Why optimising images on your website is essential

Optimising images on your website is crucial if you want to gain a decent ranking.

But why?

The answer is three-fold.


1. Google can not see images

They read the file name and alternative text to find out what the image is. Therefore, if you haven’t altered this with keyword rich text for the page they are on, then they will not be seen as relevant to the page.

2. User experience

Over 2 million people in the UK are blind or partially sighted. By not giving you images alternative text, a bit like Google, they will not know what they are supposed to be looking at. And probably will bounce off your website. This reduced user experience will negatively impact your ranking.

3. Speed

Optimising is not only about the back end code and alt text. It is also about the speed in which the information loads. High-resolution images and video content are usually the reasons page speed is impaired. Slow page speed impacts user experience and increases bounce rate. Your ranking is affected.
How do you go about optimising images?

The answer is from the moment you save them, if possible. Starting with the images file name.

The image may well be your logo, a photo of a laptop or a headshot of Steve, but you need to give the name more thought. Consider what page the image is going on, what the keyword that page is optimised to and what the image is of. The filename then should look have the title of the pages that the image is shown on.

Once uploaded it is time to add alt text.

This is the text that gives Google more information about the image and the page that it on. The text should explain the picture, reiterate the title of the page (with the keyword of course) and why not add a call to action for good measure. For example:

Polly – Managing Director of The Typeface Group. Hampshire’s award-winning Digital Marketing Agency. Call 01256 614921 to discuss your digital marketing requirements today!

If you use an image more than once across your site, using a theme such as Divi will allow you to have different alt tags for the same image on each page. Not all themes will. So be aware of this and think how you are going to use images that are site-wide to get the most out of them.

And finally, speed.

If you use an image more than once across your site (which is not recommended – please read our blog on duplicate content and images for more information on why), using a theme such as Divi will allow you to have different alt tags for the same image on each page. Not all themes will, so be aware of this when you are building your site.

And finally, speed. Now we all want the best quality images on our websites, but overloading your server will inevitably slow everything down! If you are using WordPress, we recommend using a plugin called WP Smush Pro. However, it is best to get into the practice of resizing your images to under 1mb before uploading.

Optimising images is a simple process once it is part of your routine. If by reading this you realise that there is a mammoth task ahead, we don’t envy you. However, once the job is complete, you should start to notice the rewards over the coming weeks and months.


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