You can write thousand of words, trying to express your thoughts and even then you might find that there’s some disconnect. Include a picture, and you’ll find your work cut out for you. ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ – that is so true!
Images play a huge role in website design & development, as their visual appeal is a powerful way to attract and retain reader attention. Optimizing the images on your website helps you reduce your website load-time along with a number of SEO benefits.
Images can generate a TON of traffic from image-based search engines (Google Images for example). If you want more of this traffic, you must learn how to optimize your images to score some of this traffic.
Read on to know how exactly you can do that. It’s easy and it works!
1. Add ALT TEXT
When you see the picture of a cake, you instantly understand what it is. Search engine spiders, however, don’t have this instant understanding. It’s necessary to make these spiders understand what the picture is, by including an alternate text.
What is image alt text?
The short answer is, it’s the text that the search engine uses to understand images.
To include it, you simply add
alt="this is your alt text" to your image tag.
2. Size does matter!
Try making the size of the image as small as possible because the larger the image, the more time it will take to load, thus affecting your website load-time.
When you have a large image, and input height and width tags on that image to make the image smaller, people load the large image first, and then the browser resizes it.
To solve it, always use an image editing program, like Picnik or Image Optimizer to make your image a desired size, and upload that.
3. What’s in a name? A LOT!
Before you upload your image, pick a descriptive filename—preferably a file name you want that image to rank for—because it will help with your search engine rankings. If you can, integrate an SEO keyword in your image name.
4. Make a license check!
webmasters know that you can’t simply right click and copy an image from anywhere on the web to use on your site. Instead, you’ll need to download royalty free stock imagery, find images that have been licensed for commercial use under the Creative Commons license or purchase images from stock photo websites.
Making sure that your image licenses are in order won’t improve your SEO, but it will prevent you from receiving DMCA notices from angry photographers who have the power to otherwise disrupt your business.
In short, if you spend hours drafting out the perfect post, don’t hesitate to spend a little more time optimizing your images favourably. All of these steps should take you no longer than a few minutes, and sometimes, it really can be the “icing on the cake” 🙂