When it comes to creating an effective website for your business, content is king. So, you’ve filled your site with an abundance of well-written articles, product descriptions, blog posts, and more information about your business, but something still seems off, and your site looks plain when compared to your competitors. What you need is imagery to make your site more appealing to visitors, and what you may not realize is that images are as important, and sometimes more important, than the words on your website.
Why Images are Important
Images add visual appeal to your website, but they are also important for reasons other than aesthetics. Images help to build brand character and consistency, and visuals make for more appealing content overall. Images can also help your content to be more memorable, easier to understand and help formulate a more naturally flowing layout of your site. Additionally, images on your website help when creating social media posts, and images are a key factor in influencing purchasing decisions. After all, customers are less likely to be excited about buying a product that they cannot see. Remember how you felt the first time you read a book without pictures? You do not want your website to make your customers feel this way.
Certainly, everyone can agree that sites with images are more appealing, trustworthy, and competitive; however, what many do not realize is that visual content marketing can help to boost your site’s organic search rankings just like written content does. Metadata is information that is embedded in the images of your website, a common example being alt-text. Alt-text, also known as alt-attributes or alt-tags, is one of the most common uses of image metadata for SEO purposes and often appears displayed as text when a user hovers their mouse over an image on your site. Alt-text is an often-overlooked opportunity to utilize keywords; you should write individual, unique descriptions for each photo, including relevant keywords whenever possible. This helps to boost your organic rankings, increasing website traffic and ultimately helping your site to drive more conversions.
Optimize Your Images
While it may seem simple to add images to your website, there is quite a bit to consider. Proper image formats, resolution, cropping, framing, image distortion, color models – making a mistake in any of these areas can create issues with the way images display on your website and may lead your customers to choose a competitor instead. You should make sure that the images used on your website are high quality, high-resolution photos, properly compressed and cropped, and make sure you use an optimal image format such as .png. This will keep your images looking sharp and professional when you upload them to your site, which increases consumer confidence and boosts conversions through your website.
Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to optimize the images on your site for SEO benefit:
- Reduce the graphic’s size to reduce the page load time
- Optimize file names to ensure the search engine knows what is relevant
- Use the right image alt tag as screen readers use it
- Select appropriate dimensions so that images can be viewed at their best
- Craft captions that are short and descriptive
- Choose the right raster image format for its purpose
Use Original Images
Although optimizing images is crucial to improving search performance, it is not the only requirement. Using high-quality images is a must if you want to be competitive in search results. However, not just any picture will do.
Stock photos don’t have the same SEO impact and benefits as original photos. Your images can deliver a better user experience and give visitors more insight into you and your company. Product images, pictures of your facility or storefront, and screenshots can have a more significant emotional impact than either stock images or text. They can add value to your blog, landing pages, and articles.
Benefits of Image SEO
Pictures can tell your story quickly and more effectively than words. Here are the top ways vibrant storytelling can help your site.
Increase Image Search Ranking
The majority of those that use a search engine browse through pictures first, which makes them more likely to visit the website. Not only does this boost your position on the SERPs, but it also increases traffic.
Spread the Word
Pictures that are relevant to the content are more likely to go viral.
Improve the User Experience
Images that are SEO friendly attract users better than text. They are engaging and offer a better user experience. This can also reduce the bounce rate.
Improve Your Visual Search Ranking
If you are not optimizing the images on your site, you are wasting a powerful SEO asset. With improved functionality being added to platforms such as Bing, Google and Pinterest, visual search is quickly changing search marketing. Whether you are using cartoons, GIFs, infographics, or other optical elements, optimizing them for search offers exciting opportunities, particularly for e-commerce retailers.
Have More Imagery Questions? Ask the Pros at VDS!
Running a business, like managing a website, is very time-consuming. If you do not have time for both, V Digital understands and is here to help. We can help you to build the perfect website for your business, or to create graphic design content for websites you already own. Reach out to VDS for a consultation on how your business website can be brought up to speed and compete with your competitors (and win).