It’s a little-known fact that Google Images is one of the search engine’s hottest properties. We all type out keywords and then click on ‘images,’ but it’s easy to overlook the importance of this fact when considering our search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns and how our clients find us.
For this reason, it’s important to optimize each image on your site. Not only will you improve your SEO, earning more customers and organic traffic, but you’re also more likely to convert that traffic when it lands on your site.
The Many Benefits of Optimizing Images
Before we look at steps to optimize your images, let’s first consider the reasons why it’s a good idea.
Improving Site Relevancy
People have notoriously short attention spans while searching the net and if there’s any doubt regarding the relevancy of your site, visitor are much more likely to leave immediately. A picture that’s instantly and obviously relevant to your product or service routes all doubt at a glance.
Improved Search Engine Results
Images that have been labeled for the search engine bots and crawlers tell the search engines that you’re mindful of the reader experience and you’ve included images as a result, scoring you brownie points.
Improved Page View Times
People will stick around on your web pages for longer if there are images to look at. This gives you not only more of a chance to convert a sale, but the page-view time is also a quality signal for the search engine bots
Images can be a great way to improve trust by including images of members of your team, office or building, highlighting that you’re not some fly-by-night business.
If you’ve gone out of your way to create a company logo (which you should do immediately if you haven’t already) you can use the image both onsite and offsite to improve your branding presence and build trust.
How to Optimize Your Images
As you can see, the list of reasons on why to optimize images is extensive. Here’s the list of how to optimize images for the best results.
1. Include Photos of Your Business
Including photos of the interior and exterior of your business are excellent techniques to add credibility to your sites and listings. Take opportunities to include your logo on plaques, letterheads, desktop backgrounds, office doors or anywhere else.
2. Add Photos of Your Products and Services
Having photos of your products and services or images of smiling employees providing them in your local area goes a long way said developing authenticity and a more personal connection with your readership.
3. Incorporate Maps and Map Links
Any business vying for a strong local SEO presence should have a map available somewhere on the site. Take advantage of third-party map providers that enable zooming, tracking and other interactive features as they all improve the user experience and, ultimately, your conversions.
4. Provide an “Alt-Text”
Search engine bots can’t tell the difference between a picture of a cow and a picture of a Lamborghini and it’s the Alt-text that tells them what’s what. Don’t stuff bunch of keywords in there (though you can at least include slight variations of parts of your keywords). Include geographical locations such as your city, town or even address and zip code.
5. Use Text Captions
The caption is the text that appears underneath the image as a commentary on what’s shown. These are more for the readers than the search engines and are another good opportunity to include your location keywords in addition to drawing the reader’s attention deeper into your content.
6. Include Your Logo Image
Always add your logo to your website and make sure it’s clickable and linked to your homepage, again including a relevant Alt-text with a branded keyword. You may want to use the business name and the city your business resides in.
7. Add to Photo Sharing Sites
Don’t forget to add any photos of your business to photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Panoramio and Instagram. Building a gallery of quality photography can really win over your visitors and also generate effective social buzz.
8. Beware of Unnecessarily Large Image Files
It’s often possible to post an image to a website with a much smaller file size with no loss in quality image. Unnecessarily large JPEG and PNG files can really slow down the loading speeds of your webpages, potentially boring your readers while they wait and also damaging your SEO. If your site is built with WordPress, you can use a free image optimizer plugin.
9. Include Photos in Your E-mail Campaign
Build further trust and relevancy with your subscribers by including high quality photos of your business, products or services along with weekly or monthly specials in your e-newletters. Show your customers that you’re a real, thriving business and you’re much more likely to spark their interest.
If you use these image optimization tips on all of your images and photos, you’ll enjoy both higher search engine rankings and higher conversions. Consider assigning the task of image optimization to a single person and make sure you and your team are always on the lookout for ways to improve your photo and image Internet marketing strategies.