10 Things Beginners Must Know About SEO Image Optimization for Infographics

10 Things Beginners Must Know About SEO Image Optimization for Infographics
Kevin Payne

Written by:
Kevin Payne

Jul 23, 2019

With infographics, you can emphasize or illustrate points in your blog posts while also making a greater impact on your readers. Although people might not necessarily be too apt to read a wall of text, they will look at an image.

Little do beginners know that infographics can be vital tools to help people discover their website on Google or other popular search engines.

How? Enter image SEO.

If you’re new to websites and blog posts, whether or not to focus on image optimization for your infographics right away seems like a valid question.

After all, with all the changes we’re seeing in Google Search's algorithm, the impact of images on page load speeds and even copyright issues, the entire process can seem overwhelming. Which might leave you asking: is it still worth optimizing images for SEO? 

Our answer is a hard yes. 

So we’re showing you exactly how to implement a simple, actionable infographic and image optimization strategy with these 10 tips. 

Check out our infographic summary of this post below. Or keep scrolling for a detailed explanation of each tip.

10 image optimization tips - infographic


What is Image Optimization?

First of all, what is image optimization? Well, you’ve heard of search engine optimization for your website and blog content, right? It includes the practice of optimizing your content around a keyword to strategically get your website to rank on search engines for that term.

So when you check Google rankings you are able to see which pages need more efforts than others and you can pick the best performing keywords for a particular web page.

Image optimization is very similar in that its main goal is to help your business rank higher in search results. However it focuses less on a keyword – except in your alt text, but more on that later – and more on size and loading.

Ready to learn more? Dive into our 10 essential image optimization tips for beginners.


10 Essential Image Optimization Tips for Beginners

1. Stick to Original, High-Quality Infographics

create original, high-quality infographics

Customize your own infographic using one of these templates!Find Your Template

Excellent high-quality infographics is one image SEO technique that can help get your website and blog content discovered on popular search engines. 

By showing visitors a beautifully-designed infographic, you establish your company’s brand personality and expertise in your industry the moment they land on a page.

If your blog currently only lifts and recycles infographics from other websites, you run the risk of looking too generic. In addition, readers might recall the blog that originally posted/created the infographic instead of your website. Kind of a lose-lose situation there.

To get better search engine rankings on Google and other image search engines, invest the time in creating original, high-quality infographics in your blog posts. 

Convince your visitors your company is unique and reputable by using original infographics, charts and graphs created by a designer

Bootstrapping your blog? Check out these tools to help you build your own high-converting infographics without needing to hire a designer.

2. Have a Reason to Add an Infographic

have a reason to add an infographic

Customize a similar template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Infographics are a great way to help showcase a point or make a smooth transition from one point to another. Including infographics in your content also helps provide a visual to your data and gives readers a break from a long block of text.

While it might be tempting to add several infographics in a single page in an attempt to improve image SEO and site ranking, be warned. This could make your pages load extremely slowly, damaging your site’s search engine ranking.

Instead, consider adding up to 2-3 infographics in these areas of your blog post – a summary infographic in the middle of a long, data-driven section, or a roundup infographic listing every point mentioned at the very end of the post.

3. Use the Right File Type

image optimization - use the right file type

One essential aspect of optimizing images for SEO, particularly infographics, is getting to know the three most common image file types. These are JPEG, GIF, and PNG.

JPEG (or .jpg) images are the most common among the three, and chances are it’s a JPEG every time you download an existing infographic or image from a website. 

This file type can be compressed into significantly smaller sizes while still maintaining image quality. To optimize loading speed, most of your infographics are best saved as JPEG files. This is just one way to speed up your WP websites.

GIF image file types are used for images with simpler colors or, as you might already know, animated and looped images. You might notice GIFs are lower-resolution file types, making them best for icons and decorative images. 

The last file type is PNG. This type comes in higher resolutions than GIFs and, important to note, larger file sizes than JPEGs. Considering all the above, your best bet is saving your original infographics in JPEG format.

In case you are unable to use a JPEG file for an infographic, save your PNGs as PNG-8 over PNG-24 to get the best quality for its size.

4. Image File Size Matters

image optimization - image file size matters

File size and image size are two different, though connected, things. The bigger an image (or infographic), more than likely it has the file size to match.

Though this isn’t always the case. You can have a visually small infographic, yet said infographic may have a bigger file size than one twice its size. To be sure, check the file’s details so you know how to optimize your infographic and employ the best SEO.

Needless to say, websites and pages with big image files will load slower, as your browser needs to render more data. To help increase page load speed, image optimization is a must.

After saving your infographic, use free image compressors like compressjpeg.com (for JPEGs) or imageoptimizer.net to reduce the file size while still maintaining image quality. You can also download third party software that do the same thing.

5. Include Descriptive Captions

image optimization - use captions

One easily overlooked image optimization practice is adding descriptive captions to your visuals, especially for images that require context. 

Readers of your blog articles might not even read the text of your posts, but they will probably skim and see an image, then read its caption.

In the case of your blog infographics, adding a caption at the bottom can give visitors an idea of what data you’re presenting in your graphic.

