The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Image SEO Optimization

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. The fact remains that pictures can trigger buried emotions and precious memories in time much more rapidly than words. Being visual-thirsty creatures, people love digesting visual content more than any other content type ever.

Many web developers also take advantage of this truth by displaying gorgeous photos on their sites. It’s proved that web pages containing images and videos can gain 94% more impressions than text-based pages.

However, your WordPress images don’t automatically rank on search engines after you upload them to your site. There is a bunch of stuff you must do in order to greatly benefit from your web images. The most important thing comes to improving WordPress image SEO.

Believing it or not, properly optimized images not only can make your site more eye-catching but also boost your site’s organic traffic.

You may be surprised how easy it is to optimize your WordPress image SEO. Here are 7 best practices that will keep you enhancing image SEO on the go. Before we begin, let’s quickly take a look at image SEO factors and along with reasons to take it as your top priority when building websites.

We will highlight statistics about image SEO too. Last but not least, common mistakes about image SEO will wrap up this post.

At the end of this article, you’ll get insight into:

What Is WordPress Image SEO?

WordPress image SEO refers to optimizing photos and graphics on a WordPress site to make them more viral on search results. You have to provide crawlers with basic and additional information about your graphics and ensure they’re indexed for the right keywords.


There are various factors you should care about to take your image SEO performance up a notch, including image sizes, their titles, alt text, and caption. Use responsive images as well as submitting them to the image sitemap too.

Why Prioritizing Your WordPress Image SEO

Proper image SEO optimization benefits you in many ways. You can engage users, build brand awareness along with boosting search engine rankings of your images and content. This will lead to an increase in organic traffic to your site.

  • Make your content more readable

Nothing bores users than a long page full of text. Long text blocks might cause users to run out of steam. That’s where images come in handy.

Images help break up texts so that your article will become easier to read. Some graphics are designed to summarize what you mention in the post. Instead of spending a lot of time reading the whole blog, users can catch up with its main ideas by viewing the images.

  • Build brand awareness 

Optimized images with consistent styles allow you to strengthen your brand recognition. You ought to use one type of visual content across your site, for example, photographs or vector images. This will remind users about your brand anytime seeing them.

Take as an example, they keep adding the word “PDA” to their images. And all the visual imagery examples used on their site are icon images or screenshots (for usage guidelines).

  • Boost organic traffic

The foremost benefit of WordPress image SEO optimization is gaining more traffic to your site via search results. Google loves images. That’s why it displays more and more images in SERPs.


Adding the right keyword to your images and submitting them to the site map permits search engine bots to crawl them quicker. This gives them a better chance to rank higher on Google image searches easily.

Juiciest Image SEO Statistics

The following stunning statistics emphasize the importance of image SEO in your site.

  • Google image search contributes 20% to the total Google traffic.
  • Moz estimated that about clicks on image results account for 3% of all clicks on Google.
  • 62% of members of Gen Z prefer visual search capability more than other emerging technology.
  • New fresh images will bring 111.3% more traffic to your existing posts.
  • Over 50% of searchers will include voice or image in their search by 2021.

7 Image SEO Best Practices

You already understand what Image SEO is as well as its pros. It’s time to figure out how to optimize your images SEO properly.

There are numerous things you need to consider, from image quality, size, to file types, and alt tags. These tips below will help you take that weight off your mind.

#1 Add at Least One Image

As mentioned above, a long post without illustrations makes it difficult for readers to finish the post. Even though you’re using an engaging writing style, users will get tired easily after reading over 500 words of content.

Ensuring that you add at least one image to your article. You can provide one photo for each section (heading) if possible. If you write about how-to guides, use screenshots to visualize the steps.

For review posts, photos of products or how they work are enough to tell Google and users what your content is about. They can see the real products without having to look for them again.

#2 Use High-quality Images

High-quality images are a smart idea to interest the audience. Users show their favor to photos maintaining quality. Try to create custom images yourself. There are 2 options for you to choose from, take photos on your own and then edit them or create vector images.

If you don’t have time to design custom graphics, simply take one from stock photos. Remember to find them from free sources or you can pay for them, depending on your budget. The most important thing is avoiding copyright infringement.

