Think of your favorite website. What makes it your favorite? Websites with high traffic all have one thing in common, great images that pull their audience in. Whether you are selling products or writing blogs, images are a central component of your online experience. Images are the best way to convey what it is that you are selling to your audience.
It can be difficult figuring out which images to use on your site. There are millions of sites out there, or you could be making your own. For something so simple, there are a lot of things to pay attention to. From the type of images you use to how you name it, we are going to give you all the best tips for your website to succeed.
Choosing your images should feel like you are planning one battle in the war for your site to reign supreme on the internet. You might be sourcing them from free websites, but you might also be taking your pictures yourself. Either way, you want the highest quality images that you can have. Studies have shown that we remember nearly 80% of the images we see, but only 20% of what we read. With numbers like that, why wouldn’t you want the best quality images you can get? You want to make sure that you stand out in the sea of websites.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and immediately decided on what you wanted to eat because they had the pictures of their dishes on the menu? This is the power of the image, something that can make you hungry just by seeing it. Whatever it is that you are trying to sell, you want to put your best foot forward.
Let’s say that you are selling handmade soaps on your website. Just like the example above with the menu, a bad picture can sway your buyer away. If you have our soaps all lined up in a colorful arrangement, but the image is taken with your phone and blurry, people are less likely to continue with your site. When we are online, what we see is the very first thing you have to contend with. Your customers cannot touch or smell your products, they can only see them. This is why you should want high-quality images.
Where Can I Find High Quality Images?
If you’re not a camera genius, that is okay! You can find images of any kind (almost) on royalty free websites like Unsplash or Pexels. Selling your own products might give you some issues, since you would want to show off your product and not someone else’s. However, with these sites, you can use them to further your brand identity. Using the same colors or aesthetics will help people remember your brand and who you are.
In keeping with the Handmade Soap website, we have to understand what type of images to put up. This is where your Brand Identity comes into play. If you are selling handmade soaps, that might change the way that you think about the images you are using. You probably wouldn’t use an urban setting for your identity. You would probably want to use something a little more rural, think mountains or something a little more rustic.
Only you know what you want your branding to be, but make sure that whatever you choose is actually in line with your branding guidelines. Before choosing the images for your site, write a checklist of your branding guidelines. As you pick images, make sure that they check those boxes, that way you know that they are relevant images.
Okay, so you have your high quality relevant images, but they are huge files that take way too long to load on your site. You must remember that part of a healthy website, is how fast it loads for your consumers. 47% of people visiting websites want them to load in two seconds or less, any longer than this could result in them leaving your page. This is why you want to resize your images. The better user experience, the more likely your visitors are to stay on your page. Longer browsing times can lead to more conversions.
So how do you resize your images? It’s quite simple:
- Open Photoshop
- Click on the File tab
- Click Scripts
- Image Processor…
- Choose your folder that you would like to resize
That’s it! It takes less than the time that it took you to pick out your images, but it will help the health of your site when you audit it later. If you do not have access to Photoshop, that’s okay! There are other ways and websites that can help you resize your images without having to buy and learn Photoshop. You just want to make sure that they are 300 kilobytes or less, doesn’t matter how they get there.
SEO for Your Images
Search Engine Optimization is a huge part of getting your website seen by your potential customers. It not only helps your site rank on search engine sites like Google, but it also helps your audience know that you are knowledgeable in your niche. So how can SEO help you with your images? SEO is so much more that just keywords in your text.
When you finish resizing your images, you do not want to jump right onto your site and upload them. You want to rename all of them for SEO purposes. Take a good look at your image, what is in it? Let’s think about our soap company again, you might not just have a bar of soap in the image. You might have the featured bar of soap, on a bathtub, with a book or a bubble bath. You want to highlight all of these features in your name, that way if someone types one of those keywords into the search bar, that image could show up. This may lead to more traffic on your site, and all it took was a few minutes naming an image.
How to Properly Name
Unfortunately, you cannot just name the image like you would for your normal album of vacation pictures. There is a specific format for naming your images for SEO. In my above example, we had a bar of soap, sitting next to a bubble bath with a book. A nice relaxing photo for your consumer to look at. When you name it, you want to have you subject first, that way, the search engine crawling your site knows what the image is, so you would want to name the image:
Lavender-soap-near-bubble-bath-with-book.jpg . All lower case letters separated with a dash. The dashes help Google view the images easier, making it easier for them to rank your site.
ALT tags are predominantly used for the benefit of visually impaired users. They can also be used when someone is browsing the internet using text only browsers. Ultimately, ALT tags describe the images on your website.
For the purposes of this example, we are going to talk about adding ALT tags on your WordPress site. After you add your image to your WordPress page, you will see a box that you can input your ALT tags. When adding your tags, you should be specific with image details, but keep it under 125 characters. With these tags, you do not need to start your description with “image of”, that is just a waste of your valuable characters. Last but no least, use your keywords, but don’t keyword stuff. Stuffing never helps your site. For our soap example, our ALT text might read something like this:
“Handmade lavender soap bar, sitting near a relaxing bubble bath” super simple, but if someone does not see the image or can’t, they now know what it is. It also hits your keyword (handmade soap) without shoving it in your customer’s face.
Adrimedia is a Graphic Design Studio located in Orlando, Florida. Bringing brand identity to Florida is a passion for us all. Let us help your business be the very best it can be. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Adrimediadesign