You’ve written a great blog and you have some great images to post along with it. All you have to do is upload them to your blog platform and you’re done, right? Not so fast. In order for those images to show their worth within your blog they need to be optimized. Many are familiar with the process of image optimization, but they’re honestly too busy to go the extra mile to make it happen. It’s a bit tedious, we know, but it’s worth it. Optimizing your images brings your content and imagery to its full potential, allowing it to be seen and recognized by search engines and ultimately your target audience. Below are some of the most important components (we’ve found) necessary for image optimization.
1. Determine the ‘Look and Feel’ for Your Images
This may be more of a ‘design’ thing, but the look and feel of your brand should be carried out in your blog images, which is why we feel it’s part of the optimization process. What theme is your brand or voice trying to convey? If your brand is established, use your brand and marketing guide to determine the general look and feel of your images that should be adhered to within the blogs. If the brand imagery is undetermined, work with your visual team (or someone with a good eye) to come up with a solid direction of how the blog images should be carried out to maintain consistency. We’re a busy bunch here at Organik SEO, so we rely on our surroundings for imagery such as the inside of our office and outside environment. We then use certain apps, such as Camera+, A Beautiful Mess and PicMonkey, to edit the photo’s with specifically designated filters that resonate with our brand.
2. Image Sizing
The size of the images on your blog, and website for that matter, can greatly affect the load speed on your website. An image that is too big will slow down the load speed of your website, which we all know equates to bounce rates. Amazon discovered that if their pages are slowed by even 1 second, due to image loading, they lose up to $1.6 billion a year. Yikes! Kissmetrics has found that most consumers will wait up to 3 seconds for a website to load on a given device, but that’s still a generous estimate from your more patient audience. Prevent bounce rates by sizing images properly from the get go. Here are some quick and easy bullet points for optimal imaging:
- Try to keep images below 400kb, if possible
- JPEG’s are the most universal format
- PNG’s are also acceptable
- GIF’s aren’t ideal for blogging and general web content
A final note on sizing: determine the size you’d ultimately like to use (regularly) for your blog’s main featured image, and for images that are placed within the body of the blog.
The featured image is usually larger and should have a set size that is used consistently to maintain a cohesive look within the thread of your blog feed (see pic below).
The internal images of your blogs should follow a predetermined maximum and minimum range. For example, some internal images may need to be larger to account for legibility such as text heavy infographics, screen grabs, or presentation slides.
3. Name Your Images Properly
This is where the SEO component comes into play, but it is perhaps the most overlooked detail of online images in general. If you want your images to be found on the internet, you need to name them properly. To do this, prior to uploading the image into your image gallery on the blog platform (you use) you’ll need to give it a simple name that gives a general description of the photo. You can do this from your desktop (by clicking on the image title and simple renaming it), or in an editing program such as Photoshop or Preview.
Depending on the platform you’re working within, you should also have the ability to give your image a Title tag, and an Alt/Alternative Text tag.
Image Title: Should be a quick and simple descriptor of what the image is, and should also be written in Title Case — caps for each letter in the phrase. Hyphens between each word is optional.
Alt Text: Should be a slightly longer description of the what the image is. It’s a short phrase and should be written in sentence case.
4. When Necessary, Always Add Image Captions
We personally don’t use stock photography for our Organik blogs, but for the sake of time, money and resources, we do occasionally use stock photo’s for certain client content. If the images are purchased, we typically don’t add a caption to name the source. However, if the image is grabbed from an external resource we ALWAYS recommend crediting the source, and if time permits adding a hyperlink to that source (as a courtesy). There are many reasons for this on a legal front, but in all honesty it’s simply the ethical thing to do.
Another instance in which captions can be helpful is for SEO value. Adding more content to your images increases the likelihood of them popping up on the internet in a search.
5. Image Links
First and foremost, whenever you link an image make sure you check the box that prompts the image link to ‘open link in a new window/tab.’ Otherwise your visitor will be taken to a new destination in the same window and away from your blog. People get trigger happy and often click on images before they’re done reading through the content. By enabling the hyperlinked image to take visitors to a new window, you’re allowing them to come back to your content to finish reading if they so choose.
When it comes to image links, we also recommend highly that it points back to your brand in some way. Either by referencing another blog, social media page, or page on your website. However, if your blog is about recommended products, stores, or other resources outside of your brand, make sure you set that link to open up in a new window as stated above.
We could go so much deeper into this topic, but the above mentioned practices cover the basics of optimizing your blog images to work in your favor.
Are there any additional image optimization tactics you utilize?
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “The Importance of Storytelling in Digital Marketing.” Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!