Using Images To Promote Your Business – How To Get Your Images Found
In my previous post, “Using Images To Promote Your Business – Important Points To Think About” I gave an overview of where to get images. I also talked about how to use them, and how to know who can use them, and for what purpose. I ended that post by introducing the idea of getting your images found by people searching the internet for stuff that you can help them with. That is where I am going to start today. OK?
Winding back for a minute, the content is a summary of what was discussed at the Women in Enterprise & Business (WEB) meeting in June 2017, at The Altisidora pub, Bishop Burton, East Yorkshire. This is not a highly technical post. It is to give you a general understanding of the issues involved, in simple language.
The Other Side Of Image Searches
We can use a reverse image search to look for a specific image. We can also search the internet for a subject and get back only the images related to it. A third of searches are for images. So you will also want to think about how easy it is to find your business and products and services with a great graphic or image. I did a quick search for ‘podcast producer’ in Google and clicked on the images tab. In amongst a set of drab images, fairly close to the top, one of mine stands out which links to the blog post that it was created for. Yippee.
There are 2 aspects to working with (aka optimising) images so they get found.
This is where we make sure we have ‘told’ the search engines all about the image by entering ‘meta data’ about it. Meta Data? This is the information we add about not only an image but also a website, a blog post, a video…
Specifically look out for:
Alt-Tag (text alternative)
Tags / Keywords
Let’s go through these one by one, and use this blog post featured image as an example. The idea is we include relevant keywords (tags) in the metadata so that someone searching for that keyword would see your item in the list of search results. Let’s say the keyword phrase you want to be found for is ‘how to get your images found.’
FileName: we dont want to see something like ‘DSC012654.png’. We want to see something like ‘how to get your images found.png’
Description: ‘how to get your images found in an online search – learn 5 top tips for image optimisation’
Alt-tag: this is used to tell people what the image contains – visually impaired people, for example, and also it does the same for the search engines. ‘how to get your images found’
Tags: how to get your images found, image optimisation, optimising images, getting your images found, getting found in image search
Caption: How to get your images found.
Get the idea?
An important factor is also any words that are with the image. So for a blog post, you will have an optimised featured image, and the text of the blog post will also be similarly optimised. The words surrounding the image also add context, and are a consideration for optimisation and getting found. The 2 together will give the search engines a better level of confidence that the image is a relevant result to display in the search results. Also DON’T optimise the ‘thumbnail’ images. You really don’t want those indexing and findable in search. You want the full sized versions indexing and findable.
Image Size Optimisation
If you search for articles on how to optimise the size of your images then *geek warning* – some of them are very difficult to understand. So I am going to highlight a few simple things you can do to try and make sure they are not SO big that they slooooooow down your website and your visitors leave before they get to see your pretty pictures. Or buy anything off you.
When you are creating your images, or have them created for you, then you must consider the impact of size. We have such clear and beautiful images now, but that comes at a price and the images can be huge. I know I have a list of images that still need work to reduce them. The idea is to ‘compress’ them so they are just about as nice but way smaller in terms of megabytes. Reduce the size without losing quality. Smaller images on your website will use less bandwidth and therefore will load faster. This is particularly important on a mobile device.
Searchers will typically wait around 3 seconds for a website to load and around 5 seconds for a site on a mobile device. Anything longer and they are gone! Unlikely to return.
Image Compression Tools
There are plenty of online tools to compress and size optimise your images. You can achieve a 70% saving with hardly a drop in quality.
[Note: if you are wondering about PNG and JPG and other image formats and why they are different and who actually cares…. then we are also including an overview of those in our next meeting in July when we are talking about creating and protecting your own images.
Resizing An Image
You might need to resize an image say from 1000×600 to 500×300. Then you can use something like SimpleImageResizer.com
If you use WordPress then after you have loaded up your image into your media library, you can make basic edits to the image and it is possible to resize it as well as crop, and keep the ‘aspect ratio’ correct (the dimensions relative to each other).
Alert! Please don’t load up a large image and then select a small size to display – this is more hard work for your web browser, and it will take longer to load the image and resize it as well. It is far better to make a smaller image, as well as provide the option to view a larger more detailed image.
And whilst it is lovely having nice big decorative images and elements on your website, such as background images, borders and so forth, they can quickly kill your website if they are not properly optimised.
Well that is about it for now on this topic. I feel like I have written enough.
However, for some fantastic, easy to understand information on all of this stuff, here is a great blog post with video from Moz.com – one of the BEST resources on the internet regarding SEO. Their Whiteboard Friday videos are fantastic.
I have done an image audit on my websites and have a list of images to optimise better, which I will be pecking my way through in small chunks of time. If I wait for a massive block of time to do this I know it will never get done. It’s better to do one here and there to make slower but steady step by step improvements.
What ‘state’ are your images in?
Which ones would be great to optimise so your content gets found in an image search, encouraging click-thrus back to your content.