There is truth in the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
We look at a visually stunning image online and think, “Wow!”
Or the details in a product pic of a velvet sofa make us imagine running our hands over the smooth, soft nap of the fabric.
Or we see an action shot of a man scaling a tree to cut off the high branches and immediately feel confidence in that man’s ability to help us deal with the dead tree in our yard. The tree that’s leaning precariously toward our garage.
So yes, good pictures speak volumes to us. And if you’re a business owner, high-quality images on your company website will help your potential customers feel comfortable with you and what you have to offer.
But beautiful pictures, in and of themselves, are not enough.
Because, if you’re doing any kind of business online, you need to satisfy not only your website visitors. You need to satisfy the search engines. And you can’t satisfy the search engines with pretty pictures.
In order to satisfy the search engines, you need lots and lots of written-word content. If you’re interested, I go into detail about that in another blog post here.
1. Resize Your Images
You may have noticed that on some image-heavy blogs their webpages load really slow.
That’s no good. No good at all. And it’s not for your business website either.
You see, you have only 5 seconds – maximum – to grab the attention of your visitors. If your website takes longer than that to load, it’s a safe bet your visitors will leave.
A major cause of slow page load time is large images.
That doesn’t mean all the pictures on your website have to be teeny. You can still have images that are visually big.
But you need to make sure that the file size of every image on your website is small enough that it won’t cause your website to suffer from poor load time.
2. Name Your Images
Before you upload images to your website, make sure you name them. But not with just any old names.
You want the names to include keywords. Keywords that go with the other content on your website.
That way, your images are connected with your written-word content, supporting and enhancing the other information on your website.
Search engines love that!
3. Don't Forget Image Alt Text
If the images on your website ever fail to load, the alt text will appear in their place. Which kind of looks weird to most people when (and if) it happens. But it is important.
Think what happens if you get a website visitor who is visually-impaired. A screen-reading tool can use the alt text of each image to let that visitor know what the image is about.
But even more importantly than that…
The search engines use your image alt text when they “read” your website.
You see, search engine bots can’t see images the same way humans do. They have to read the image alt text to get an idea what they are about and if they contain valuable information. Information that links the pictures to the rest of the content on your webpage and the rest of your site.
So you need to make sure to rewrite the alt text for every picture on your website.
Heads up: The default for every image on your website is “picture”.
If you don’t replace this with something more descriptive, then – from the standpoint of the search engines – your pictures are absolutely useless.
To be sure, it can be a pain in the butt to go through each and every image on your website and give them this treatment. But it’s absolutely essential. Essential if you want your website to rank in the search engines, attract visitors and generate leads for your business.
If you need help optimizing the images on your website, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.