As a blogger, optimization is something you may have come across quite often. If articles aren’t optimized properly, they might not get much visibility. The World Wide Web is getting crowded, and you need to do a few things to be seen and heard.
Most bloggers spend a lot of time optimizing their content. This is great and definitely helps. However, in this process, they tend to neglect the images on their page. This is a common issue on the web, not just for bloggers.
Why we need to optimize images:
At the most basic level, well-optimized images just, look good. They make your page attractive and visually appealing. They also ensure that your site doesn’t get too heavy and continues to load quickly.
That apart, images also appear in search results. If you can get your photos to rank on Google, traffic to your page will increase tremendously. Images are known to keep eyeballs on a page for longer, thus reducing the bounce rate (i.e. – the rate at which visitors navigate away from a website) lower the bounce rate, better your website is at holding attention. They also improve the SEO scores of your page.
Finding the right images for your website:
Before rushing into using images in your articles, it is important to know how to choose the right images. Giving the photographer credit is of prime importance. Often the images you come across on Google are copyrighted, which means you must pay to use them. There are a few online libraries that offer access to high-quality images for a monthly charge. A few of these are FreeDigitalPhotos, Pixabay, MorgueFile and Shutterstock. If you use images regularly, it is a good idea to sign up with one of these sites and avoid any copyright issues.
It is also possible to create your own photos. This is recommended only when you do not find the perfect pictures from other sources. Canva is one such tool that helps both web developers and bloggers create personalized images. It comes with many pre-made patterns, fonts and templates. Using these, your photos can be ready within minutes. Custom images also give you quality backlinks. Since you will get the credit for the image, no matter where on the web someone uses it, the image will always link back to you as the source.
Whichever way you choose to go about sourcing your images, it is important to keep in mind image formats (e.g. -.jpeg, .png and .gif). Each format has their list of advantages and disadvantages. You need to see what works best for you. For bloggers, the preferred format is .jpeg as they are usually easier to load.
Optimizing images for search engines:
Search engines read information in a certain way while looking at images. For example, if you are writing a story about Donald Trump, both the file name of the image you use and its title needs to be ‘Donald Trump’. It’s important to write a relevant ‘alternate text’ for the image. The search engine reads all this and that affects your ranking. It is also useful to remove any hyperlinks from your image before publishing them. That way the search engine doesn’t end up ranking the source’s website instead.
Image optimization is not just something we recommend. According to Google, the popularity of image searches comes second only to regular searched. So, the next time you upload an image, think of how to utilize it to its full potential.
-Written by Nitin Rudrangi
-Edited by Shama Lahiri