Are you looking to make the most out of your website and want some quick win strategies that will help improve your SEO? Well, in this article we’ll share with you some simple ways that you can optimise your images. Optimised images can help make your page load times faster, improve user experience and also help your website rank higher in the search engines. So, let’s take a look at the top 5 tips for optimising your images.
Use high quality images
Is your website full of stock images? While they are a great options for many businesses they are certainly not the best option for making sure your business stands out. Where possible it is always a great idea to use your own photographs in order to showcase your business. When taking photographs think about composition and take time to make sure that your images are in focus, straight and clear.
Once you have taken your images you can use your phone’s built in editor to improve the appearance of your photos by adjusting the brightness, colour and saturation until you get an image that you are happy with. When you’re happy with your images it’s time to move to the next step in the process.
Make your images smaller
Most digital cameras on phones these days are capable of capturing fantastic high-resolution images but this doesn’t mean that they are the best option for uploading to your website. The problem is that these images are often extremely large and could cause your website to load slowly. To get round this problem you need to think about making these images smaller. The first step is to resize your images e.g. if your original image is 4000 pixels wide then this is overkill for a website which will generally be around 1080 pixels wide so you should resize your images to 1080 pixels.
Once you have made your images smaller, you should now look to compress them to help reduce the file size. There are plenty of free resources available with one of our favourites being the Optimizilla Image Compressor website. If you have a WordPress website you can use an image compression plugin such as Smush, Optimole or Imagify which will automatically compress your website images for you.
Give your images descriptive names
Taking the time to properly name your images will not only make your job easier when you are looking for images but it is also good for your SEO. By giving your images descriptive names it will help give the search engines an indication of what your image is about. So, rather than having something like “”IMG_0820109.jpg” you should rename images so that they make sense e.g. “Red BMW 1 Series.jpg”.
If you already have thousands of images on your website then it is worth considering renaming the images on your most popular and most important pages. Another reason to give your images a proper name is for accessibility reasons.
Add descriptive alt text
Another accessibility feature, image alt text is shown in place of an image if for any reason the image fails to load on your website. Alt text is also used by screen readers to provide a description of an image on your website to anyone who is visually impaired. Taking time to add descriptive alt tags for your important images is well worth it to improve the user experience of your website.
From an SEO point of view alt text also helps the search engines to gain an understanding of your image and associate relevant keywords with your imagery. And, while you can include keywords in your alt text your main goal is to write a natural description that tells you what the image conveys.
Another user experience best practice is to caption your images by placing text directly below the image to give context. Search engines such as Google are able to extract this information and use it as part of their algorithm to assess the topical relevance of your page and gain an understanding of all the content that it contains.