In today’s digital world, visuals are everything. Captivating images have the potential to convey messages, create a powerful appeal to your audience, and of course, engage users. In SEO, they have an additional benefit: helping you stake a spot in Google’s image results.
But finding the right images to attach to your content is time-consuming–but that’s where the potential of AI (Artificial Intelligence) comes to play.
By leveraging the power of AI, you can effortlessly craft the perfect images, and take your optimization efforts to the next level. Let’s go over the best ways to enrich your images and unlock new possibilities for your SEO.
Understanding AI-generated Images’ Role in SEO
AI images are those created by using AI tools, which analyze massive amounts of content, datasets, and prompts to generate them. It can also understand and extract features from existing images, can recognize objects, and even understand the context or thought of the image itself.
But why is all of this important? Well, it’s because images are becoming just as important as your content when it comes to SEO. Not only are they major visible parts of your website, but they also influence the rankings and visibility of your content in Google.
And similar to content, AI tools make the job of image SEO much easier–and much cheaper in the long run. They allow us to generate relevant images that align with our content with a few prompts and clicks. Other capabilities of these tools also help you optimize your images, with minimal effort.
How to Use AI for Image SEO
Using AI for image SEO can be a game-changer. But how can you use it? Let’s look at how you can use these tools to create or enhance images for your websites:
Create Images with AI Technology
AI algorithms have the remarkable capability to generate images from scratch, incorporating selected data or parameters. And, they can make these images as high-quality and realistic as actual photos can be.
They can even create images of things that don’t technically exist. This is possible because AI models are trained on millions and millions of images, and use this as a basis to generate entirely new and realistic-looking ones. This opens up endless creative possibilities in your content, and enables you to create highly-customized and optimized pictures of various subjects, including objects, people, and scenarios–basically for anything your website needs.
You won’t have to spend time and money setting up a photo shoot for your next campaign. You’d just have to prepare the right prompt for your tool, laying out all the essential details it needs to include, and let it do its thing.
Image Enhancement Using AI
Image enhancement is all the edits we have to make to one photo so that it’s perfect for where we want to use it. The good news is that AI tools can also be used for this purpose.
Restoration and Upscaling
You can upscale low-resolution images while preserving and enhancing the important details. This technique is sometimes referred to as Super-Resolution. AI can handle this for you whenever you want to use old or low-quality images that are relevant to your content but aren’t as clear or crisp as you need them to be.
On the other hand, AI can also be used to reduce your image file size, without damaging their visual quality. Optimized image sizes can speed up your page loading times, which we know affects your page’s ranking.
Object Tagging and Recognition
AI can also analyze and identify objects, scenarios, and even people in the images. Then, they can use that data to optimize the image’s filename, alt text, and captions for you. It can even insert relevant keywords if you ask it to.
These tags help Google better understand what your image is showing users, which helps it to categorize your images properly, making sure it shows up in relevant image search results. As a result, this can boost your visibility in the SERPs.
Ever wanted to showcase a specific product or model, but the background of the photo is too distracting and noisy? Or, did you want to make an item your icon, but are having a hard time removing everything else in the photo? AI can help with this, and remove the background for you.
Image Composition and Cropping
AI algorithms can now also analyze and suggest proper image compositions, sizes, and patterns for the images. They can also suggest visually appealing or well-balanced layouts that are suitable for your website pages.
Benefits of AI-generated images for SEO
Optimizing your images is an essential SEO practice that often gets overlooked. Let me tell you why it’s so crucial.
Improved User Experience
We touched upon it earlier, but things like page speed, visual appeal, and layout composition are improved by using AI. These things affect user experience, which plays a vital role in customer retention, engagement, and traffic.
Basically, using AI to optimize your images can help your website be more appealing and usable for your audience, which can keep them on your website for longer.
Increased Visibility in Search Engines
Using unique, properly tagged, and descriptive images–which is easy with AI image tools–you’re optimizing your visual content for Google’s image search. In short, these tools make image SEO a walk in the park.
