Optimizing images for Local SEO

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Date: 2024-01-20 | Category: SEO
Author: Herbert Stonerock

What is image optimization for Local SEO

In the dynamic world of online business, local search engine optimization (SEO) plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your business gets noticed by potential customers in your area. While many businesses focus on textual content, the importance of optimizing images for local SEO cannot be overstated. In this article, we will delve into the strategies and techniques to make your images shine on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract local customers.

Choose the Right Image Format

Selecting the appropriate image format is a foundational step in optimizing images for local SEO. The two most common formats, JPEG and PNG, serve different purposes, and understanding their characteristics can significantly impact your website's performance and user experience. There is a 3rd format, the WebP image format, developed by Google, it combines the best of both JPEG and PNG providing smaller file sizes too.

  1. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

    JPEG is the preferred format for photographs and images with gradients. It utilizes lossy compression, meaning it sacrifices some image data to achieve smaller file sizes. This compression makes JPEGs excellent for high-resolution images while maintaining a visually appealing appearance. For local businesses showcasing their products or services through vibrant and detailed imagery, JPEG is often the format of choice.

  2. PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

    PNG, on the other hand, are valuable for images requiring transparency or sharp edges, making it suitable for logos and icons. Mobile-friendly websites, which adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes, benefit from PNG's lossless compression. Businesses with distinct branding elements should consider PNG to maintain the clarity of logos and icons even on the limited real estate of mobile screens.

  3. Consideration for WebP

    In recent years, WebP has emerged as a modern image format developed by Google. It combines the best of both JPEG and PNG, offering both lossy and lossless compression options. WebP often provides smaller file sizes without compromising image quality, making it an excellent choice for web optimization. However, it's essential to consider browser compatibility when using WebP, as not all browsers support this format.

Image File Size Matters

Large image files can slow down your website, negatively impacting your SEO. Compress your images without compromising quality to ensure faster loading times. Various online tools and plugins are available to help reduce file sizes while maintaining image integrity. Google favors fast-loading websites, so optimizing images for speed is crucial for local SEO success.

  1. Page Loading Speed

    Large image files can significantly slow down your website's loading speed. In the era of instant gratification, users expect web pages to load quickly, especially on mobile devices. Search engines, such as Google, consider page speed as a ranking factor. If your website takes too long to load, it may result in higher bounce rates, negatively impacting your SEO performance.

  2. User Experience

    A positive user experience is crucial for retaining visitors and encouraging them to explore your website further. When images take a long time to load, users may become frustrated and leave your site, potentially seeking information or products from your competitors.

  3. Mobile Optimization

    With the increasing prevalence of mobile device usage, optimizing images for smaller screens and lower bandwidths is essential. Large image files can be particularly detrimental to mobile users who may experience slower loading times and increased data usage.

  4. Crawling and Indexing Efficiency

    Search engine crawlers analyze and index the content of your website to determine its relevance to user queries. Large image files can slow down the crawling process, leading to incomplete indexing or delayed updates of your site's content in search engine databases.

Optimize Image Alt Text

Alt text (alternative text) is the descriptive text associated with an image. This text is crucial for search engines to understand the content of the image. Incorporate relevant keywords and location-specific information in the alt text to enhance your local SEO efforts. This not only improves your image SEO but also makes your content more accessible to users with visual impairments.

Example of alternative text in HTML:

Scattered photos  on wood like surface

<img alt="Scattered photos on wood like surface while holding digital map and drinking tea" src="/path/to/image.png"  title="photos on wood surface" >

Create Image Sitemaps

Just as you create sitemaps for your website's pages, consider generating image sitemaps. Image sitemaps provide search engines with additional information about the images on your site, including their relevance to specific locations. Submitting image sitemaps to search engines can improve the indexation of your images and enhance their visibility in local search results.

Utilize Descriptive Filenames

When saving images, use descriptive filenames that include relevant keywords and location information. Avoid generic filenames like "IMG1234.jpg." Instead, opt for filenames that reflect the content of the image and its connection to your local business. Search engines use filenames as additional clues to understand the context of your images.

Example of descriptive filename:

Scattered photos  on wood like surface

<img src="/path/to/tea-and-digital-map-over-photos.png.png" alt="Scattered photos on wood like surface while holding digital map and drinking tea" title="tea and digital map over photos" >

Mobile-Friendly Images

Given the increasing use of mobile devices, it's essential to ensure that your images are mobile-friendly. Test how your images appear on different devices and optimize them for responsiveness. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites, so this step is crucial for local SEO success.


In the competitive landscape of local SEO, optimizing images is a strategic move that can give your business a distinct advantage. By following these image optimization techniques, you not only enhance your website's overall performance but also position your business prominently in local search results. Make sure your visual content aligns seamlessly with your local SEO strategy, giving your business the visibility it deserves in the local digital marketplace.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik
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