How to optimize SEO with your images An often overlooked step

By adding an image to a webpage or blog post it livens the post up. It adds color or helps to explain the subject matter. That is great for the people who are reading the post and soaking in what you are offering them. Those images are also a great way to help boost your SEO rankings.

Every post or page that you create should have an image on it. SEO algorithms look at that and the lack of an image hurts the rank. Not all images are equal though. The most commonly found pictures on the Internet are stock images. Companies or individuals take professional quality pictures and sell them to the public, either by the image or through a subscription. While using a stock image like this will not hurt your ranking there are potentially hundreds or thousands of others that are using the same image meaning your site will not stand out. That picture you have of a smiling family is probably on more websites than you think.

Using a unique image is a way around this. Digital cameras have revolutionized the photography field and now anyone can take a high-quality professional caliber image with the right training. Take images of your subject matter, whether it is a local business or attraction. The people or buildings in it will be recognized and it can provide a window into whatever it is you are featuring much better than a bland stock image can. For someone who learns visually this image will be more important to them than any piece of text that you have written.

Some stock images can also be customized as well for an occasion like a birthday, holiday or grand opening. By doing this it adds a personalized touch to the image. Photo editing software will be needed to do this but it can create an image that can truly stand out. These images are typically either .jpg, .gif or .png images. A .jpg image is the most popular and versatile image type that can be used and creates smaller files and has nearly universal support. A .png image is typically used with Adobe Photoshop and is features high-quality resolution for transparent images. A .gif image is optimal for small images and is typically a simple piece of artwork and is more ideal for a company logo and is not recommended for use as a hero image. The moving .gif is however becoming extremely popular and can be great for use within a page or post.

Once an image is selected some editing may be required. Most stock images are several megabytes in size. One criteria that factors into SEO is how fast a page loads and the larger the file size the slower the site will load. Resizing an image before adding it to a page will reduce the size of the image meaning the site will load faster and very little quality with the image will be lost. Adobe Photoshop offers several different and easy ways to resize an image as do other photo editing programs.

Before adding the image in it should be named. Changing the name from its default name (like IMG_0000) to something more descriptive like Nicely-Done-Sites will help to boost your SEO rankings and is something that is often overlooked. An image can be general or it can become much more specific but it should contain keywords that will help to boost your SEO ranking. To further boost that, add a caption to the image to tell your audience exactly what they are seeing. It will add context for your readers, it will be indexed for search engines and chances are that more people will read the caption than the actual article.

Your not done just yet. Don’t forget the alt-text for the image. This is what displays when a browser cannot load the image. If the image fails to load not only will your reader at least be able to see the alt-text which can describe the image that they should be seeing but this is also a metric that search engines use for their rankings. This is also required by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act but is rarely enforced.

There is nothing wrong with just sticking an image on your website or blog and moving on. There are a lot of people who do it that way but there are so many little things that a search engine takes into consideration when it compiles its rankings. Properly adding an image can do wonders to help separate your website from your competition. All it takes is a little time and know-how. If you need help with this or want your website to truly shine then give Nicely Done Sites a call and our experts can help optimize your website for its fullest potential.

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