When a lot of business owners plan for search engine optimization, they usually know the basics of making sure they have the right keywords in their copywriting and having a properly branded website.
But, many of them overlook the images they’re uploading to their website. Did you know that search engines crawl images (and videos) the same way they crawl your copy and titles? That’s why it’s important to make sure your images are properly optimized.
These tips will get you started:
- Compress your images – You might think you can just upload a full-sized image onto your website and because it looks okay, it’s SEO-friendly, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Search engines don’t like browsing your website and seeing that half of the space is taken up by giant images that are slowing down the site and hindering the user’s experience (yes, they can see all of that). To compress your image, you can use Photoshop or TinyPNG. “Increasingly.com improved website speed by 33% / 2 seconds by compressing images” (Search Engine Journal).
- Name your image file – Most people download their photo onto their computer and name it whatever the computer uses as a default name, but it’s important to keep your image name as descriptive with the right keywords.
- Make it high–res – Make sure your image is high-resolution (a good graphic designer will only provide you with high-res images). Usually 72dpi is average resolution for a good website graphic.
- Utilize the alt text feature on your website – When you upload an image to your website, you have the option to make the alt text whatever you want. It’s important to NOT leave it blank and to have the alt text be descriptive and utilize relevant keywords to help rank your site.
- Put the image in the right place – When you place the image on your site, make sure it’s surrounded by relevant keywords so that when the crawlers hit your site, they see that everything is related and relevant to the search terms that the searcher was looking for in the first place. If it sees it all together, it will help your website look more credible.
Why bother optimizing images?
The facts of SEO are that the search engines are constantly changing what they’re crawling and how to fully optimize your site in order to force companies to actually have relevant content so they can keep their credibility.
A few things always stay the same, though. A website must be:
- Relevant to the search terms
- Have solid content and relevant keywords
Images fall under all of these categories and give the business owner the opportunity to use even more keywords and prove further credibility.
Any good web design company will do this for you as they design the website and do edits throughout the way, but if you are editing and updating your own website, it’s important that you do this each and every time you upload a new image to your site.
Another important image tip: Make sure the pictures are your own, purchased, or royalty-free images that you are allowed to use. It’s not worth getting sued because you just grabbed someone else’s image off of Google and hoped for the best. Make sure when outsourcing, too, that your web designer is using safe images.
That’s why it’s best to have a graphic designer create unique images for your company. This allows you to use the images however you’d like, and they’re YOURS, so they won’t be found in other places around the internet. Plus, they’ll be properly sized and optimized for your website—and for printing!