How to Optimize Your Images In WordPress

I can’t really emphasize enough how important it is to include an image in every blog post you write. Not only does it break up your text and add a interesting visual that is attractive, but it also increases your blog’s SEO and Pinnabilty.

optimizing your images in wordpress

I’ve written tons about that in the past, so I won’t go into it today. But I do want to show you how to optimize your images in WordPress to maximize your SEO. There are three things you need to take note of:

Image size: You want your image to be big enough to look pretty, but not so huge that it takes a long time to load. If you, like me, have a DSLR camera, you are likely taking photos that are somewhere between 3-6 MB. You don’t need photos that large on your blog, especially if you are loading up a ton of them. I use PicMonkey to resize my photos, usually to between 600 and 650 px wide. I do this because it then fits into my blog’s width perfectly, and makes the file size a mere 150KB or so. In addition, 650px is the optimal size to upload a photo to Facebook. I’ll usually recycle the photo and upload it to FB as a photo, and then write a description of my post. I’ll finish by copy/pasting in the link at the bottom. Be sure to X off the preview if you do that, or you’ll have too many images popping up.

Alt Text: After you’ve uploaded an image to your WordPress media library, you’ll get a box that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.35.57 AM

A lot of people leave the “Alt Text’ Box blank, because they don’t understand what it’s for. Alt Text helps people who are visually impaired to “see” your image. It also helps with Google’s search engine ranking: the bots that are constantly looking for updates on the web can’t “see”, but they can read Alt Tags. So make sure you fill this box in.

 File Name: Never leave your file name as the default name given to it (usually a string of letters and numbers) by your camera. There’s a couple of reasons why. First off, giving your image a descriptive name makes it more pinnable. Look at this image I just tried to pin from my blog:

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.44.13 AM

Ooops! Now, as the pinterest user, I will either leave it as is (not good) or I’ll have to erase my file name and type a description. So do the work for your reader and make sure every image is given a description. Do this in the “Title” box. Giving your image a title will also make it much more searchable in Google Images. People who are on your blog will also see the name of the image if they hover over it.

Alternately, you could install a plugin like SEO Friendly Images which will automatically add Titles and Alt Tags to any new images you upload.

 

 

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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