Content, Technical SEO

Best SEO Practice for GIFS

 September 5, 2019

By  Colleen Romero

Did you know there are more than 600 million websites on the internet? So no matter your industry, you’re going up against a ton of competition.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends. One of these right now is including GIFs on your website, especially if you market to a younger crowd.

But simply including a GIF isn’t enough. You need to optimize it so it will show up in Google search results.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide outlining the top ways to optimize your site’s GIFs. Keep reading for the best SEO practice for GIFs.

Work on the Alt Text

When you have an image on your site, Google’s bots aren’t able to see what the image looks like. They can process your body copy and headline, but not the visual components.

Because of this, alt text was created. This is copy that accompanies images.

It shows up in case your images have a hard time loading. Another use case is for the visually impaired. In these cases, a screen reader can process the alt text so the user knows what the image includes

And alt text is also super helpful to Google’s bots because it lets them know exactly what your image depicts.

Make sure you include relevant alt text for each of your GIFs. Use the primary keyword for the page and some descriptive text about the GIF itself.

When you do this properly, Google will have an easier time understanding what your pages are about, resulting in higher rankings above your competitors.

Customize the Filename

Another important component of best SEO practice for GIFs? The filename.

This is a tip that seems so simple, but many people forget about it. It’s easy to overlook.

Often, this is because while it’s easy, you have to think about it before you upload your images to your website. Take a few minutes before uploading your GIFs to customize their filenames.

Include one of the target keywords for that page and other relevant information about the picture.

It’s true that most visitors will never see this part of the picture, but search engines will. And the more that a search engine can learn about your page, the better it will rank.

Resize Your File Without Losing Quality

It’s simple: large image files are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to slow site speed. And it’s often a pretty easy fix.

Why does site speed matter? It’s a huge factor when it comes to your page’s ranking. Here’s why.

Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best experience possible. And this means giving them accurate information as quickly as possible. So if your website is slow, this means people will have a negative experience, which causes Google to rank your website below faster sites.

Before uploading gifs, take the time to resize them. It really will pay off.

If you have access to the Adobe Suite, it’s easy to resize your GIFs using Photoshop. There are also free online tools like Pixlr and PicMonkey that make it simple to compress your files.

But just make sure you don’t compress your image too much. This will make it blurry, pixelated, and low quality. It’s all about finding the balance between size and image quality.

It might take a few test runs, so try a few different sizes and see what works best for you.

Don’t Forget Captions

Like we talked about earlier, Google’s site crawlers can only process text, not images. So for this reason, it’s crucial that you do whatever you can to let Google know what your pictures are about.

Another great way to do this is through image captions. So as you add GIFs to your site, be sure to add captions with them too.

Typically, this is the text that appears below the image that describes what the picture is.

It’s also beneficial from a user experience perspective as well. As people are skimming your site, it’s common for them to not read every paragraph.

But when they get to a picture, video, or GIF, their eyes will go there and chances are, they’ll read the quick caption as well.

Host Your Own Images

Last but not least, host your own image files. It will save you a bunch of headaches.

As you probably know, there are lots of sites out there that allow you to host your images on their servers. These include Postimage, Imgur, and many others.

While these can be appealing, they’re not worth the risk.

They’re nice because they can save space on your site, improving load time. But what if the hosting servers get a ton of traffic and crash?

These means all of the images on your site will become broken links, providing a terrible customer experience.

To avoid this, always use your own servers to host your pictures and GIFs.

Best SEO Practice for GIFs

Now that you’ve read through these best SEO practice for GIFs, it’s time to put them to use. Take these principles and apply them as you’re including GIFs on your website.

You’ll enjoy better SEO rankings, resulting in increased traffic, leads, and hopefully sales. With a few simple tweaks and changes, your pages can quickly see a great improvement in ranking.

Have questions or want to learn more? Keep browsing our blog for more SEO tips and tricks.

Colleen Romero

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