They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. In this case, your picture only needs to say about two to four words. If you haven’t already begun to include photos into your content, here’s the part where you start. And yes, you guessed it, there’s a way to optimize it! Did I just find my catchphrase?…..OPTIMIZE-IT! Here’s how you should be optimizing your photos:
It’s time to break up with stock photos
First things first, ditch the stock photos. They’re ugly and gross and nobody likes them. There are plenty of other sites you can use to find quality photos to use that aren’t staged or awkward to look at. A few of my favorites:
You can hold your belly and chuckle like Ol’ St. Nick all you want when I tell you that finding images for blog posts is the most time-consuming part of my job sometimes, but it’s worth it. Our blogs have killer images for a good reason! Think about what your eye is drawn to. High-resolution photos that are easy on the eyes can be considered a characteristic of user experience.
It's time to start breaking up with stock photos and other #SEOTips. Learn more: Click To Tweet
Awww, what should we name it?
We can probably all admit our file names generally look something like this: a;sdkljfk…or this asdlkfj2. But if you’re trying to get your images all properly optimized, we can’t be hulk smashing the keyboard any longer. Name the file according to the page or post it’s being placed on. For example, if I’m writing a blog post about employer branding, my keyword will most likely be employer brand, therefore, I’m going to name whatever image I pick for the post, “employer-brand” << just like that! Hyphens over spaces and underscores, remember that.
What’s your middle name?
Alt-text, similar to the filename (akin to a middle name), is another place you want to enter your keyword. When the time comes to upload your image into the platform, you should always have the option to “edit” the image after it has been uploaded and you’ll see something along the lines of “alt-text” or “image text” or “image title.” If you don’t edit this, the platform will either leave it blank or insert something that you don’t want to rank for. Change the alt-text to whatever you named your file so it matches.
A lot of the images that I download for our blog posts will automatically size to over 1700×1700. This is a little large and can decrease your load time, which is a no-no for user experience. Microsoft’s Ranking Images for Web Image Retrieval says images should be resized between 100×100 to 1200×1200. Do keep in mind if you download an image that is already 300×300 and you try to max the size out to 900×600, chances are your image will turn out blurry. Before resizing your image, be sure to check the dimensions so you don’t end up with a real scary lookin’ image.
Placement and words
Place your images “above the fold.” But I thought we were talking about the web? Yes, we are. Above the fold online is everything you see when the page loads before you scroll anywhere or click on anything. Also, placing your image close to body text that also includes the keyword you optimized your photo for is even better!
Place your images 'above the fold' for the best #SEO results. Check out more tips here: Click To Tweet
Link it like it’s haaawwwt
Some platforms allow you to include a hot link in the photo you uploaded. You’ll likely find this option on the image editor where you edited the alt-text. Link your photos to a resources page on your website or other blog articles you want your readers to see (that are related to the text, of course). As a user, I know I often will accidentally click on the photos of a web page when it loads. If you link to another resource, you’re improving time on your site, bonus!
While all of these steps can seem like monotonous tasks, they’re important for increasing time on site and user experience. These steps are also really simple to implement into your workflow once you get it started. Once you ace this, you’re one step closer to Google’s heart! <3