Google’s John Mueller released an almost 10 minute long video on image SEO best practices and tips. It is one of the more detailed image SEO presentations I’ve seen from Google. He lists off 12 specific actionable tips and then talks more about implementation and measurement.
Here is the video, but I’ll summarize the tips below:
Here are the 12 tips in the video:
(1) Provide context: Make sure the images are relevant to the page and that the titles, headings, content are relevant to the image as well.
(2) Optimize image placement: You should place images near relevant text and provide captions near the image. Also place your most important images at the top.
(3) Don’t embed text in the image, place that text on the page.
(4) Use alt-attributes on your images
(5) Use high quality images
(6) Make high quality sites 🙂
(7) Create mobile and desk friendly sites
(8) Use a good descriptive urls; Google uses both the URL path and image file name for understanding the image. Avoid changing the URL and if you do change it, 301 the old URL to the new one (Google is slow here).
(9) Provide relevant structured data to your page
(10) Use large image previews using max-image-preview-large
(11) Add image licensing markup
(12) Speed up your pages by optimizing image size, lazy loading techniques and more
(13) Here is a bonus tip, call it tip number 13. Google’s John Mueller as later asked about EXIF image data. It is a topic Matt Cutts talked about several years ago but didn’t give a direct answer about. John Mueller said on Twitter this morning that Google EXIF data does not impact rankings in Google search. He said “we used to show some of the EXIF metadata in the Google Images preview pane, but I don’t think we do that anymore. It’s not used for ranking.”
John Mueller also spoke about how to block images from Google Search using robots.txt. He told us how he recommends to get started with image SEO, by starting on a few pages and then apply what works on the rest of the site. Google Search Console can also help you by checking your structured data, site speed and performance report.
Forum discussion at Twitter.