Do you want your business to appear on Google Maps and on the first page of Google local search results? Of course you do! It is one of the most effective ways to bring new clients to your store or get more online orders. Most if not all of your competitors are also fighting for more exposure in their local community and they use various local SEO tactics to obtain it.
Today we will show you one particular technique that will give you a competitive edge: optimising your website images for local SEO. This is something that you can easily do on your own, and it does not require taking or purchasing new photos.
Why Do You Need to Optimise Website Images?
There is no clear-cut rule that indicates what Google takes into account and what it ignores in determining local search results. With the latest core update of May 2020, a large part of the algorithm has evolved towards finding the best match for user intent – that is, what users really want to know or find out when they perform a search.
In this context, every bit counts. Like puzzle pieces making a complete image, every element of your website, with proper optimisation, can paint the picture Google wants to see: that your site is a good match for what the user is looking for. Thus, you should not leave anything to change, even your images and photos.
What You Need to Do to Optimise Website Images for Local SEO
The following steps do not require any technical or programming skills at all. As you’ve been managing your site for some time, you are familiar with its backend and probably use it on a daily bases to add, edit or delete content.
These being said, here are some simple tips for website image optimisation:
1. Reduce the File Size
Clear and crisp images do not have to have a large size, in the range of tens of megabytes. A simple and free image viewer and editor like Irfan View can help you resize photos to a few hundreds kilobytes without losing image quality?
Why does this matter for local SEO efforts? A large image will load slowly, especially on an older smartphone. Plus, your clients do not want to use up their data plan on your website images. Thus, after one or two visits, they will avoid your site and, hence, stop ordering from you.
2. Add NAP Citations in the Description
When you upload an image in Wordpres, you can fill in various metadata: image name, ALT text and description. Many website owners leave the description blank, as it does not matter as much as the ALT text for keyword ranking.
If you want to put your business on Google Maps, your chances grow if you do not leave this area blank. Instead, add your NAP data – business name, address and phone number. These are the markers that Google is looking for in order to determine proximity to the user’s location.
3. Geotag Your Photos
When you post photos of your headquarters or store, you should geotag them. What does this mean? It means that you add the precise GPS position of your place of business in the metadata of the photos.
Right now, you can use a free application for PC computers to do this – GeoSetter. Among the special features of this application is the possibility of setting geographical data by using an embedded Google Maps map of your area.
4. Place Relevant Text around the Photo
When an image is placed in good context, it increases the chances of ranking for local search. Thus, for example, a photo of your headquarters should be placed next to a description of your business including its address.
The text should also contain the keyword you use in the ALT text for the image.
5. Link Back to the Image
One simple and smart local SEO tip is to create anchor text in your website content that points to the image. That is, when people click on the anchor text, the image alone opens in a new window. This simple trick also helps you gain more inbound links, which also contribute to a higher page rank on Google.