SEO Best Practices: How To Optimize Images for Your Website

| By Hope Bronsky
SEO Best Practices: How To Optimize Images for Your Website

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… just imagine the value of an SEO-optimized image. All jokes aside, whether you’re actively investing in SEO or just scraping the surface, ensuring your website images are properly optimized is a no-brainer for any marketer. While optimizing your website images can help improve visibility on Google search, it can also promote faster load times, page speed, and improve the overall user experience and accessibility of your site. Start optimizing your images like a pro and read our quick tips and guidelines below.

Image Size

Person looking at images on her phone and computer simultaneously

It’s important to consider the size of the images you want to upload to your website. At no surprise, large images will slow down the loading speed of your website which can negatively impact user experience. Ideally, images should be optimized for the web and compressed to reduce their file size without sacrificing image quality.

The optimal size for images on your website will depend on a variety of factors, such as the image’s dimensions, file format, and compression level. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to keep your image file sizes as small as possible without sacrificing too much quality.

The file size of an image can be reduced by compressing it, either manually using image editing software or using online compression tools such as Attrock’s Free Compression Tool. You can also optimize the size of images by resizing them to the appropriate dimensions for your website’s layout. For example, if your website’s content area is 800 pixels wide, you should resize your images to no wider than 800 pixels.

In general, image files that are larger than 1MB can significantly slow down your website’s speed, especially on slower connections. Ideally, you should aim to keep your image files under 500KB. Google developed a new image format called WebP, that requires fewer bits per pixel while providing similar quality. However, this may not always be possible, especially for larger images or high-quality photographs. 

In such cases, you may want to consider lazy loading or using a content delivery network (CDN) such as Cloudflare or Akamai to help speed up your website’s load times.

In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but by optimizing your images for the web, compressing them, and keeping their file sizes as small as possible, you can help ensure that your website loads quickly and smoothly for your visitors.

Formatting Your Images

Graphic of computer screen with a light purple background

There are several image formats available, but the most commonly used formats for the web are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. However, WebP images are one of the newest image formats that provide superior comprehension without skimping on quality. This modern image format allows you to create smaller, richer images that make your site speed faster. In fact, WebP images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images, while still providing equivalent quality. 

H2: Image Placement

The placement of images on your website can also impact user experience and engagement. You should consider the context of the image and place it where it makes the most sense. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about a product, you might want to include a product image near the top of the page, where it’s most visible.

Alt Text for Accessibility and SEO

Alt text (also known as alt tags or alt descriptions) is a written copy that describes an image. By applying alt text to your imagery, search engine web crawlers can index your site more effectively, which has a positive impact on search results. Alt text can also help by describing an image to someone who is visually impaired or helping a reader who can’t load or see the image correctly on their device. 


Finally, you should be mindful of copyright laws when using images on your website. You should only use images that you have the right to use, whether it’s because you created the image yourself or you have obtained the necessary permissions. Using copyrighted images without permission can result in legal issues and damage to your website’s reputation. 

Last Thoughts

Woman looking at a tablet's screen that contains various images

Prioritizing these tools can help you gain the benefits of website speed, user experience, and accessibility, all of which can positively impact your website’s search engine rankings. Making the most out of your images (in the eyes of Google and humans) hopefully, just got a little bit easier.

Want to learn other ways you can begin capitalizing on the benefits of SEO? Contact Unframed Digital today. 

hello@unframeddigital.com | (315) 430-4609