No matter what your particular business, at some point you’re going to want to include images within your website. More importantly, these images that you include should support your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.
Luckily many of the tips we offer are very easy to do. Not only that, but they make a huge difference in how these images can help you achieve great visibility for your website.
Tip #1 – File Size
The very first thing you need to look at is the file size of each image. There are two reasons for this. One, a large file will take a long time to load, and this will try the patience of your visitors. They may either go somewhere else before it loads or decide not to use your site at all. Second, this sends a negative message to Google, who takes the loading speed of your website into its ranking consideration.
You want to make all the right choices when you create a file, not after you’ve uploaded it to your website and server. One example of this is creating a file that is already the width and height you want it to be, as opposed to using something like HTML to “force” it small on your website. (The file size hasn’t changed when you use HTML. Only the way it is viewed.)
Ultimately you need to follow the rule that an image should have dimensions as big as possible while keeping a smaller file size. This is usually achieved by utilizing file compression, which means removing data from the image while keeping its nice quality. If you’re looking for a quality compressor, we recommend the tools compressor.io and Smush.it.
Tip #2 – File Name
Believe it or not, what you name your image file can contribute to its SEO effectiveness. This lets search engines know that your images are related to your content, which promotes authority. You can put in information such as a product description, image description, or even the name or location of where your services are offered.
We recommend that you separate the words in the title with a hyphen for best results. For example, “immigration-lawyer-toronto.jpg” as opposed to “immigrationlawyer.jpg.”
Tip #3 – The Alt Text
Search engines are pretty smart these days, but they’re not quite smart enough to actually “see” what is in an image. By embedding alternative text, also known as “alt text,” you can describe what is in your image and make the search engines happy.
If you are a business that wants to make sure the locality or other details of your company gets translated to a search engine, then adding keywords to your alt text is a great solution. This will boost your relevance according to certain keyword searches.
When it comes to what to write in your alt text, the same advice exists as for any other SEO thing: don’t overdo it. Not only do search engines not like this, but it can also create a bad user experience for people who use programs to read to them the elements of a page.
Tip #4 – Relevant Text Around The Image
Search engines like it when images are surrounded by relevant text. Look at your HTML to get an idea of what the proximity of your images and texts are.
Tip #5 – Anchor Text
Anchor texts are the links pointing to your images. Linking to your image within your website and using good, localized keywords to do it will get it better rankings.
Tip #6 – Geotagging Your Images
This is when you add latitude and longitude to your image, and is a great way to localize your image to a certain location. Use a tool like GeoSetter to accomplish this.
We source images for our client from Fotolia.com – it is by far the best site we have found with no Getty Images type issues and the images are well priced too.