Images are a crucial asset on your website, not only for visual appeal but also for further SEO optimization. Images are used on almost all pages of a website, as they’re a great way to capture users’ attention and break up large blocks of text. However, if you’re not taking advantage of them as an SEO tool, you may be missing out big.
Original, High-Quality Images
When possible, using your own original photos is best. Stock photos can be used sporadically throughout your site when necessary, but using too many can make your site look unoriginal and rob you of any potential SEO benefits. Many users will scroll right by stock photos, as they look like something they’ve seen a million times before. Using your own photos assures that they are not anywhere else on the web. High quality, unique photos allow you to stand out in the search results, showcasing your companies personal brand.
Beware of Copyright
If you do choose to use images from the web, be aware of copyright issues. There are plenty of ways to get images for free, either using Shutterstock, or even Google Images by filtering the results based on “available for reuse.”
Improve Images With Tools
Whether you choose to use original images or stock photos, you can use a tool such as Canva to personalize your photos. This type of editor allows you to add text, and other unique touches to your images. Easel.ly, Visual.ly, and Pablo by Buffer are also great resources to create eye-catching images to help you stand out.
Have a Purpose
Images on a website should be used to tell a story, simplify an idea, complement the text, or express something that words cannot. Images are a great tool, but should not be overused. Use images where they make sense, but don’t force it.
Naming Your Image
To properly optimize for SEO, having keyword-rich file names is essential. Instead of uploading your file with the name of something like “IMG_376,” change it to a phrase specific to the photo. For example, if you’re uploading a photo of a car, you could name it “Blue Honda Civic,” so that search engines know exactly what is it. These titles should be written in clear, simple language that includes descriptive keywords.
Using alt text on your images is essential for SEO. Similar to how you would name the title, use keywords that describe exactly what is going on in the image. While alt text was designed to help the visually impaired understand an image, it has also become a necessity for SEO. It can help to improve your rankings, as search engines can better understand your images and associate the keywords used in the text with the image.