This news comes to us from a study carried out by seoClarity and relayed by Abondance. Indeed, the SEO platform has analyzed and monitored the evolution of billions of pages on Google worldwide and the changes made by Google to the SERP. This analysis shows that image carousels appear more and more on the search engine results page. From an SEO point of view, this means that you will have to be careful to optimize the images present on your site. As a natural referencing agency, you are reminded of the optimizations to be carried out.
Reminder On The Display Of Images In The SERP
As an update, pictures from Google Pictures can appear on the SERP in two structures. It can be an inline or bulk image carousel, as seen in the two examples below. On the other hand, contrary to these two examples, the image carousels do not appear systematically in position zero. They can appear in any position on any results page. In the example below, on the query “pull image,” the image carousel appears in the fourth position of the search results. As for the image carousel at the top of the SERP, it’s nothing more or less than Google Shopping Sponsored Ads.
What To Take Away From The Study?
The seoClarity platform realized that a major change was rolling out to Google when several alert systems flashed red simultaneously. Even though it wasn’t due to an algorithm update from Google, it was certain that a significant change was taking place. What did the indicators show?
More And More Keywords Associated With Google Images Are In The Top 10 Of The SERP
This graph shows the evolution of the number of keywords for which Google Images appears in the first ten search results. It appears that this number of keywords jumped between April 12 and 13, 2019, and then increased again between April 13 and 19. The share of images in the top 10 of the SERP increases from 24% to 34%. This means that over a third of Google, queries bring up Google Images. seoClarity is not alone in noticing this change, as data from Moz and RankRanger show the same trends.
Google Images Is More And More Present In The Top 3
According to the statements of seoClarity, we also notice that the images appear more and more in the Top 3 of the results page. Indeed, on February 20, April 13, and April 19, the platform observed an increase in the appearance of images in the Top 3 of the SERP, as evidenced by the graph below.
Images are, therefore, very important for the natural referencing of a site. Although the Google algorithm has always considered them, it now appears that they are even more useful for SEO. It is, therefore, good to remember what optimizations to put in place to improve the referencing of its images.
Also Read: How Can Local SEO Help Your Business?
How To Optimize Your Images?
Images on Google Images are a source of traffic to your site and a gain in visibility that should not be overlooked. In addition, the Google algorithm appreciates the presence of images in the content present on your site, for example, in a blog article. These arguments and this change observed by seoClarity will eventually convince you to optimize your images. But how should it be done?
Rename Image Names
First, you must consider renaming your media file, whether an image, a GIF, or a video, before uploading them to your CMS. To rename them, there are a few rules to follow. The file name should be short (about 3-5 words) while containing keywords related to the file and the article. Then, so that Google robots can quickly understand the theme of the file, it is important to respect these rules:
- Do not use special characters (for example, accents) or spaces
- Separate keywords with hyphens ( – ) and not underscores, also called underscore ( _ )
- Do not use capital letters
- Avoid numbers.
If you took a screenshot of SEMrush results, for example, don’t upload your image as is with this filename: “Screenshot 2019-05-06 at 09.17.01”. Rename your file as follows: “semrush-resultats-seo-client.”
Inform And Optimize The Alt Tag
The Alt tag, also called alternative text, corresponds to the text displayed when the image is not displayed correctly due to a connection problem. Google robots can also read it when they crawl your website since it appears in the code. It, therefore, has an interest in natural referencing; it must be well-informed.
As with the filename, the Alt tag should be descriptive and constructed, not just for Google’s crawlers but also for users. Indeed, the Alt tag will be read by accessibility tools for the visually impaired. Be careful; it should not be over-optimized by keyword stuffing, a practice of inserting as many keywords as possible. Once downloaded into your CMS, the Alt tag will be filled in on your media file. Here is an example with the WordPress CMS:
Compress Your Images
To optimize the loading time, the weight of the images must be reduced. The loading time is indeed a criterion taken into account by Google. It is also an important criterion for the user experience. So remember to compress each image to lighten them. There are free tools on the Internet to do this, such as kraken.io. You can also use Photoshop or Illustrator with the Save for Web feature.
Fill In The Title And Caption Of The Image
To help Google understand the meaning of an image, it is also useful to contextualize it by filling in the caption and the title. By default, the title will be the same as the file name. You can modify it directly in your CMS as well as the legend. It is also possible to fill in the image’s title attribute, even if this has no impact on SEO. On the other hand, it may be of interest to users. The latter see it when they place the mouse cursor over the image.
What To Remember?
The change observed by seoClarity shows us that images greatly interest natural referencing. Their optimization is, therefore, an element that should not be overlooked. In addition to the tips above, you can refer to an older blog post that is more detailed on image SEO. For example, you will learn the image formats to favor and the ideal resolution.
Also Read: How Do Google’s Algorithms Work?