Your website wouldn’t much of a website without having images. Images allow your website to stand out visually from other sites. With written content, having some photos to supplement your points will make your content easier for more people to read. However, there’s something important that you need to be aware of before you add images to your website. It’s an insight many small business owners miss because they don’t know much about SEO, especially on the technical side.
To get the best out of SEO, you need to make sure your images are optimized. Make your pictures too big, and your website will run extremely slow on the browser, causing your website bounce rates to go up. You should always think about providing the best user experience as possible, and well-optimized images give a better experience for everyone. In this post, we’ll show you five tips you can use right now to start optimizing your images, especially on WordPress, which is the CMS system we use to build websites for our clients. The same principles, however, could apply if your site was built on Shopify or Drupal.
1. Don’t Use Copyrighted Images Without Buying Them First
It may seem like a good idea at first to take images from a website like Unsplash or Pexels and use them on your website. Many of the images on those sites are real photographs taken by others. However, there’s a ton of risk that someone could try to upload a copyrighted image, upload it to either site and try to pass it off as their own and abuse the proprietary licensing systems the sites have or try to misuse the Creative Commons license to avoid getting caught.
Just one of these stolen images could land you in massive trouble and cost way more than just your website. What we’re saying here is that you have to perform your due diligence and never use images from another site at face value.
It’s best to either use your pictures that you took yourself or purchase images from Adobe Stock Photos or Getty Images.
2. Use Google PageSpeed Insights
Don’t know which images you should optimize first? Save time by typing your website domain into Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool will give you a bunch of suggested images you can optimize and tell you exactly how much resizing they need. Here’s an example of what you will see after you run the analysis:
As you can see from the screenshot, Google tells you exactly how much you need to resize images on a given page and what percentage it would be.
3. Use Pixl Editor for Image Compression
Pixl Editor is a free online tool you can use to resize your images before posting them on your website. We recommend that you first check to see how big your images are before using this tool. As a rule of thumb, you should strive to keep your image size at less than 200 KBs per image to ensure the best website performance. Go to pixlr.com/editor and select Open Image from Computer. Then, go to Image on the top menu, and you will see a window which will allow you to change the width and height of your image.
You can change the width to 1000 pixels and check the constrained proportions option, and then click on the OK button. Now go to File and hit Save. There, you can select the format you want your image to be and adjust the quality. Leave the quality at 80 and save your image as a JPEG file.
As a sidenote, we also suggest avoiding using the PNG option to save your images. This is what happens when you select the PNG option in Pixl Editor. Look at how the image size is now a whopping 901 KBs! Now that is huge and not what we want for an optimized website!
As a note, if you don’t want to use Pixl Editor to do this, you can also use Adobe Photoshop also to resize and compress images. We like Pixl Editor because it’s free, convenient, and easy to access online.
4. Add Alt Text to Each Image
Adding alt text is another surefire way you can have optimized images on your site for SEO. Alt text is an HTML attribute that tells the user what your image is about. Although the user won’t be able to see alt text at first glance, it’s very useful for when you’re having issues on the website, and the images aren’t working. The user will be able to see the alt-text then. Alt text is also a wonderful opportunity to add appropriate, relevant keywords as long as they accurately describe what your image is about.
5. Optimize Your Image Titles
You should also make sure that your image titles are also optimized for SEO. Like with alt text, your titles should also accurately describe your image. Google will use the information you provide in your image title and alt-text to display the image in its Image search feature. By doing this, you’re opening up your website to being found by people in more ways than one. Sometimes people do indeed search for websites by browsing through the Images section, so this can only help you secure more leads from as many avenues as possible.
You should always optimize your images for SEO because you’ll provide a much better experience for people who browse your site. Optimized images allow your website to load faster on all devices and browsers and keep people on your site longer too. Optimizing your images requires several steps from resizing to adding appropriate alt and title text. Keep your images descriptive without going crazy on keyword stuffing, and you will be able to take your website’s SEO to another level easily.
We hope you have enjoyed this article, and for more great SEO, digital marketing, and web design tips, check out our blog. If you need a new website optimized for SEO, you can also get in touch by calling 470-440-3434 or emailing [email protected] to get a free consultation. We want to thank you for following Viridian Geeks, digital marketing experts in Metro Atlanta.