SEO Guidelines in Ottawa: The Most Effective Ways to Optimize Images
When it comes to SEO in Ottawa, you don’t want to neglect images. Every single image you put on your site and blog should be properly optimized for search engines. It’s important to realize that content isn’t just about words. Every single aspect of a web page, from the images to the loading speed, plays a role in search engine optimization.
Image optimization is especially important if you are selling products online. Not only must you have quality, accurate images of all of your products, you should be using proper alt attribute for the images. Each photo should also have a keyword-specific file name.
Since Google and Bing cannot actually “view” the photos, they analyze HTML code. The alt text concerning an image actually tells search engines the story of what it is.
Here are some tips for doing proper optimization of images on your website, blog, and social media pages:
– Keep the alt text as descriptive as possible in as few words as possible. If the image cannot be described in just a few words, you might want to discuss the image in the body of the text around it. Include one of the keywords you hope to rank for in the alt text description. The keyword you use should be relevant to what the image is showing.
– Strategize the product angles and dimensions of the images. Showing multiple angles of the product is beneficial in a number of ways. The more details of the products potential buyers see, the better. Also, this strategy allows you to create unique alt tags for each image associated with a product.
– Do NOT display large images anywhere on your website. Use the source code to shrink the dimensions. Give the option to view a larger version in a popup window or in another browser tab if you must, but only have the small versions of photos displayed. This is because page load time is a factor in search engine rankings. Large images take a while to load – even with fast internet speeds. For ecommerce photos, a good rule of thumb is to keep file sizes below 70 kb. Another way you can reduce the file size is to take advantage of the “save for web” command in Photoshop. This command allows you to adjust the image to the lowest size acceptable while maintaining quality.
– Unlike product photos, decorative images, logos and graphics do not need alt descriptions. You can use a keyword for the file name, but don’t go overboard with it. There is the possibility that a search engine may penalize you for over-optimization or keyword stuffing.
– You don’t have to use captions for every single last photo – especially if doing so will detract from user experience and readership. When you do use captions, keep them short and to the point, just like alt attributes and text.
– Understand the common file formats and when they should be used. JPEGs are the overall winners, as they provide the best image quality at the smallest file size. GIFs should never be used for the large product images. PNGs can be decent alternatives to both Gifs and JPEGs. If you must use PNGs, try using PNG-8 rather than PNG-24, as this type of file excels when it is being used for simple decorative images.
SEO in Ottawa is a highly competitive market. It’s in your best interest to do everything – including image optimization – properly.