You spent a lot of time thinking (and probably overthinking) which images to add to your website. But the work isn’t done once you load them. You need to add ‘alt text’ (shorthand for alternative text) to them so that search engines, such as Google, will know what the pictures are about. And you want credit, so to speak, in search results for those pictures.
First things first: Google recognizes BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG image files, so ensure that your image file is saved as one of those. Secondly, you’ll need to name the image itself something descriptive. But be warned that more is not always better. It’s a fine line between sparse and overkill. For example, the Guardian Owl logo (below) could simply be named ‘owl’ but that does not accurately portray the business and would do a user no good, unless they were literally searching for owl images. It would be more accurate to add alt text such as ‘SEO experts optimize content and drive traffic’. Resist the temptation to cram every keyword imaginable into your alt text because that strategy might actually backfire when it comes to search rankings.
However, search engine optimization (SEO) is not the only reason why alt text is important. This method was originally developed so that visually impaired users could access information on websites. Even though they can’t literally see the images, they can easily identify them. Alt text is also helpful if your web page has trouble loading, since alt text displays as a placeholder when images fail to load properly.
This information is not to dissuade you from using images on your site. In fact, quite the opposite is necessary. Images are often what cements the user experience on your website. You don’t want to forsake images just because a few extra steps are necessary for SEO effectiveness. Just take those steps to ensure that the work you put into your site shows up as a hefty ROI (return on investment).