For those of you who don't know, we offer a free website analysis for all of our prospective new clients. In doing so, we have come across some great websites, and some... not so great websites. In both of these situations, we get excited. In the former, we're excited because we have a solid runway in order to launch some great content campaigns. In the latter, we see enormous room for growth. One thing that we see that greatly differentiated a great site from a good or decent site is:
The Proper Use and Optimization of Images
There are current ways to go about adding and optimizing images to a website, and there are ways that will actually make your website worse. So, an important note: adding images just to increase content is NOT the way to go. We've seen plenty of blogs that will have a line of text, then an image, then another line of text, and then an even larger image. If you're not going after any keywords, if you're not trying to increase the authority of your domain or page, then the over-inundation of imagery may be what you're going for. But if you are a business, and you are trying to get your message in front of as many potential customers as possible, then you want it to be well-written, properly curated, and maximally optimized.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when adding a new page or post to your website, or when evaluating your current site:
For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you know what alt text is and have a basic understanding of general page/post optimization for targeted keywords, but perhaps don't know how to properly utilize it. In this scenario, as an example, for this image:
You might add it to your website, and enter "office" as the alt text. Basically, you saw the box and filled it with the most basic form of description. At least you didn't leave it blank. But in order to really understand the reasoning behind why it's important to get more creative with it, you need to take it a step further. Alt text will actually perform multiple duties on your page. In the case that for whatever reason, the image does not load on the user's screen, your alt text will be shown in the blank space along with the little image icon. So, in the above example, if the alt text is (as we actually have it) "employees working on marketing strategy on whiteboard" then your user will get a better idea of what the purpose of the image is. This is especially useful when using stock imagery.
For SEO purposes, the image alt text will also help the search engine categorize your page/article, so that it adds relevance to the rest of the written content, and boosts the authority of the page in the eyes of the search engine.
We've all found ourselves in a situation where we thought we were downloading a simple .jpg and we find ourselves with some WEBP, or stranger, format. The best formats for imagery on your site will usually either be a PNG or JPEG.
Sometimes it's a matter of preference, and sometimes it really does matter. When it comes to site speed, a PNG will generally be a larger, higher-quality image, but it will cause your page to load slower. If you have a page with multiple large images in PNG format, then it could dramatically affect the user experience.
In most cases, using JPEGS provides a good balance. They will still be high enough quality for almost any purpose, and they are more adjustable when it comes to sizing. Overall, they won't slow down your site unless you overdo it.
This is a quick one, but worth mentioning, because most people (including ourselves at one point) don't think about it if they are focusing on alt text. However, Google has said that the image file name is taken into account when it comes to keyword relevancy. So, just as in the example above with alt text, get creative with your file names, but stay within the limits. Be descriptive, but not deceptive.
Of course, there are more things that go into properly utilizing and optimizing images, but if you start doing those few things, then you should start seeing an improvement in rankings (all else equal). If you think that your business could benefit from having experts handle all of the minutiae that comes with Search Engine Optimization and content creation, then let's talk. We specialize in boosting your website's authority so that you can focus more on your business.