#3 Choose the Best File Type

File types greatly affect your image quality, load, and how it appears on a webpage as well as search engines. We recommend using JPEG or JPG files in most cases which takes the least spaces.

PNGs deserve a thumb up when creating custom graphics, screenshots, and logos. For animated or moving images, apply GIF files. Last but not least, SVG graphics should be used for images and logos. You can scale them to any dimension without worrying about the quality.

#4 Use Appropriate Image File Sizes

Images have a big impact on your web page loading times. The larger your images are, the longer it takes to load your page which can lead to a bad user experience. You need to resize your images to as small as possible but don’t affect their quality.


Bearing in mind that:

  • Compress the image size to the lowest number that still maintains the quality before uploading.
  • Avoid changing the file type to uncommon ones that can cause a serious difference in appearance.
  • Test different file formats to see which one delivers the best quality with the smallest size and loading time.

Multiple WordPress image SEO plugins available on the WordPress directory let you compress your photos as quick as a wink.

#5 Add and Optimize the Image Alt Text

Apart from “saying yes” to compression, you have to add an alt tag to your picture. This is the most important detail to fill out when uploading an image to your site.

Alt text plays a key role in image ranking factors. Although search crawlers can read and understand words, they don’t have the ability to see images. Alt text works as a description enabling bots to get to know what your picture is about. This enables Google bots to easily index and rank it for the right keyword.

On top of that, alt text supports readers by telling them the content of the photo when it hasn’t been loaded yet due to a weak web connection.

It’s straightforward to write an effective attribute for your images. You’re required to write something that can help users imagine what’s displayed in the photo without seeing it. Your alt description should be short, unique, and include your target keyword.

Here are some examples of a good alt text: “wordpress image seo plugin” and “tools to compress wordpress image”. Don’t write useless alt texts like “screenshot 1”, “screenshot 2”, or “image”.

#6 Add Target Keyword to Image Title and Name

Keywords in title and name prove a clear-cut winner in optimizing your image SEO. similar to alt text, this permits search engines to rank your pictures for relevant keywords.

While you can adjust alt text after uploading images to your WordPress Media Library, the image title and name must be updated from your computer before adding it to the Library or your web page.

#7 Share Your Images

It’s time to put the finishing touches to this process by sharing your images. Similar to content, photos need backlinks too, especially links from authority websites. It’s recommended to design a stunning infographic for your post. This creates better chances for your graphic to get shared by others.

You can try sharing them on different social platforms. These are great places for visual content to get viral.

4 Common Mistakes When Optimizing Image SEO

Not all WordPress site owners understand how to optimize their image SEO correctly. Below are some mistakes people often make when attempting to perfect their image SEO.

  • Using irrelevant images

We suggested adding at least one picture to a webpage. However, it doesn’t mean that you can use any graphics you want to. Please choose images that are connected to the content. If you can’t find or make any, just leave the page or post like what it is.

  • Add many keywords to the title and alt text

While some site owners forget to include the title and alt text of their images, a few others try to spam them by including too many keywords in the file name or alt text. This even harms your rankings in the same way as missing out on title and alt text.

  • Not submit images to the image sitemap

The image sitemap lets you structure all images on your website. All your optimization efforts fail to zero if you don’t submit images to image sitemaps.

An SEO plugin like Yoast allows you to add images to your sitemap automatically. If you’re using others, you must create one and add your image URLs there.

  • Not using responsive images

You design a photo, add target keywords to the alt text, choose a suitable file type, and decide an appropriate size. The graphic displays well on desktop search. Then you realize it doesn’t fit the mobile screen.

To fix this, you need to test your images to make sure they are responsive on multiple devices.

Start Optimizing Your WordPress Image SEO

As important as content SEO, image SEO optimization brings many benefits as well as considerably affects your site performance and rankings.

It shouldn’t come as a complicated task if you know to optimize your image correctly. We’ve covered 7 best practices to apply when you want to make your images stand out from the crowd.

Learning from other mistakes and improving them is a good way to smooth the optimization process away. Simply avoid irrelevant images, limit keyword spam, submit them to the image site map, and use responsive photos.

Still have a question about WordPress image SEO? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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