Any business that has invested in a website will have likely spent some time some time finding out about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how carefully crafting your content with good keywords can help your site to achieve better rankings in search engine results.
A basic understanding of SEO principles is essential to building a successful online presence for your brand. However, did you know that your images can be as useful in your SEO efforts as your text? If you are not already optimising your images, you could be missing out on lots of organic traffic coming your way from search engines, here we're going to tell you what to do to start making the most out of those images:
1. Optimise your file name before upload
Optimising your images is much easier than you might think and it’s certainly a worthwhile habit to get into. Firstly, take the time to optimise your file names before you even upload your images. The default file name that your phone or camera assigns to a photograph, means nothing to anyone, it’s generally a sequence of numbers and letters. Change the name to a brief description of what the image contains. For example, this photo below would be best renamed "Dog leaping into water" rather than "IMG_0067.jpg":
The key to creating good alt tags consists of three points:
- Image needs a proper description, without keyword stuffing.
- It should be keyword rich.
- It needs to be short and to the point.
2. Keep your file sizes small
Pay attention to the size of your images; large image files can take a long time to download, and consequently slow down your site, which can lead to the search engines abandoning it altogether. That’s not a good result! Keep your image sizes to a minimum without losing quality. Make the image file size as small as possible. There are very few occasions when an image on the web will need to be any more than 800 px wide.
3. Use the alternative text for each image
Lastly, familiarise yourself with alternative text (alt text). Alt text is essentially how a search engine tells what a picture is of. If a person sees a photo of a dog leaping into water we know straight away what’s going on in the image. Search engine robots cannot ‘see’ the image, so we need to tell them what it is about. To do so, you simply add an alt tag to your images, like so: <img src=”dog-leaping-into-water.jpg” alt=”Dog leaping into water” />. The alt text should be a brief, descriptive summary of what is happening in the associated image.
4. Consider the Content
When you place an image on your website, make sure you wrap content around it. From the text underneath or above the image to the title tag of the page, and even the headings, the more the text is related to the image the better off you are.