There you are. Fiendishly pining away making your website. You believe your content tells a good story but a touch of snark, which can serve you well in your industry. The bios of the C-suites are looking good. The ancillary pages of the website where people don’t really visit even seem impressive.
However, you are missing something – images.
It’s the missing ingredient to help tell that story. What it looks like. The feelings you want to convey. Ideas you want to provide visually. They are called hero images for a reason but nothing about stock photography makes you feel super.
And then, a breakthrough. You find the right pictures, but as long as it took you to find them, you know good and damn well that you deserve credit if you help others on their own endless Google Image search.
Do you know how to optimize your images? Yes, it’s a thing. SEO is for anything on search engines, and since there are more than 2 trillion searches annually on this Internet upstart, you may want to get your images on there right.
Here are 5 tips to optimize your own Google images:
- Scaling – Human nature is one of impatience. Why else were microwaves invented? And now we shout at the microwave when it takes too long. No one really wants to wait around for the images on your website to get done pixelating. For a premium UX (user experience), you need to provide instant loading times. The faster the site, the easier the visit. The easier the visit, the more they return. If you have an image that is 2500 x 2500 pixels, but want to show it as 250 x 250 on your website, scale the image how you want it shown. Trust us, your consumers will thank you.
- Naming – How would you like if when you came into this world, no one named ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ gave you a name? Well, you have that power and responsibility when it comes to images. They all need file names, which are read directly by Google (and Bing and Yahoo/Verizon and… are there any more). That’s how search engines find your images in the first place. Image file names matter to SEO. Just take Google’s word for it: The filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. Yeah, what they said.
- Enhancing – Any time you use a service – be it shopping, dining, or Ubering/Lyfting – you are willing to tip or even compliment for great service. Why would you think Google is any different? If you are able to enhance UX, Google rewards you for it. Search engines call it relevance and quality for returning search results. If those results rock, you do too. Compress your files. Resize them to fit standard ratios (that’s 16:9 or 4:3 to you and me). Do what you can to help the experience and Google helps your images be found.
- Tagging – Although tags don’t matter as much to Google, they still matter. Namely when it comes to your images’ alt tags and title tags. Titles are headlines – your short quips of mental bravado that help the reader find you. Your alt tags are the body of your essay. These are supposed to very descriptive. Tell the user what precisely they will find and consider keywords here. Get creative and allow Google to know what you are reserving on its engine.
- Personalizing – Stock images, despite the onslaught of insults they get, do serve a purpose. But let’s be honest, two white dudes in a suit looking pensively into their computer gets a little boring. Unfortunately, they often feel a little fake. Admit it, those Stepford people don’t resemble anyone that works in your skateboard shop. And because of that, Google lowers the rank of any image you place on your website because it doesn’t reflect your business. It’s all about the UX. Become more transparent with your image search, and it personalizes the experience of your visitors.
There are several other ways to optimize your images for Google but this is a great head start. Also, we ran out of words to add ‘ing’, so we stopped at five. If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them. Comments are open. Enjoy.
Shawn Paul Wood is like a unicorn in the public relations world. With more than 10 years in major market radio as an on-air host and executive producer, and another decade-and-a-half working with advertising and PR agencies, he has developed a rare 360-degree view that has made him an expert on how to mold a brand, tell a story, and write a message that captures an audience’s attention and inspires them to action. Visit his website here: https://www.woodworkscommunications.com/