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Image File Formats And Their Impact On SEO

Visual content is extremely important when optimizing a website. A very heavy image can affect the loading speed and performance of your website. Thus, it is important to know the different image formats and how image formats affect SEO.
Optimizing images for SEO will have a positive impact on the ranking of your website. Thus, we recommend our clients pay special attention to the selection and use of their images.
According to Moz, image search accounts for about 30% of all queries generated. A great statistic, isn’t it? If this fact didn’t shock you, check the following ones. These 3 extra facts will help you understand the importance of optimizing images for SEO.

3 quick facts to help you understand the importance of images

The majority of searches come from mobile. Thus, it is important for websites to offer a fast and pleasant user experience.

With this in mind, let’s analyze the importance of optimizing images for SEO. To do this, we will review the different image formats and their impact.

On average, images represent 21% of the weight of a page

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A fundamental part of optimizing images for SEO is to improve the user experience on your website.
You may be wondering, how can optimizing images help my users? Here we tell you. It is not complicated to optimize images for SEO and it will bring you great benefits.

What can image optimization do for my users?

  • Reduce the loading speed of your website, decrease the bounce rate and improve site retention.
  • Improve the loading speed of your website. This factor is important for Google’s ranking.
  • It helps to improve the ranking of your keywords.
  • Helps in reverse image search. This will add great value to your website.

With all this in mind, let’s now analyze the different image formats and their impact on SEO.

Does the image name affect SEO?

When a search engine finds your website, it will index everything related to it. Including the file names of your content. Image file names play an important role in the indexing process. Why? Because they tell the algorithm that the image is relevant to people searching for the topic related to it.
In other words. Naming images IMG1234 prevents search engines from doing better analysis of your website. An image with meta descriptions and a file name with keywords will always seduce search engines. This will allow your site to rank better in search engine rankings.
Bottom line. The image name does affect SEO.

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How Image Formats Affect SEO

Let’s talk about How Image Formats Affect SEO. Website loading speed is one of the pillars of SEO On Page. Thus, do not underestimate the power of optimizing the size of images. Failure to do so will affect the loading speed and performance of your website.
Image formats differ in their quality and size limitations. So, let’s take a look at the main ones:
JPEG: The most common image type that allows you to balance quality and size. It is a compressed image file, which leads to some loss of quality. We recommend compressing between 60 and 70% to maintain the sharpness of the images.

We don’t advise using JPGs for files like logos or icons. They don’t support transparency and have trouble with sharp edges because they can become blurry. JPGs are best used for backdrops or full-page hero images because they maintain their clarity and sharpness on larger screens while reducing page load time. 

PNG: Provides better quality. But, it uses a larger file size.
PNG took over the role of gif, removing the restriction on the number of colors to use (256). But, the PNG format can affect the speed of your site and hurt your SEO ranking.
We recommend PNG format for text or other graphic elements with transparent backgrounds and sharp edges. PNG is still an excellent option to produce sharp photos if the file size isn’t a concern. But because most website owners don’t have this luxury, we would recommend JPGs.

We recommend using JPEG for photos and PNG for almost everything else

GIF: GIF has become a staple of social media and internet culture. It has taken over the web and is the most used picture format for adding personality to articles.

The 256 color restriction for this format is both a benefit and a curse. It allows for excellent compression but can result in washed-out images. Although gifs generally have a tiny file size, their size can increase depending on the size of the image and the frame rate or frame count. As a result, we don’t tell using too many gifs on your website.
BMP: Format that allows high-quality graphics. You will not be able to compress BMP files unless you convert them to JPEG or PNG.
WebP: Image format that focuses on lossless compression. The problem is that not all browsers support this format.
SVG: Format used for logos and icons. We recommend not to use Inline SVG for better indexing.

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How to Optimize Images for Better SEO

Understandable image URL structure

Image URLs should reflect the image’s main ideas. Also, should match your website’s navigational hierarchy. As an illustration, from a category to a subcategory, then to a page, and finally to a specific image.


Image filenames are also scanned by search engines. Thus, don’t pass up the chance to identify them.
The filename shouldn’t be too long, but it should be descriptive. It can include the targeted keyword and needs to include hyphens separating words.

Dimension and Weight

Resize your photographs to fit the display scale of your website. This is a crucial piece of advice we offer to all our clients. Otherwise, your photographs can start to lose quality or your site might load more slowly.
Additionally, large graphics make your page load more slowly. There are many plugins and solutions for SEO image optimization that significantly lower the weight without compromising quality. We tell using the Imagify plugin or Tinypng.

Alt Text

Ask yourself: How does Google find a specific image? It’s hard for your algorithm to work with something visual, so it needs an image description. Alt text, often known as alternative text, can help with that.
Google won’t be able to find it if Alt Text isn’t used effectively when people search for it. You lose the chance to prove your work to users as a result.

It is important to understand the difference between Alt Text and the image title. Remember, they are not the same. The image title is the name and the Alt Text is its description.

To understand this even better, let’s use an example. Let’s imagine a photo of Central Park, in New York.

The photo is composed of hundreds of people walking around, huge trees, and various shops. The name of the image can be “Central Park – New York” but its Alt Text would have to describe the scene: “Central Park in New York with people walking around”.

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We hope this information about How Image Formats Affect SEO allows you to achieve better optimization of your website.  At Boxmark Digital we have over 10 years of experience and our hundreds of satisfied customers back up our expertise.
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