How to Optimize Product Images for SEO?


Images are a substantial component of websites as they make up about 64% of the websites’ data. Every e-commerce retailer understands its importance and knows that optimized images not only increase conversions but also help in better SEO rankings of your product pages and websites. With image optimization, you can improve user experience, load times, and lessen the burden of network resources.

If we look at current statistics, Pew’s survey concluded that 91% of web users use a search engine, 68% of online experiences are initiated with a search according to BrightEdge, and 34% of people search for products through search engines according to HubSpot. Hence, optimizing your product images is crucial for generating inbound leads, which effectively cost 61% less than outbound leads.

Image optimization is not limited to high-quality images, it involves other factors too, but which of them are most effective? Here are some of the most important image optimization tips that you should know.

Tips to Optimize Images For SEO

Pay Attention To Image Attributes

Image attributes affect the SEO rankings of your product page. You should pay attention to the following properties of your product images:

File Names

Your products’ images’ file name must have:

  • The target keywords
  • Additional details
  • Hyphens between words
  • Full words, avoiding abbreviations

Black-leather-jeans.jpg is an example of an SEO-friendly file name.


Alt-text is used for web accessibility and adds SEO value to your website or the product page. Your alt text should also have the right keywords, and you can use spaces between them. Google uses alt text to understand the subject matter of the image and serves a correct image in search results. Follow these simple tips to make your alt text SEO-friendly.

  • Ideally, your alt text should not exceed 125 characters.
  • Don’t use repeating words in your alt text
  • Hyphens between words
  • Use simple English and essential words in your alt text

An optimized alt text for our black jeans would be:

Select the Right Image Format

When it comes to choosing the right image format for your product images, consider the following tips:

  • JPEG is an ideal image format in many e-commerce platforms.
  • Avoid using gifs for large product images and only use them for thumbnails or decorative images.
  • Try using PNG-8 over PNG-24 if you can only get images in PNG format.

Among many image options to choose from, only three common file types are used to post images on the web.

JPG or JPEG: JPEG is the most commonly used format and also the default file type for the web. These images lose quality when they are zoomed in and produce quality images when they are compressed.

PNG: PNG produces better quality images and is becoming a popular alternative to GIFS as they support more colors compared to it. PNG images are much larger than JPEG images.

GIF: Although these images are of lower quality than JPEG, they are used for icons and simple images on a webpage.

Use Original & Relevant Images

Your images should be attractive to your customers, and irrelevant product images or stock images can turn them off and increase the bounce rate. Your images should be unique to stand out among all the others, and at the same time, they shouldn’t include any irrelevant things. Your product should be the main highlight of your images.

The use of original and relevant product images improves the user experience and helps your product page or website rank better.

Pay Attention to the File Size

Large product images can increase your page load time, which can lead to a loss in sales. Consumers only wait for three seconds for your page to load before moving on to another site or product. This poor user experience implicates your SEO ranking as well. Users enjoy faster sites, and search engines also prefer them for easy indexing.

For better optimization, try to keep your product image size below 70 kb, and you can use various tools to resize these images.

Use Mobile-Friendly Images

Mobile responsive images can increase your ranking power as well as user engagement. With an increasing number of mobile users, irresponsive mobile images can increase the bounce rate due to poor user experience, leading to poor SEO rankings.

If you are familiar with HTML, you can make your product images mobile responsive by adding this attribute to them, otherwise, many content management systems do this automatically. Make sure your product images are mobile-friendly if you want to boost your conversions and SEO ranking.

You should also consider the following points when it comes to mobile-friendly product images:

  • The image should be taken from a short distance so the product doesn’t appear too small on mobile.
  • Use a well-lit product image so it can grab the customers’ attention while scrolling.
  • Use a simple, white background image to highlight the product.

Add Photos to Your Sitemap

Adding images to your sitemap can optimize your site for search, leading to more traffic. An XML sitemap can further increase your SEO rankings, as it provides relevant information about your website. You can also use an XML sitemap to provide specific information about your product images to further increase your rankings.

Use High-quality Images

Images are the selling point of an e-commerce business, as visuals are the only thing that helps consumers evaluate a product online. High-quality images attract customers, and as more customers click on them to visit your product page or site, your SEO ranking will also increase. They can lead to high user traffic and user engagement, leading to more conversions and better SEO rankings.

Pay Attention to Decorative Images

Any non-essential image in a product page is considered a decorative image and websites can have numerous decorative images such as background images, borders, etc. Although these images add aesthetic appeal to a page or website, their sizes can accumulate leading to an increase in load time. Therefore, you should pay closer attention to these images so they don’t impair your conversions and SEO ranking.

You can follow these simple tips to reduce the file sizes of these decorative images:

  • For borders or simple patterns, use PNG-8 or GIFs
  • Use CSS styling as much as possible instead of images

Protect Your Images

To avoid the misuse of your product images, register for a Creative Commons license. Letting others borrow your images once in a while isn’t a bad thing. You can offer an embedded HTML snippet for your product image with attribution and a link to the product page. Your anchor text should have your target keywords.


While images are a driving force for any e-commerce business, Image optimization is crucial for making you stand out among your competitors. It is essential to survive in a saturated e-commerce business. Under-optimized images can not only cost you your potential customers but your business as well. Over 45% of people have admitted that the slow load time of an e-commerce website can drive them away from making a purchase. Hence, product image optimization might be a time-consuming task, but it is worth it in the long run.

For bulk product image optimization, it would be a better idea to outsource to a professional photo editing service to save time and get the best results. Here is why you should outsource photo editing to a professional service provider.

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