Are Your Photos Working for You? | Optimizing Images for the Web
When you see a great photo on a website do you consider whatâ€™s behind it? Weâ€™re not talking about the inner workings of your computer screen. There may have been some deliberate thought put into optimizing that picture to help boost the siteâ€™s search engine rankings.
Yes, itâ€™s a crazy dog-eat-dog world out there in Internet land, folks, and it gets tougher and tougher by the day to get a website noticed. You may have the best content and most eye-catching photos, but without good rankings youâ€™re pretty much dead in the water.
Every little bit counts when it comes to optimizing for search engines, and that includes making sure your photos are working for you behind the scenes. If you have a website and you havenâ€™t optimized the photos, youâ€™re not doing all you can to advance your search engine ranking. Not to worry though; weâ€™re here to guide you through the photo optimization basics.
When search engine spiders crawl your webpage, they have to be able to recognize what your pictures are depicting. Adding alternate text helps spiders to consider your picture content.
When adding alt text, simply choose a short description of the picture. For instance, if you have a photo of a cat chasing a mouse then â€˜cat chasing mouseâ€™ would work as alt text. Not only will the spiders understand what the image is of, but when the photo is not available to web users, the alt text will be there to offer a description.
Whatâ€™s in a Name?
Naming the photos you upload to your website is also important for web searches. If you leave your files named with a random series of numbers or some nonsensical file name, you are doing yourself a disservice. Use keywords from your site to name your file photos and give Google and other search engines a better idea of what your site is about.
Surrounded by Keyword Love
Be cognizant of where you are placing your images on your page. Surrounding your pictures with text that includes the keywords you have used for your photo file names and alt text helps with the search engineâ€™s assessment of what your page is all about.
Size Does Matter
Make no mistake about it; site loading time is a factor in search engine rankings, so keeping your images to a minimum (while still maintaining quality, of course) is a must. Photos around 400-700 pixels wide should work well in most instances. Use photo editing programs to re-size the images before adding them to the website. Allowing your browser to re-size your image does not work, as the browser will still load the original size image to begin with.
While photo optimization may seem like another tedious step in the process of setting up a website, the truth is that it a minimal time commitment and it can make quite an impact toward web search rankings. Remember, your exceptional site content deserves to be seen. Put in the few extra minutes and help make that happen.
Chris Brewer is known as â€œThe Idea Machineâ€ is President of Online Marketing Giant. Chris is best known for growing million dollar companies fast. His past entrepreneurial accomplishments have included an outdoor advertising firm and direct mail company. He regularly coaches small business owners and executives in business and marketing strategy and tactics. He is the author of the book, Does Your Marketing Make You Money: 7 Quick & Easy Secrets to Create A Booming Business Now and resides just outside Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 18 years and two children. Chris Brewer can also be found on Google+.