From this, you, of course, improve your pages’ visibility. You might even snag a few featured image snippets for your pages. Using AI to enhance all aspects of your images, even their metadata, is a good practice to ensure Google understands the context and relevance of your images, so it’s more likely to show your images to users.
How to Use AI to Create Images
How to use AI in this scenario really depends on the tool you decide to use, but most use a pretty standard process. I’ll cover each step as well as a few tools you might want to try.
Image Selection and Creation
If you’re using existing images as a guide or basis for these tools to generate new ones, make sure you’re using the right ones.
Check that your images are high-quality, original, and relevant to the content you want them to be added to.
Creating AI Prompts
If you’re working from scratch, then you need to know how to craft the perfect prompt for your tool. This will lessen the back and forth with the tool to generate the images you’re looking for.
I recommend following these considerations when writing your prompt:
- Mention important, specific details.
- Use brief, easy-to-understand sentences.
- Include an image reference or artistic style.
- Decide between creative and realistic.
- Use photography terms.
- Use AI to generate prompts.
Let’s get into each step:
Mention important, specific details
Mention everything–and I do mean everything–you want this image to have. Be as detailed as you can get. Be as descriptive as you can be too, since AI can now understand things like emotions and tone. The less the AI needs to infer or interpret, the more accurate the photo will be to your vision.
Use brief, easy-to-understand sentences
Being descriptive and adding all the details you can think of helps. But remember to keep each sentence short, and to use proper punctuation and grammar, so you can avoid confusing your AI tool.
Include an image reference or artistic style
If you can feed the AI images or visuals as a reference, do so. If not, you can describe the subject, context, and composition you want. This can be the styles of well-known painters, animators, photographers, or other artists you want your generated images to feel like. You can even include cinematography examples if you want it to have the same aesthetic and overall mood.
Decide between creative and realistic
AI can get really liberal with the stuff it creates, so you have to decide early on whether you want it to do that, or to stick to a more realistic interpretation of your prompt.
Use photography terms
You can also use photography terms and even reference specific camera models if you’re trying to generate realistic photos. Set things like your aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and terms like “candid,” or “award-winning” to create more specific images.
Use AI to generate prompts
You can teach other AI, specifically text-generators like ChatGPT, to learn how to make these kinds of prompts for you. You can further prompt them to create templates specific to the AI image tool you want to use. Priming them can help you generate extremely detailed and precise photo prompts to make the whole process even more time- and effort-efficient for you.
AI Image Tools
There are a few options for you to choose from, and I rounded up three tools that I personally think work pretty well. I did a quick review of each and included their pros and cons.
Pros: Quick responses, the user owns the copyright, simple and accurate results, and higher resolution options than the original DALL-E. Can also edit the results in the application itself.
Cons: Not yet very proficient with compositionality. Fails at times with simple prompts. Possible legal issues may arise due to potential infringement of intellectual property laws.
Price: 115 Credits for $15.00
Pros: High-quality results. Easily understands provided style and references. Provides multiple versions of your prompt, with the option to refine the selected version to perfection with additional prompts.
Cons: Available only through a discord chatbot. The free trial usually encounters errors. Every image generated is displayed in public chat. Lacks in customer service and privacy.
Price: $8.00-$48.00 per month
Pros: High-quality results. The user interface is easy to navigate. Lets users customize the prompt result in various ways. Free credits with no interruptions. Can purchase credits on an as-need basis, instead of subscribing to a plan.
Cons: Needs very lengthy and descriptive prompts to generate the right image. At the time of writing, it only uses a beta site.
Price: $10 for 1000 credits
AI plays a crucial role in optimizing images for SEO. From image selection to file optimization, alt text and metadata automation, image accessibility, and responsiveness. We SEO Specialists cannot deny that incorporating AI in our image optimization strategy can help us effortlessly improve our website’s appeal, usability, and even our search visibility.
So, don’t overlook the potential of AI in optimizing your images. Embrace these powerful tools, craft compelling visuals, and watch as your website rises in the ranks of search engine results.