I love the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”…
…because nothing could be more accurate and appropriate when it comes to your website. The average website visitor takes only 8 seconds to decide if you are a good fit for them. This is not long when you consider everything you would like to tell them.
IMAGES INFLUENCE SEO
According to a study published by Brian Dean at Backlinko, “Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any images.” They analyzed 1 million Google search results! So, adding images to your website and content will help retain visitors and increase conversions. Done incorrectly it can have the opposite effect. Below is a fun (and I think lighthearted) video we made illustrating our points below.
HOW TO CHOOSE IMAGES TO ADD TO YOUR WEBSITE
- Relevance – The image should enhance the story you are telling. Don’t add images just for the sake of filling space. Whenever possible use images of people using your product or service. Show how it solves their problem or makes life easier for them.
- Consistency – Images should be of a similar tone and imagery to your website. If your corporate colors are cool and calming do not use bright, vibrant colors in your images.
- Size – Not only is the physical size of an image important in relation to everything else on the page, the size in pixels is also crucial. Large images take too long to load and web pages that take long to load have a negative effect on SEO. A useful tool for reducing images without compromising quality is JPEGmini.
- Placement – Image placement can make all the difference to how a page looks. Randomly placed images can look unorganized, chaotic, and unprofessional.
- Editing – Canva is a great tool for non-designers wishing to create professional looking images. We use it frequently for adding text to images, or just basic image enhancement. For anything more complex we utilize the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. (We used Canva in the illustration above!)
- Copyright – Whenever possible use your own images. This makes your site unique and eliminates any potential copyright issues. If you must use stock images make sure you purchase from a reputable site and purchase the commercial, perpetual license.
So now that you have the basic information needed to select and edit images for your website, how can you get the most leverage out of those images? It is vital that your images are named and tagged correctly.
Search engines do not see images, so correctly named and tagged images are imperative in order to improve the visibility of your website and pages.
PROPERLY NAME YOUR IMAGES TO ENHANCE WEBSITE SEO
- Categorize – To make it easier for you to find images that you have used on your website categorize them and store them in appropriately named folders. For example all your product images could be in a file called Products and so on.
- Name – Too often people upload images with names like ‘image01’ which does nothing for SEO purposes. Without using too many characters, strive to name images so that they describe what they represent. If the images are for local SEO, be sure to include the location. If the image relates to a specific SEO keyword, then that keyword should be included in the name of the image (just be careful not to optimize many different images with the exact same keyword).
- Captions – Often underused or not used at all. Captions provide a very brief summary of the image and reinforce an image’s relevance to your content. Kissmetrics, states that on average captions under images are read 300% more than the body content! And if you are not utilizing captions correctly your readers may not feel as engaged and bounce.
- Alt-Text – Every image should have a relevant Alt-Text. This is what shows up to the viewer if they curse over the image or have images disabled on their device. Google also reads the alt-text and it is important for SEO purposes.
- Title Tag – You should take the time to add a title tag to each image instead of relying on the image file name. Search engines read the title tags as it helps them to understand your website and improve SEO rankings.