GIFs are on the rise. With their popularity, some sites are inserting GIFs in their content. But will this type of material affect SEO? Are GIFs bad for your SEO campaign?
Google can read GIFs, so they can be added as part of your content marketing. However, you must use them mindfully. The appropriate use of GIFs may help your content be found by your target market who might not have otherwise. What does it mean to you? Traffic.
But don’t just use them because they’re interesting. Remember that GIFs are dynamic content. If there are several forms of dynamic content on your site, it could load slower than a site without this kind of content. That said, if your site is filled with thousands of GIFs, it’s more likely to load very slowly.
A slow page load can harm your site’s search engine rankings. The slower your page is, the higher that page’s abandonment will be. That said, you’ll have to balance the interest of your users and your site’s loading times.
The good thing is that there are ways that can reduce GIFs sizes on a web site. One of the things that you can do is GZIP compression. It’s a technique that compresses images up to 70 percent without losing the image quality.
Compared to BMP and JPEG files, however, GIF files are already compressed. In fact, GIF format is a lossless format, which means that none of its data are lost. It means that when you opt for a GIF format over larger formats, you’re actually doing your site and your ranking a favor.
When you use them efficiently, GIFs can have the potential to improve your visitors’ engagement. They’re good for users and may help increase your site’s traffic. But make sure that Google can index them.
To help Google index your site, you should insert metadata. In this way, search engines can understand what the image is all about. You have to name them the same way you name your other pictures. That is, they have to be descriptive and must be in plain English.
You also need to insert alt tags intelligently. SEO marketers know how the alt attribute can add value to your site.
Just like the other images in different formats, GIFs can be useful in making your content more enjoyable. Then again, you need to make sure that they won’t affect the loading time of your page.