When assessing page structure and layout, there is a subtle, yet strategic way to use images in an SEO-friendly manner (beyond ALT tags) which improves your search rank while allowing you to integrate the necessary marketing message(s).
Let’s look at an example:
Suppose you operate a travel site and you want to optimize a given page for the term “Las Vegas Hotel”.
Suppose that you also want to include an enticing marketing message such as “Book now and save 20%!”.
The aforementioned tagline lacks descriptive text but possesses persuasive characteristics. Moreover, your picture is relevant to whatever text you have on your website. That is the first rule of choosing an appropriate picture. When you’ve done that, you can deal with the SEO aspect of its use.
However, there is much more SEO involved with this picture than you would think at first glance.
In order to prepare the image to be used with the content, start with its name. By naming the picture properly, you will take the chance of letting the Google know what the picture is illustrating. Insert a keyword relevant to the content into the picture name and help Google search engine recognize your content and bump it in its ranking.
Next, you need to consider the size of the picture you want to insert in your content. The faster the picture loads, the better for you, since people get impatient when having to wait for anything, really. Therefore, it would be smart to optimize the image size (upload a large image but set it to be shown as a small one) per your site’s capabilities and avoid future headaches.
Make your website responsive, that is, make your visitors comfortable with using your site on their not only computers but also tablets and mobile phones. Your bounce rate will be lower if people can properly see whatever it is you want them to see.
Add OpenGraph and Twitter Cards for your picture to make sure the picture will be included in your social media posts and use higher-quality pictures, because not only will they look better to the algorithms, but also to the naked human eye.
In other words, images are a great place to insert marketing messages that lack the necessary keywords and phrases. Leveraging this technique will ensure that descriptive text is indexed while less marketing jargon is overlooked.
Since a picture paints a thousand words, use relevant images whenever possible. The combination of keyword-rich content and enticing messaging will satisfy both sides of the strategic equation and ultimately better the final score.