It seems like everyone and their uncle (and brother, and Meemaw) can put together and go live with a website in just a few minutes…Right?
Well, as the web becomes more and more and more cluttered with mediocre sites, it’s becoming increasingly important to stand out, not only aesthetically but also strategically. One of the ways to give your site a little extra ‘umpf’ is to focus on your images, specifically how they can better your SEO and have a quicker load time. With the many mobile users – website access is all about loading speed. If it takes too long they are outta there.
Making Image Optimization a Breeze
It seems self-explanatory, but we must say it: Name your images correctly and descriptively . Search engines do not “see” the images, per se, but read the title of the image instead. So, keeping the original file name that was given to the image on your camera, while the easiest option, is never the best option. With this decision, your chances of having your image come up in a search is little to none. Instead of “IMG_05645.jpg”, try “Red-Corvette-with-Husky-Wearing-Bikini.jpg. A little bit more descriptive will go a long way.
So, how do you get your images to pop up in searches? Here’s where the huge benefit of using Alt Tags comes into play. Using Alt Tags kicks up your SEO by attaching keywords with images on your site. Having descriptive and definitive tags increases your chances of appearing in search results and for people to find what they are looking for on your site.
Be strategic in your images. Keep only the most necessary images – no photos may be preferable to bad photos. Keep the images to a similar style. Mixing photos with anime can look too busy and feel messy.
Make sure the size and resolution of images are appropriate for your site. The standard is 72 dpi for good web resolution, and the size should be reasonable enough so the image is clear, but not so large that the load time is decreased significantly. Keep the size of the images as small as you can without losing the image’s integrity. We’ve found a great resource from the folks at Tent Social for image sizes for many social media sites – it’s a nice reference tool. Sharpening the image in the editing process is also extremely helpful. The tools within Photoshop can aid you in creating the best image for your site. Googling “Free image editing software” will deliver search results with several great free tools to accomplish the same goal.
Here’s a great resource that explains the difference between jpg/png/gif files and their function on the web. As a general rule jpg images will be the best bet for your website.
Seeing the Benefits of Image Optimization in Action
Having your website images tagged correctly can and will direct more traffic and the quality of traffic more likely to stay on the page. Sites that are particularly reliant on images (instructional, cooking/recipes, or informational) will benefit greatly from using these tips above. Here at Evolve Systems we’ve noticed many of our images appearing in searches because we’ve followed these great tips ourselves!
There is a lot more to talk about in relation to images – but this has been a good introduction.
Best of luck to you, we’ll see you out in our search results!