optimise your website images
Every website needs images in order to look good and to enhance the visitor’s user experience (UX). You will need to optimise your website images to make your website SEO friendly.
If you have lots of large images on your website, this will make your website slow to load and your visitors will not have a very good UX. In addition, this is not good for your websites’ SEO. It is very important not to forget to optimise your website images.
Get rid of unnecessary images
The image/s you have on your webpage should reflect the content you have near to it. This is because an image with related text, ranks higher than the keyword it is optimised for. Try to place the image near the top of the page and near the text/topic that it describes. Try to use good quality, original images. If you don’t have an image, look at websites such as Unsplash or Pixabay for free stock images.
Be careful with the size of your images.
The aim here is to try to reduce the file size without sacrificing quality. Resize and compress your image/s before adding them to your website. I use befunky to resize images and squoosh to compress the images, which are both easy-to-use and free. Another handy tool for compressing images is image compressor which was suggested to me by a visitor to this blog.
You can use JPEGS and PNGs (transparent backgrounds) for website images. Alternatively, use webP as they are of a smaller size with very good results. Use ‘Squoosh’ to alter your image file size and save as a webP.
Use high quality visuals…
…that are relevant to the content. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Try to have 70% visuals and 30% text on a page as a general rule. Consider adding video, animations, infographics, diagrams, graphs and tables if relevant to the information you are displaying.
Using images and infographics to tell a story related to your service or product can rapidly increase visitor engagement. Use visual cues to draw focus. Remember to use cues sparingly so as not to clutter the page. Don’t forget to optimise your website images for a better user experience (UX).
Think about the file name of the image.
You should give your image file a filename rather than its letters/number. So instead of lets say, DSC 45321 it can be called ‘apple-basket-orchard’ if it is an image of an apple in a basket in an orchard and so on.
Images should have the SRCSET attribute, which makes it possible to serve a different image per screen width – especially useful for mobile devices. WordPress does this automatically for you! Read our informative article on WordPress and why you should consider using it as a CMS for building your website.
Add a caption to your image…
…if it makes sense to your visitor to have one. Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body text itself. You do not want to miss out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers by not having a caption.
Add ALT texts (alternative text)…
… to your images – this is the text that describes the image if it doesn’t load properly or for any other reason. Alt text describes what’s in the image. The SEO Plugin Yoast will help you to complete this task.
Integrate social media with images on your website.
You can do this by adding social media sharing buttons. One of the most popular ways to encourage visitors to share your images to Pinterest is to add a simple “Pin It” button to each one.
A great tool to use is Image Sharer by SumoMe. With Image Sharer, you can easily allow visitors to share the images on your site and link back to you. It supports Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can customize the way Image Sharer icons appear.
Add an image sitemap
In addition to a sitemap for your site, you should try to have an image sitemap. If you are running a WordPress website, you can also take an advantage of available plugins. For instance, Google XML Sitemap for Images and Udinra All Image Sitemap both automatically create Google XML sitemaps for images.
Of course, Yoast is a great plugin for all your SEO needs. This is an amazing plugin which is free and will help you to make sure that all your SEO setting are correct on your website. It will also create your site map.
Having the right images on your website goes a long way in improving the look of your website and the (UX) User Experience of your visitors. SEO image optimisation is easily overlooked. Take time to talk to your website developer so that you understand what is being done to optimise your website images. We at Surrey Web Studio offer all our clients a basic SEO package which includes image optimisation.