Optimizing your website is an ongoing process that requires continuous maintenance and updating. When we talk about on-page optimization for SEO there are many factors to consider for each web page or blog post. We have dedicated a page to SEO to define how it works and more importantly how we approach it. While there are many factors to our SEO checklist, we will focus on one aspect in this post. Today we will discuss how to optimize images for your website.
Below are 7 ways to optimize images for your website
1) Make sure your image matches your web copy
This one may seem obvious but it is more important than you may think. Everyday more content saturates the Internet and makes it harder to compete for those precious page views. Your website visitors will find your content to be more credible if it’s formatted correctly and makes sense. Additionally, as search engines get smarter, they tend to value content in a similar fashion. If your images match your content it will help search engines understand your web content and create confidence in the quality of your website.
Pro Tip: Add images to relevant areas of your webpage content.
2) Label your image file name correctly
This technique is often overlooked but is very easy to implement. How often do you upload images to your website with a similar file name like IMG_7458? Don’t worry you’re not alone, but you’re also missing out on an easy opportunity for additional website optimization.
Pro Tip: Create a file name describing what the image is and also include the keyword you are trying to rank for on the web page where your image is displayed.
3) Upload images at the size you intend to display
Often when we take over website management for a new client, we will find the images displayed on their website are much smaller than the file that was uploaded to their hosting server. Even if your image is displayed at the size you intended on your website, your web server still has to accommodate for the larger display size and ultimately the file size on the backend as your website loads for your visitors. As a rule of thumb it’s better to use smaller images on your website. That being said larger images (especially on the home page) have become a trend with full width slideshows and can still be optimized for a good user experience.
Pro Tip: If you plan to display an image at 800px (in width) by 600px (in height) then upload your image at that exact size.
4) Reduce your image file size
Seems like a no brainer right? Well we still see images over 1MB at times on websites, so we have to talk about it. There are many ways to edit the size of images. We like using Photoshop and JPEG Mini but there are many options to choose from. This allows us to edit the size of the image and remove unnecessary metadata from images that are contributing to a larger file size.
Pro Tip: Try to keep your larger images at a maximum of 100kb in file size to ensure your images don’t slow down your website from loading.
5) Add captions to your images
Adding captions can provide additional context to readers and search engines about your content on each web page. Adding image captions doesn’t work in every situation but when you can add them, it provides another opportunity to imply what your content is about.
Pro Tip: Add captions to your images for quick and easy scanning by readers and search engines.
6) Add Alt Tags to your images
Alt Tags provide additional opportunity to clarify what your content is about to search engines and readers. Adding Alt Text to your images will help if some reason your images don’t display on your website, then the Alt text will appear (in it’s place) providing context for what image should be showing there.
Pro Tip: Make sure you add your targeted keyword for the page in your Alt tags.
7) Optimize your high traffic pages first
Open up Google Analytics to see which pages receive the most traffic on your website. Once you target those pages, you can decide whether reducing the size or number of images will impact your content. If the impact is minimal, consider editing or removing an image to help your web page load faster.
Pro Tip: Your home page, landing pages and popular blog posts are generally your most visited web pages. Ask yourself if removing an image or editing the size of your images will affect the content on those pages.
At the end of the day if we can decrease the loading time for a website as SEO consultants, then we are providing a better user experience for our website visitors and ultimately improving our rankings within the search engines. Remember the faster a website loads the easier it is to index. So review your website and see if optimizing your webpage images will help to reduce the file size for your website. If you need help with image optimization, then please feel free to contact us at PLUSH!