Optimize Your Website Images for Improved SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s digital landscape, having a visually appealing website is essential, but ensuring that your website ranks well in search engine results is equally important. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in attracting organic traffic to your site, and one aspect that often gets overlooked is image optimization. By optimizing your website images for SEO, you can enhance user experience, improve page load times, and boost your search engine rankings. In this blog post, I will guide you through the essential steps to optimize your website images for SEO.

Choose the Right File Format

The first step in image optimization is selecting the appropriate file format. The most common image formats are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Here’s when to use each format:

  • JPEG: Ideal for photographs and images with many colours, as it offers high-quality and small file sizes. Adjust the compression level to balance quality and file size.
  • PNG: Best for images with transparency or simple graphics. While it usually results in larger files, it ensures higher quality and retains transparency.
  • GIF: Suitable for simple animations and images with limited colours. However, use GIFs sparingly as they often result in larger file sizes.

Compress Images without Compromising Quality

Large image files can slow down your website’s loading speed, negatively impacting SEO. Compress your images without compromising quality to strike a balance between visual appeal and performance. Several online tools and plugins can help you compress images effectively. I typically try to keep images under 200kb.

How to resize in Photoshop:
Use the File > Export > Save for Web feature and set it as a JPG, PNG, or GIF. Set the quality to Medium, 30%, for image size, and set the width to a max of 1920 pixels. You can adjust these options until you are happy with the quality of the images and then hit save.

For a free, open-source software option, you can use GIMP to export images for the web. (https://www.gimp.org/)

Optimize Image File Names

When saving images, avoid using generic names like “img12345.jpg” or “image_1.png.” Instead, use descriptive, keyword-rich file names that relate to the image content. For example, if you have an image of a beach sunset, use a name like “tropical-beach-sunset.jpg.” This helps search engines understand the context of your images and improves your chances of ranking for relevant searches.

Use Alt Tags

Alt tags (alternative text) provide a textual description of images for users who can’t view them, and they also serve as important signals for search engines. Write descriptive alt tags that accurately describe the image content while incorporating relevant keywords naturally. Avoid stuffing alt tags with keywords, as this could be seen as spammy and harm your SEO efforts.

Host Images on Your Domain

Avoid hosting your images on third-party platforms or social media sites. Instead, host them on your own domain. This gives your website more control over the images and ensures that the traffic generated from image searches benefits your site directly.


Optimizing website images for SEO is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of digital marketing. By following these steps, you can enhance your website’s performance, improve user experience, and boost your search engine rankings. Take the time to choose the right file formats, compress images, write descriptive alt tags, and implement responsive design. By doing so, your website will be visually appealing and attract more organic traffic and potential customers, making your SEO efforts more successful in the long run.

Iva Kezic

Iva Kezic

Iva Kezic, Freelance Graphic Designer based in Calgary, AB. Specializing in a wide range of graphic design applications such as branding, website design, graphic design, and more.

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