Adding descriptive captions telling readers what the infographic talks about can also encourage people to read through or recall your post. A study by Richard E. Meyer has shown that illustrations without captions have 81% less recall.

6. Make Your Image Alt Text SEO-Friendly

image optimization - alt text

Adding alt text is a crucial step in optimizing images for SEO, particularly in infographics. 

Alt text is the text that may appear in place of an actual image (usually in cases of visually impaired users who use on-screen readers, or when an image fails to load properly on a page). You might also notice alt text when you hover over an image.

Alt text is a simple yet effective boost for site SEO, especially with valuable, beautifully-designed infographics. Adding relevant keywords to your infographic’s alt text increases its chances of getting ranked under the images tabs of search engines.

Just like in best practices for copywriting for SEO, optimizing infographics for SEO works best when you use relevant long-tail keywords.

If you upload an infographic with data about Apple’s sales, for example, you might add “Apple sales data” as its alt attribute. But if you want to optimize this image even more, specify the exact year of the data you’re presenting – say, “2020 Apple sales data.”

It's easy to forget to fill out an image's alt text, so there are likely more than a few on your site. Fortunately, it's just as easily fixed with free SEO tools - such as WebCEO's On-Site Issues Overview. Run a quick SEO site audit to find all your images without alt texts.

7. Add an Image Sitemap to Your Website

image optimization - image sitemap

An image sitemap is exactly as it sounds: a sitemap but for images. Create a sitemap that keeps all important images of your website in one place. 

This helps improve overall image SEO by signaling to search engines that you have images – especially infographics – on your site that they might not have detected. 

As a result, search engines can detect more infographics and images from your website, boosting their chances of getting discovered in a relevant image search.

To do this, you can submit a file called “image-sitemap.xml” through Javascript. If you run on WordPress, get the free Google Sitemap for Images plugin, or enlist the help of an SEO company.

Be sure to add relevant tags to all the infographics and images you include in your sitemap.

8. Use the Lazy Loading Technique

image optimization - lazy loading technique

One factor you might not know about image optimization is this: Google gives better rankings to pages that load faster. And one actionable way to make your pages load faster is by employing the lazy loading technique.

This means that images on your website only load once the user scrolls down to the specific area where these images appear. Lazy loading is a good setting to use with large infographics, particularly those that appear only in the middle or end of a blog post.

To implement this technique, talk to your website developer to add a lazy loading script into your site. If you use WordPress, you can turn this setting on from the free Jetpack plugin.

9. Avoid Thumbnails

image optimization - avoid thumbnails

Thumbnails can make or break a lot of your image optimization strategy. When there are too many thumbnails on a webpage – like header thumbnails appearing under a Related Posts section – page load speeds can drastically suffer.

You might be tempted to turn a segment of your infographics into thumbnails for your blog posts as a kind of teaser pre-empting your post. But before you do this, consider the impact this will have on your page load speed.

If possible, avoid thumbnails altogether. If they’re a must for your business, be willing to sacrifice some image quality to reduce overall file size and optimize page load speed. 

But if you can do away with thumbnails altogether, that’s the best possible solution.

After all, 47% of users expect webpages to load in 4 seconds or less, or else they abandon a site entirely. This could be lost business for your company – a steep price to pay for the sake of page aesthetic. Image quality isn't worth that.

10. Review Your Image Search Performance

If you want to see how well your site is doing in terms of image SEO, conduct an image search performance review on Google Search Console.

Log in to your Search Console property, go to Performance Report, then select Image among the choices before hitting Apply. Similar to viewing analytics across your webpages, you’ll find data on image impressions, clicks, pages, countries, devices, etc.

image optimization - image search performance

One important thing to note is that results in Search Console can’t tell you the analytics for each specific image – only see the page name or “host name” where these images appear. Google Search Console doesn’t distinguish between multiple images in a page.

If you want to easily distinguish how your infographics are performing, limit the images and infographics to 1 or 2 at most per post, allowing you to more accurately read your results.

Infographic Image Optimization for SEO: An Essential Aspect to Overall Searchability

Image SEO has come a long way. And while it may seem like a tedious process to make sure your website gets ranked on search engines like Google, optimizing images for SEO will pay off in the long run in website traffic.

And one easy way to do this while also cementing your brand personality and expertise is in the use of infographics across your posts.

Most of these optimization steps are also “set and forget,” meaning you only do them once and they'll contribute to your site’s index score over time.

Just like infographics that help more visual aid to pages and posts, these image optimization techniques are a small yet powerful way to help build your site’s impact and ranking.

Ready to start creating infographics to accompany your blog content? Visme can help! Start designing and optimizing your own infographics today.

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    About the Author

    Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant who helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

    One response to “10 Things Beginners Must Know About SEO Image Optimization for Infographics”

    1. Ryan Byrd says:

      Amazing article. The power of the infographic I think can oftentimes be overlooked, and you did a great job of explaining how to properly apply image optimization, thanks. I am wondering how often it’s necessary if ever to remove an image and update a new one? Thanks for your expertise.

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