When optimizing images on your website for the best web-based results, there’s two major things, or entities rather, you should have in mind: optimizing for your visitors and optimizing for search engines.
Let’s start with the first group: your audience.
User experience when visiting websites is quite obviously crucial, and visual experiences with images aren’t ones you should neglect or overlook in any way, including the following ways:
Be relevant. The saying is true: “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” The foremost thing you should keep in mind is how and what your selected pictures are speaking to your audience. They will have a great deal of influence over the way a visitor perceives your brand image and the values you represent. Pictures and their relevancy and context when chosen exceptionally well, will also stick in readers’ mind, remembering your content and making a greater impact.
Consider size. When the shoe fits, wear it. If you’re able to pull off a cowboy boots, go for it. Sometimes some sandals are all you need, though. What am I even getting at here? Size and style of your images plays an important role in the way your visitor emotionally connects. Large pictures can have a large impact; small pictures give small return to your reader.
Load time and file size. Even though we’re living in a digital age, we must still be mindful of our bandwidth behavior. To ensure a good user experience, make sure your actual image files aren’t too large to cause loading like a tortoise. Why does this happen and how can you fix it? Oftentimes, the quality of the photo is too high–the higher the setting for quality, the bigger the file size will be. Strike a balance. Also, a your images could be formatted for print settings. Adjust your dpi in Photoshop if it is too high (72 is a good place to be). Load time also effects SEO.
Now what about optimizing for search engines?
How else can you be sure you’re making the most of your images? Here’s a simple checklist:
- Name your image files using keywords or relevant words.
- Use hyphens instead of spaces for file names. Ex: “online-marketing-resources.png” not “online marketing resources.png”
- Use the alt tag at all times, including using your keyword. Ex: <img src=”online-marketing-resources.png” alt=”Online Marketing Resources and Tips />
- Title your images too.
- Include text near the placement of your images.
- Try to limit the number of images you use on one page.
- Make sure your images folder is accessible and easy-to-read for search engines when they crawl your site.