Optimizing Images for SEO
If you have an online store or blog, image optimization is something that you need to know. From attracting shoppers who are perusing Google images to reducing site load time, image optimization is an essential part in building a successful online business. Below are tips for optimizing images for SEO.
Name the images descriptively and in plain language. When it comes of search engine optimization, it is wise to use acceptable keywords that will help your pages rank top in search engines. Not only does search engine go through the text on your webpages but it also searches for keywords that are within the image file name. The best thing is to look at your site analytics to see the phrasing patterns that your customers use when performing searches. Determine the most common naming pattern that they use and then apply it to your naming process.
Strategize the dimensions of your images and product angles. It is a common trend these days to showcase different angles of products. You should not just show one shot of what you are trying to sell. If you are selling cars, show the interior, close ups of the wheel rims and underneath the hood. Although you might want to have larger images to offer better view for your visitors, you need to be careful. Do not have a large image and then shrink it using the source code. This is going to increase your page load time because of the larger image.
Know the type of image file type to use for the right situation. The three common file types to use are GIF, PNG and JPEG. JPEG images are of an old file type which is now the de facto standard image of the internet. JPEG images can be considerably compressed which results in quality images with small file size. GIFs are lower quality images than JPEG and they are used for simple images like icons and they also support animation.
In regard to image optimization, it is ideal to use GIF for the simple and plain images on a webpage but for complex photographs, it is not the most attractive option. PNG images are the popular alternative to GIF. They support a lot of colors than GIF and they do not degrade over time. Despite the fact that this file type is now being used a lot, the size is still larger than for JPEG images.
You need to know how to handle your thumbnails. They are the best way to quickly scan through category pages without taking a lot of time. Thumbnails are good but you need to be very careful as they can be the silent killer to the loading time of your pages. They are presented in the most important step during shopping and if they hold your category pages from loading, you will lose a customer. Thumbnails should be as small as possible. It is actually worth letting quality slide in favor of a lower file size. You need to vary your alt tag text so that you do not have duplicate text that you would use for bigger versions of the same photo. The last thing you want is for your thumbnail to be indexed instead of the larger image.
Take note of the decorative images. Websites have different enhancing images such as boarders, buttons and background photos. Anything that is not related to a product is likely to be viewed as a decorative image. Despite the fact that these images can add some aesthetic appeal to a website, they often lead to a large combined file size which slows down the load time. You should therefore consider taking a closer look into this so that the photos do not end up impairing the ability of your website to convert visitors into customers.
Trial and Error
Test your images. The whole point of optimizing your images is to increase your bottom line. Know the angels that your customers prefer. To know this, you can ask for views from you customers in regard to what they want to see. Surveying your customers is the best way to get important feedback on what you should and should not do. It is also vital to know the number of product listings that you should have on the category pages. Test this too for you to be aware of what works best for your customers and their shopping experience.
Select the right images. Photos should not only be beautiful but also fit in within the context of your site. Do not put a big image in the middle of your site simply for the sake of it. You should not use photos that are not in line with the aesthetics of your site or are too large as it will slow down the loading time.
With the above things in mind, you are ready to show your site to the world. Promote your efforts on social media and topic related communities. Building a good reputation means there are no short cuts taken therefore avoid spamming on other sites or using positioning tricks to get higher rankings. It is also vital to keep track and measure your results. Monitoring your SEO activities will provide you with the information and data that you need to know in order to make smart decisions and improve your position in search engines.