They say a picture is worth a thousand words!
A SEO optimized image can be very well worth a few thousands of visitors, if not more!
Some of the best practices for SEO that concerns images/ pictures are:
1. Image Relevancy: Images can be used to explain something specific (graphs, data etc) or enhance the layout of the page, and very commonly images are used because they are relevant to the content of the page. Relevancy is one of the key factors when images are optimized. Make sure the image your use are relevant to the content.
2. A good image has a bigger impact on your potential customer vis-à-vis the content. You may want to utilize this fact in order to retain the attention of the visitor. Just using images as it is, may not be enough. A title needs to be provided along with an Alt tag (Alternative text). Try to be descriptive, as in, in a short sentence describe what the image is all about. Your visitors will want to know what the image is all about and search engines index your images. When you provide complete information about the image, it helps both the human visitors as well as the search engine robots since they get the details that they need in order to index your image in their database. When your image is well optimized, it shows up on searching with the keyword on image search.
3. Try to minimize the size of your images, if you are using too many images, they might make your page very heavy thereby increasing the download time of your image.
4. Make sure you own the copyright of the images or you have the permission of the owner of the image to use the image on your web page.
5. Last but not the least, there are a few very good image optimizer tools available, you could give those a try, these image tools compress the size of the images and make them web ready: –
1. Adobe Photoshop : Adobe is one of the best tools available for optimizing images.
2. Online image optimizer : Image Optimizer lets you easily optimize your gifs, animated gifs, jpgs, and pngs, so they load as fast as possible on your site. Furthermore, you can easily convert from one image type to another. Upload Size limit: 300 kB
3. Riot: Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT for short) is a free image optimizer that will let you to visually adjust compression parameters while keeping minimum filesize.
4. Web resizer : lets you easily optimize your gifs, animated gifs, jpgs, and pngs, so they load as fast as possible on your site. Furthermore, you can easily convert from one image type to another. Upload Size limit: 300 kB
I have mentioned only some of the SEO image optimizing tools, there are many more and what is great is that most of them are available for free. SEO image optimization should form a part of your SEO strategy .