Our Blog SEO June 26, 2023

The Importance of Image Optimisation for Website SEO

Writen by MetaWeb

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Image Optimisation SEO MetaWeb

In today’s digital landscape, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical aspect of any successful website. While much emphasis is placed on optimising textual content, the significance of image optimisation is often overlooked. However, it plays a crucial role in enhancing the user experience, improving page load times, and ultimately boosting search engine rankings. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore why image optimisation is necessary for websites from an SEO standpoint, covering various essential factors and techniques. 

Image Optimisation and SEO – An Unbreakable Bond: 

Image optimisation is the process of reducing the file size of an image without compromising its quality. When it comes to SEO, this has a direct impact on both the user experience and search engine rankings. Here’s why: 

a. Faster Loading Speed: Website speed is a crucial ranking factor for search engines, and images are often the largest files on a web page. Optimising images reduces their file size, resulting in faster loading times and improved user experience. Websites that load quickly tend to rank higher in search engine results. 

b. Enhanced User Experience: Optimised images not only load faster but also improve the overall user experience. Visitors are more likely to stay on a website that loads quickly and displays visually appealing images. This can reduce bounce rates and increase user engagement, signalling to search engines that your website provides valuable content. 

How to implement it? 

On-page SEO refers to the optimisation of individual web pages to improve search engine rankings and attract organic traffic. Image optimisation plays a significant role in on-page SEO activities. Here’s how: 

  • Original, High-Quality Infographic
  • Have a Reason to Add an Infographic
  • Use the Right File Type
  • Image File Size Matters
  • Descriptive Captions
  • Make Your Image ALT Text SEO Friendly
  • Add an Image Sitemap to Your Website
  • Use the Lazy Loading Technique
  • Avoid Thumbnails
  • Review Your Image Search Performance
image optimisation is necessary for SEO - MetaWeb

Original, High-Quality Infographic: 

Images are powerful tools for engaging website visitors, and incorporating original, high-quality infographics can greatly enhance the user experience. It effectively presents complex information in a visually appealing manner, making it easier for users to grasp and share the content. When creating infographics, it is important to ensure they are relevant, visually appealing, and of high quality. Originality is crucial to standing out in a crowded digital landscape and providing unique value to your audience. 

Have a Reason to Add an Infographic:

While infographics can be compelling, it is important to have a clear purpose and reason for adding them to your web pages. Search engines analyse user behaviour, and if an infographic fails to contribute meaningfully to the content, it may have a negative impact on your SEO efforts. Make sure it adds value, enhances the understanding of the content, and aligns with the overall goals of your website. 

Use the Right File Type:

Choosing the appropriate file type for your images is crucial for optimising them from both a user experience and Search Engine Optimisation perspectives. JPEG, PNG, and GIF are commonly used image formats. JPEG is ideal for photographs, PNG is suitable for images with transparency, and GIFs work well for animated or small-sized images. By selecting the right file type, you can ensure optimal image quality while minimising file sizes for faster page loading times.

Image File Size Matters:

Large image files can significantly slow down your website’s loading speed, leading to a poor user experience and lower search engine rankings. It is essential to compress and optimise image files without compromising visual quality. Numerous online tools and plugins are available that can help reduce image file sizes while maintaining their integrity. Compressed images not only improve page load times but also reduce bandwidth consumption, benefiting both mobile and desktop users. 

Descriptive Captions:

Captions beneath images serve as valuable context for both users and search engines. Including descriptive and relevant captions helps search engines understand the content of the image and its relationship to the surrounding text. Additionally, users who cannot view images due to technical issues or disabilities can still understand the context through descriptive captions. Descriptive captions also enhance the overall accessibility and user-friendliness of your website. 

Make Your Image ALT Text SEO Friendly:

Alt text (alternative text) is an HTML attribute that provides a textual description of an image. Search engines rely on alt text to understand the content of an image since they cannot “see” images like humans. By optimising your alt text with relevant keywords and descriptive phrases, you can improve the visibility of your images in search engine results pages (SERPs) and enhance the overall SEO of your website. However, it’s important to strike a balance between optimising alt text and maintaining its relevance and accuracy. 

Add an Image Sitemap to Your Website:

An image sitemap is a specialised XML sitemap that provides search engines with additional information about the images on your website. By including an image sitemap, you can help search engines discover and index your images more efficiently and improve their visibility in image search results. An image sitemap complements your regular XML sitemap by specifically focusing on images, providing details such as image URL, caption, title, and licence information. By submitting an image sitemap to search engines, you enhance your chances of having your images indexed and displayed prominently in image search results, driving organic traffic to your site. 

Use the Lazy Loading Technique:

Page load speed is a critical factor in both the user experience and SEO. Implementing the lazy loading technique can significantly improve your website’s performance, especially when dealing with pages that contain numerous images or long-scrolling content. Lazy loading defers the loading of off-screen images until the user scrolls down to them, reducing the initial load burden and speeding up the overall page load time. By implementing lazy loading, you can create a smoother user experience, reduce bounce rates, and improve search engine rankings. 

Avoid Thumbnails:

When showcasing multiple images on a page, it’s important to avoid using full-size images as thumbnails. Instead, create separate thumbnail versions of the images and link them to their larger counterparts. This approach helps to optimise page load times, especially on mobile devices with limited bandwidth. By reducing the size of the initial image displayed and loading the full-sized image only upon user interaction, you provide a faster and more efficient browsing experience for your visitors. 

Review Your Image Search Performance:

Regularly monitoring and analysing your website’s image search performance is essential for understanding the impact of your image optimisation efforts. Utilise tools like Google Search Console and analytics platforms to assess the visibility, ranking, and click-through rates of your images in search results. By analysing this data, you can identify which images are performing well and which may require further optimisation. Additionally, monitor user engagement metrics such as time on page and bounce rates to gauge the effectiveness of your images in capturing and retaining user attention. 


Image optimisation is a crucial aspect of SEO that often goes unnoticed. By understanding the importance of image optimisation and implementing the discussed strategies, you can enhance the user experience, improve page load times, and boost your website’s visibility in search engine rankings. From using original, high-quality infographics to choosing the right file types, optimising image file sizes, and creating SEO-friendly alt text, each factor contributes to the overall success of your website’s SEO efforts. Remember to regularly review and evaluate your image search performance to make data-driven adjustments and continually optimise your images for better results. By prioritising image optimisation as part of your on-page SEO activities, you can establish a visually appealing, user-friendly website that excels in search engine rankings and attracts organic traffic. 

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