your organic traffic or not?
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Hello Blogger, I am Hardik Sonawala from India. On this blog, I will help you to learn Blogging, SEO, and Affiliate marketing from Basic to Advance level