As a professional pet business owner, it is important to optimize web images for search engines. Also, it is very important to have high-quality photos strategically placed on your website to display your professionalism. Low quality or distorted images can leave your viewers with a bad first impression and may cause them to navigate away from your site. But, adding high-resolution photos to your website in their original format and file size can hurt your reputation with Google due to the slower load time of your website as a result. So what do you do? When optimizing website images you want to make sure the file is as small as possible by compressing the image. It is also important to include the right name and alt text, so it’s well-optimized for search engines.
When web images are optimized correctly it can also generate a lot of traffic from image-based search engines like Google Images. There are many ways to improve optimization of your images for the web, but here are a few simple ways:
Choose the right file name
You want to briefly tell Google what your image is about in the file name. Be sure to include your main keyword at the beginning of the file name to optimize web images. If your image is a photo of a dog bathing at ‘Happy Dog Kennel’, then you should not name the photo DS7362.jpg, but happy-dog-kennel-dog-bath.jpg. The main keyword here would be Happy Dog Kennel. Use dashes (-) instead of spaces or underscores to separate words.
It is important to add an alt text when optimizing website images. Alt text is what displays when your image doesn’t appear for whatever reason. This explanation from Wikipedia explains it perfectly: “In situations where the image is not available to the reader, perhaps because they have turned off images in their web browser or are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment, the alternative text ensures that no information or functionality is lost.” Make sure your alt text includes your keyword, like the file name, and describes your image. Fill alt text out for every image on your website that you would like people to find in search engines. DO NOT use alt texts for decorative images or thumbnails. Often these are small images that you don’t want searchable in Googe, plus Google may punish you for this.
Load time of your website is one of the key factors in Google’s search algorithm. The faster your website is, the better the experience is for your user and the easier it is for Google to index it. Images have a huge impact on load time and this is why it is important to reduce image size for faster load times. Make sure you don’t just shrink image size. This will still result in slow loading because the entire image still needs to be loaded, even though only a small version is displayed.
Once you have scaled the size of your image you will now need to make sure that the image is served in the smallest file size possible before distortion. To optimize web images, use a tool like ImageOptim. Try and use less than 70kb size images and use JPEGS when able or PNG-8 instead of PNG-24
You spend a lot of time and money on your website. Don’t neglect your images. These steps only take a few minutes, but can really make a positive impact on your website and ranking in search engines.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.