This article was first published as a guest blog by Sarah Imeson from Daisy Digital Marketing, over at www.ajharringtonphotos.com. Republished with permission.
There are millions of free-to-use images that you can download online. Just upload them to your website and you’re set. Not so fast, we need to consider how these images can be used to enhance (and not hinder) your website’s SEO, or search engine optimisation.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is optimising your website, so you can be seen in the search results online. Think about what people are searching for and how this relates to your content (which includes imagery). For example, let’s say you make custom printed cushions with tropical designs. You would want to be ranking in the search results for keywords such as “custom tropical design cushions”. You can use your imagery on your site to help improve where you rank in the search results for that query.
Now I am going to share with you some easy tips to optimise your images for SEO.
1. Optimise your images by reducing the image file size
If your images are too large it slows your site down, and as a result it has a negative impact on your SEO. Meaning you might show up further down the rankings on the search engine results page simply from using images that are too large for web.
How can you fix this?
A full screen image shouldn’t be larger than 100kb. You will see that any high-resolution image you have is much larger than this, which is great for printing onto canvas or using in a print campaign, but not so good for web.
100kb is a maximum guide to use. So, if you have an image that is much smaller than a full page, your image size should also be much smaller than 100kb. You can resize images for web using Photoshop, but there are other ways too if you don’t have access to Photoshop.
Here are some of my favourite free tools to resize images ready for web:
Tiny PNG – https://tinypng.com/
Jpeg Mini – http://www.jpegmini.com/
Jpeg Optimizer – http://jpeg-optimizer.com/
Optimizolla – http://optimizilla.com/
2. Optimise your images by using the right file types
The second thing to consider are the file types you use. Unless an image has a transparent background (in which case you need to use .png) always use .jpg or .jpeg files. PNG files are generally larger in size (therefore slowing your page load time), so are best only used when a transparent background is needed.
3. Optimise your images by using appropriate image names
Next thing you need to do to optimise your images for SEO is to name them. This is often overlooked, but your file name is the first opportunity you have to tell google about your image, the keywords and what you are about.
Let’s say you have an image of one of your tropical cushions and it has banana leaves on it. The file shouldn’t be DC291827.jpg it should be something like banana-leaves-cushion.jpg
4. Optimise your images by adding Alt tags
Last, but definitely not least, we need to make sure our images are optimised on page. An alt tag shows instead of the image for the visitor if for whatever reason your image can’t be displayed. An alt tag is also something the search engines use as they don’t ‘see’ images only the code that goes with them.
The alt text should include the keyword for the page and helps to describe the image.
If you have any questions about SEO or want to learn more, please get in touch. Image optimisation is something we at Daisy Digital Marketing discuss in all our SEO audits and website builds with clients.