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Local SEO Best Practice #8 – Optimize Images

Optimizing images is important for a couple of reasons. The first is that image files are by their very nature, much larger than text files and therefore, take much longer to load. However, Google and the other search engines now consider the loading speed of a website when ranking pages, and they’ll place slower-loading pages further down in the search results page.

But while the search engines may realize that a webpage has a file on it that will take longer to load, they cannot read or understand image files. So when there is an image on a page, the search engines only know that it’s an image file; they don’t understand what the image is actually of. This is another reason why image files need to be optimized.

Luckily, there are a few ways to optimize images so that the search engines can better load, and better understand them.

— Resize images to the smallest file size possible, without affecting the quality of the image.

— Inserting ‘Alt Text’ code to each image when it’s uploaded to the website will tell the search engine what the picture is of. This way they’ll be able to identify and understand the image and rank the page appropriately. Adding ‘Alt Text’ code to images is different for every blogging and website creation program and platform, but it’s generally very easy across the board.

— Name all images that are uploaded to the website, and be sure that their names include relevant keywords. This will help the search engines understand what the image is about.

— Ensure the filenames of all images have a unique name.

While it may seem odd to attach a geographic location to an image file, it’s important to do so, as it will tell the search engines even more about the file.

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