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7 Steps to Optimizing Images for SEO

'This is an image' memo noteAdding images to your insurance agency website pages whenever possible is a must. They add flair and interest. And when optimized correctly, they can even help increase your website traffic. 

So, if you are interested in optimizing your images for SEO, check out these seven steps.

  1. Licensing and choosing the right photo - Choosing an image for your web page or blog post can be daunting. However, you do have options. You can use stock photos or your own personal photos. Whichever you choose, make sure you have the right license. This means you should never use an image you found using Google image search. Using images without the correct permissions and licenses can result in hefty fines

  2. Reduce file size - Once you've chosen a picture, you need to optimize it for the web. This means making it as small and light as possible. If you are purchasing stock photos, you will have the option to purchase a web version of the image. Take this option. Lighter images (less than 70kb) allow your web pages to load faster, which is good for SEO. Also, if you need to resize an image do it before you upload it. Resizing it in the browser still requires the website to load the full image before resizing it for your view. This defeats the purpose of resizing. If you need some applications to edit your images, try these: Image Optimizer, PicMonkey, Pixlr and Fotoflexr.

  3. File types – Some file types simply don’t work on the web. The common file types you should use are jpg, png and gif.

  4. Descriptive image names - Start your SEO optimization a little early by adding descriptive keywords to the filename. For example, smiling-girl-with-car.jpg works well. It’s also best to use hyphens between words, as spaces may confuse some search engines and content management systems.

  5. Add alt text - Now to the meat of the matter. Of all the steps listed here, adding alt tags to your images is the most important thing you can do. Google and other search engines cannot read images. So they rely on us to tell them what the images are about. You can add keywords in the alt tags. But I suggest you use them sparingly and only if they make sense. Insurance is intangible, so most images will not physically depict insurance. Instead, rely on adding an accurate description of the image. Also, don't forget alt tags are an accessibility tool for the blind. They rely on alt tags to describe images to them. 

    The recommended maximum length of alt text is 125 characters. But, three or four words work best. When you upload your image to your website editor, there should be an option to add an alt tag. If not, you'll have to add it in the HTML. But don't worry, it's easy. Simply add the following bolded words to your image tag: <img src="smiling-girl-with-car.jpg" alt="Smiling girl with car" title="Car insurance for teens">

  6. Add title text - In your website editor, you may also see an option to add title text. This is a great place to add some keywords. Again, only if they make sense. See the italicized text in the example above.

  7. Make it look nice - In general, left aligned images look best on websites. The right image edge matches up with the left edge of the text when it wraps around the image. 

    webpage screenshot

    The only exception is if there is a bulleted list. With these lists, the indented lines are hard to work with and right aligning may be best. Either way, make the image small enough so it fits one-third of the column width. However, if you like the image large enough to discern details, don't align it all. Have your text start under the image. 
Optimizing your images for SEO may seem like a lot to do. But, once you get the hang of it, you'll be adding images to your insurance website and blogs posts with ease.


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