When people talk about optimizing their pages, images and videos rarely enter the discussion. Forgetting about rich media is a missed opportunity to provide more relevance to Google and let them know what your site is about. If you do things right, you can boost your rankings without increasing your chances of getting hit with some sort of penalty. That’s what makes optimizing images and videos so great. What are some best practices that you should follow? I’ll give some thoughts here.
File Size– Before you worry too much about optimizing images, you should make sure that your file size isn’t too big. Large images tends to slow down page load times, which could potentially hurt your rankings. You can use any number of image compression services to make sure that the file size is as small as possible. You should do this before you do anything else.
File Name– You should make sure to put a main keyword as your file name. Don’t worry about over-optimization. Just go ahead and put your main keyword as the file name.
Alt Text (for images)– You will want to be careful here. Alt text was created so blind people could understand what an image is about. It therefore wouldn’t be natural at all to just put a money keyword as the alt text. You will want to make your alt text more natural sounding and try to put in a relevant keyword in too. You should say “picture of plumber in Brooklyn working on a sink.” rather than just saying “brooklyn plumber.” Just try to be natural with your alt text.
File Properties– I like to make use of the file properties with images, because Google definitely reads that information. If you right click on your image file, hit “properties” (on Windows). From there, you should fill in the title, caption, tags, comment, etc. You can be pretty aggressive with the keywords you put in there.
If you do these things, Google will have a much easier time understanding what your content is about. You will also see a much greater benefit if you are using original images and videos, so do what you can to create your own rich media content. This will make your SEO that much more efficient. Instead of needing those extra few links to rank where you want to, you can just optimize your images and videos better. Wouldn’t it be nice to rank well with way fewer links? We certainly think so.