Complete Guide to Maximizing SEO Image for Website 2021


Complete Guide to Maximizing SEO Image for Website 2021 – Most people do SEO image optimization by compressing images, filling in the title and alt text according to the focus keyword, and… done. The basic method is true, but still not enough.

Complete Guide to Maximizing SEO Image for Website
Complete Guide to Maximizing SEO Image for Website

Complete Guide to Maximizing SEO Image for Website

Now, Google’s Image Recognition Algorithm is very sophisticated. It understands the basics very accurately without the need for a title or alt text. Do not believe? Take a look at the picture below:

example of the Google cat image algorithm

When we tried to feed an image of a cat into the Google Cloud Vision API, the algorithm was able to recognize the image with an extraordinary degree of accuracy. Though we do not provide image titles that have anything to do with cats at all.

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In addition, Google also does not ask us to fill in alt text or other additional information. We just need to insert a picture, wait a few seconds and it’s done. Google’s algorithm can still tell that it is a cat that belongs to the British Shorthair breed. Amazing, right?

Seeing how sophisticated Google’s algorithm is, don’t you need SEO image optimization? Are you free to upload images and hope Google can recognize them? Oh, of course not.

Why is that? Google is powerful today, but it’s still imperfect. There are SEO image optimization steps that you still have to do, namely:

  1. Provide an appropriate image file name
  2. Describe alt text and captions completely
  3. Choose the best image format
  4. Compress your image
  5. Use an SVG image if necessary
  6. Make your images responsive
  7. Take advantage of the markup schema
  8. Use lazy loading
  9. Use Leverage Browser Caching
  10. Use a Content Delivery Network

Oh yes, you need to know that image SEO is a small part of the overall SEO technique. So, before implementing the methods above, it is important for you to learn what SEO is first.

10 Ways to Maximize Image SEO

Yup, there are not only three ways – compress images, provide a title, and alt tags – but, there are 10 ways to optimize SEO images on your website so that they can be maximized. What are they?

1. Provide an Appropriate Image File Name

The filename can give Google a clue about an image. For example, cat-white-cute.jpg is better than IMG_02022020.jpg. This is basic image SEO that many people have already practiced.

However, given how sophisticated Google’s Image Recognition Algorithm is, how important is it to name files in images now? Good question. The cat example above is great, but we’ll give you another one.

Provide an Appropriate Image File Name

Google is 64% sure it’s a sugar image. Is that right? The answer is no because it is a picture of salt. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Google’s algorithm is still imperfect.

Therefore, you must still help Google to recognize an image by giving a file name before uploading it to the website.

That doesn’t mean you have to give long and wordy file names, though. Give a name that is short, but precise and in accordance with the focus keyword. For example, how-to-make-website-easiest.jpg. Not that, this is-how-to-create-the-newest-most-complete-and-easiest-website-2020.jpg.

2. Describe Alt Text and Captions Completely

Alt text ( alternative text) serves to help Google identify the topics you discuss in the content. Write alt text by describing the image completely and clearly. We give an example with the image below.

Describe Alt Text and Captions Completely

For example, you can write the alt text like this, “An orange kitten is sleeping on the floor.” You can enter focus keywords if possible.

If not, don’t force to enter a focus keyword in every alt text which can actually damage the description of an image.

3. Select the Best Image Format

Most of the images on the internet using three formats: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each of these formats uses a different compress method. So that the size of the same image can vary depending on the format.

Don’t underestimate image size. Because according to Google, the image is often the main factor that increases the load time of a page. In fact, fast load times are very important for SEO on your website. Whether on desktop or on mobile devices.

Therefore, you must be able to choose the best format for each image on the website. Choose an image format that has the best compression method and doesn’t sacrifice too much of the quality of the image.

difference in quality of GIF JPEG PNG
Image source: Ahrefs

You can see from the image above that JPEG is the best choice. It has the smallest size, but with a quality that is not much different from the other two formats. So, is JPEG always the number one choice for image SEO? Not really.

Generally, JPEG is very suitable for use for photos. Meanwhile, PNG is for detailed images such as logos or text images. Meanwhile, GIF is more suitable for moving images.

4. Compress Your Image

Take a look at the two JPEG format images below. Do you see any noticeable difference in quality between the two?

Compress Your Image
Image source: Ahrefs

The first image is 58% smaller than the second image (31kb versus 73kb), but the quality is very similar, right? How can be like that? The answer is to compress images.

Image compression is an image optimization method for SEO that can shrink the size of your images without significant loss of quality.

5. Use SVG Images If Needed

Before getting into the discussion of SVG, you need to know that WordPress does not allow its users to upload SVG files. Therefore, you must first enable SVG support in WordPress.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is arguably the most popular vector format today. The image with the SVG format will remain high quality no matter the browser, device or resolution used by the visitor.

Generally, websites use SVG for their logos and icons. So, instead of using JPG or PNG format, you can use the SVG format for all logos or icons on your website.

Oh yes, even though the SVG file size is very small, Google still recommends optimizing your SVG using svgo. That way, your SVG file size can be even smaller and speed up the loading time of your website.

6. Make sure your images are responsive

Responsive images are images whose resolution can match the device used by the visitor. So, let’s say you upload a 720p resolution image on a website.

Now, if a visitor opens a website with a 320p resolution mobile device, your 720p image will automatically change to 320p resolution.

That way, your website loads fast on mobile devices. Because, if the website is slow to access by mobile devices, not only the SEO image, but your overall SEO performance will decrease.

Fortunately, since version 4.4, WordPress has automatically made your images responsive. So, you can breathe easily. However, we recommend that you keep checking the website images in the theme files.

Because, sometimes only the image in the content – which goes to the <img> tag – automatically becomes responsive. The background image and icon in your CSS file may not be changed. So, you need to include this CSS code in the file for the image to be responsive.

7. Take advantage of the Schema Markup

Schema markup is code that can be added to a WordPress-based website. Schema serves to tell Google the form of content that you create so that Google can adjust the appearance of the content to make it attractive.

However, did you know that schema markup is also related to image SEO? Because Google will display labels that match the thumbnails in image search results from mobile devices.

Take advantage of the Schema Markup

Google currently supports four types of labels: products, recipes, videos, and GIFs. So, if the type of content on your website belongs to the four types of labels, we recommend adding a markup schema to each of the appropriate pages.

8. Use Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is when the web browser decides not to display content until it’s really needed. According to Google, lazy loading can significantly increase load time on long pages.

In the case of image SEO, lazy loading will only display the image when the visitor has arrived at the part of the page with the image. In other words, if the visitor is still on the page, the image below will not be loaded/displayed.

9. Use Leverage Browser Caching

Browser caching allows users to store images on your website locally when they first access your website. That way, when users return to your website, loading will be faster because the images they need have been downloaded and stored in the browser.

There are two ways to leverage browser caching on your website. Namely adding code in the .htaccess file and using a plugin.

10. Use a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network or CDN is a network of servers located around the world. This technology is made to deliver various content on your website to the visitor’s browser from the nearest server. In other words, a CDN will make your website quickly accessible from any location in the world.

For example, suppose your server location is in the United States, and your website visitors are in India. With a CDN, website visitors will get data from the closest CDN server, not directly from your server in the United States.


Image SEO optimization is not only limited to three things: compress images, provide a title, and fill in the alt tag. Google is now smarter and more sophisticated, so extra effort must be made so that your SEO image can run optimally.

Oh yes, SEO image optimization is still lacking if your website wants to get top ranking on Google, you know. There are other optimization steps besides image SEO that you have to do.

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