As useful as written content is to promote your business’s website and develop your brand even further, imagery is what will really catch your customers’ attention. Images can enhance a web page and bring the rest of its content to life…that is, providing the images you select are the right kinds.
Much like the rest of your website, images need to be optimized and compressed well enough without losing their quality so that your website will load and run faster and you still make a great impression on your customers. Here’s what else you need to do to improve the imagery on your business’s website.
- Compress your images
Big images take a lot longer to load compared to smaller ones, yet you don’t want to make every picture something you need to squint at. This is the delicate balance we all have to face when it comes to our company websites. One good means of increasing the site’s loading time is to compress the image so that the site loads fast without losing the quality of the picture or making it pixelated and unappealing in the process. It’s recommended that you compress each image to between 60 to 70% of its original size for best results. This will help your images look the same, but it won’t slow your website down.
There are a few solutions to consider if you need help with compressing:
- Some plugins are available such as Smush Image Compression and Optimization for WordPress. If you have a lot of images to compress and not a lot of time, these can help.
- Several other tools are online to help compress your images before applying them to your website. Some are free, others require a fee.
- Alternatively, the agency you hire to build your website can compress the images for you.
Simply uploading an image that’s about 5 megabytes in size and scope won’t do, because it’ll force your website to slow down while downloading the information it needs to present it to other people. For the sake of ensuring your business’s website runs and loads fast for your customers, compression prior to any image upload is necessary.
- Relabel Your Site’s Imagery
Considering how many pictures a website can present, it may feel easiest to simply place all of the files with the name your camera gave them on there. However, suppose you need to find this picture again for another use? It’d be easiest if you relabel the images on your website for SEO purposes. After all, search engines not only crawl a website’s text, but also any image name files.
By relabeling images, you’ll be using relevant keywords that can help people find images that match the products you’re selling, for example. And what’s easier to look up? Something like “IMAGE101” or “Red-Rose-Crystal-Wave-Vase”?
It’s a big job to create descriptive, keyword-rich labels for images, but it’s worthwhile if you want to improve your site’s SEO in the long term.
- Don’t Overdo It
As great as it is to have SEO for your site’s imagery, there actually is a grain of truth to the phrase “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” Some imagery used on a website is what we call purely decorative, which describes most non-product related images. Examples include buttons, borders, and even background images on a website.
The downside to using these is that they require large amounts of combined file sizes, which then leads to slow loading times. So not only should you refrain from using too many of these, but also don’t add alt descriptions to them. This is what we call over optimization, and it basically means applying too much SEO to a website to the point where it wrecks its ability to rank highly on search engines. Keyword stuffing is a prime example of over optimization, and while it used to be helpful back in the ye old days of website development, it’ll only get you in trouble now.
- Use Proper Formats
The image formats you’ll typically find online are JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs. JPEGs are the most widely used among the three because they are the easiest to compress without sacrificing the image’s quality in the process. PNGs are best used when you need the image to have a transparent background, such as for an illustration or a logo. GIFs are the animated imagery we commonly see online.
JPEG is the best choice in most circumstances because not only is it the most widely used in web agencies, but also it’s the easiest to use. PNGs are still recommended for when you need the image to have that transparent background, but should be kept small since in terms of compression they’re heavier files. GIFs should be used sparingly or not at all since they require massive amounts of data to be featured.
Need some help?
Several tools are available online for compressing imagery and ensuring you get the right kind. However, if you’re the one running your business, it’s likely you don’t have time to worry about this on top of everything else your website will need. That’s why when it comes to improving your site’s imagery, you can’t go wrong with hiring an agency instead. At V3 Media we can build your company a website that will ensure the optimization of your imagery is a given. Our sites are fast, visually pleasing, and adhering to the guidelines for white hat SEO from Google.
If you’re looking around for a new site from a trusted agency, look no further. Give us a call today to see how we can be of service.