Opportunities for optimization of your affiliate website or blog are so numerous that you can easily overlook some of them. Let’s take image optimization, for instance. Every image is a small page within a page and so it is subject to the general laws of optimization.
Just like a landing page, an image can be optimized for a higher search engine ranking (SEO) and better user experience (UX). Being an important visual component of your website, images can make the content much more digestible and improve conversions (which is especially true for the beauty industry). On the other hand, SEO optimization of images can drive more traffic to your website through image search, e. g. Google Images, and help gain higher positions on the SERP page.
Ideally, you should aim for both – SEO and user optimization – and here are the steps you can take to ensure both.
1. Using unique images
The use of obviously stock images might impair both – UX and rankings. For obvious reasons, Google does not want to rank high an image that appears on multiple websites, just as well as a user might understand that the image is not unique, which is an especially grievous mistake for images that are supposed to be “personal”, like before/after ones.
2. Tweaking the file name
Letting your camera or computer name the images is not a good idea. By default, it will be something like “DSC9836.jpg”. Instead, you should use a relevant file name, preferably with a keyword. For example, if you are uploading a before-after image for our Garcinia Cambogia CPA offer, name it “before_after_weightloss_garcinia” or “garcinia_pills_before_after”. Giving a generic name like “weightloss” is also ineffective, because it reduces the chances of an image to rank for this highly competitive keyword.
3. Tweaking the alt text
Alt tags are used to replace images when they are not displayed (disabled) or when a person having sight problems uses a special program to read the content of your page. An alt tag should be rather descriptive and include a keyword, too. As usual, do not try to stuff it with keywords, as Google might penalize you for over-optimization. The alt tag should be rather short and to the point.
In cases when you use an image as an anchor to link to another page, its alt tag should be relevant to the content of the destination page.
4. Tweaking the caption
When users see an image, their eyes naturally drift down. That’s where you should catch them by providing a relevant caption. While it is not supposed to be a ranking factor, it is extremely important for user experience, as three times more visitors read captions than the body copy. It can also reduce the bounce rate, which IS a ranking factor (When a person clicks on a link, he or she expects to find relevant content there; quickly noticed on the page, an appropriate image caption will decrease the chances of a person leaving your website). Using keywords in captions will be relevant but should not be forced.
5. Using the appropriate file size
There are only a few seconds before a visitor will close your website and go somewhere else, if it is not loading quickly enough. A bigger size of images can increase the loading time, which is an especially big problem for mobile users, who tend to be more impatient. To help your website download as fast as possible, you need to resize your images as much as you can without impairing their quality.
Note that while you can change the dimensions of an already uploaded image, its file size will not change. In this case, a larger image will be loaded first and then reduced to the specified dimensions. Obviously, it will not improve the loading time of your website. That’s why you need to resize the files before uploading. There are multiple free tools you can use to do it, such as Google+’s Photos Editor, Image Optimizer, etc.
Also, Google recommends storing images in one folder on your website, rather than in multiple locations.
6. Editing the EXIF data
EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format and includes various data embedded into an image at the time of its creation. This might include dates, camera information, geo data, etc. It can be useful to alter the EXIF data of an image to include descriptions, location, authorship, etc. It can be done by means of various instruments such as Google’s Picasa.
7. Tweaking the title tags
The title is the text that appears when a user hovers over an image. The use of the title tag is optional. It bears no significant importance for ranking purposes, but it might do so in future. Also, it is a way to enhance user experience.
8. Appropriate anchor texts
If you chose to provide links to a certain image, make sure that their anchor text is descriptive enough and contains the keywords relevant to the image.
9. Adding geo-elements
If you are promoting one of our international health and beauty CPA offers, you can add elements like “UK” to image alt tags and file names to make them more geo-targeted.
This is about everything you can do to optimize images as of now. Yet Google is constantly developing and introducing new algorithms to make its operation more effective. Keep up with the changes by following our affiliate marketing blog. Here, we do our best to provide you with the most relevant information that will help you promote our CPA offers with better ROI.