No doubt you understand the importance of optimising your content for the search engines. It helps to ensure people can find and read your content (and hopefully make a purchase as well).
But how much effort do you put into optimising the images you use to accompany that content? In truth, images are just as important as the words you write to attract visitors to your site. Think of each image as another way for people to find you. People can search for images just as they can search for written results.
But there is another vital factor involved with optimising your images, and it may not be one you are aware of. If you’re optimising your words but not your pictures, you could be slowing down the load speed of your website.
What do you do when faced with a slow-loading website?
If you’re anything like me, you leave. If it takes more than two or three seconds for a site to load, I will go elsewhere to find a site that doesn’t frustrate me. Google has recognised this, hence why load speed is now a contributory factor in search engine rankings. Put simply, if your website loads slowly, you’re harming your rankings as well as annoying potential customers.
The solution is to make sure your images look superb while staying at the smallest size. Large images take ages to load, so you need to do one of three things to combat this:
- Resize them
- Compress them
- Choose caching instead
Pay attention to SEO when naming your images
It’s not wise to leave the default file name on your images. Instead, you should rename them by using appropriate keywords. So, if you sell coffee tables and you’ve got a photo of a solid oak coffee table with drawers, use something like that as your file name. It will help the photo (and a link to that item on your site) to rank better in image searches.
It’s all about the customer experience
Every website owner wants more traffic. They also want more of that traffic to remain on their site for longer, to improve the chances of making a sale. While it might be easy to focus on the words, don’t forget to pay attention to the images as well. It will make a much bigger difference than you think when appealing to would-be visitors.