The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings true in web design.  Whether you are posting content to a page on your website or writing a blog article, images play a huge role in capturing the reader’s attention. Using images that speak to your content will help keep a reader engaged.

But wait…. don’t upload your image to WordPress just yet! Before you add images to your blog or website, here are 3 easy tips that will help with your page speed while also improving your SEO.

1. Resize your photos.

Nowadays, even the most basic camera or phone will take great quality, high resolution photos.  High res photos are great for printing but unnecessary for the web.  High quality photos take time to load and can slow down the speed of your website.  Reducing the size of your photo before you upload it to your website will save you time during the upload and while also saving space on in your hosting account.  What size should you reduce your photos to?  Well, that depends on your website layout.  If you are displaying the photo full width, I would suggest starting with 2000px wide.  If you are using the photo as a product image or featured image on your blog post, a much smaller size will be needed (try 800px wide).

2. Change the file name.

Photos on your website can be indexed by the search engines just like your text.  The problem is, Google doesn’t know what your image is unless you give it a title and some meta tags.  Before you upload your photo titled IMG201.jpg, change the name of that file to include some keywords that would describe the photo (and also correlate with your page/post).  I like to use dashes to separate the keywords rather than spaces.  For example, the photo I have used here is titled “3-Tips-Optimize-Website-Images.jpg.”

3. Add ALT text.

The alt text is used by screen readers for blind and visually impaired people to tell them what is on the image. In addition to the accessibility benefit, there are also SEO benefits for using the alt text.  After uploading your photo in WordPress, there is a blank for ALT text.  Don’t skip this step; add in a few keywords that describe the photo.  I usually use the same phrase as I used for the file name to keep things consistent.  Warning: don’t over use keywords here. That could get you in more trouble than it will help you.

When it comes to finding images for your website, your own original photos are always the best.  If you don’t have your own photos to add, I suggest purchasing a stock image.  Tip: while it is tempting to use a photo you find in Google images, most of these photos are protected by copyright law. You can do an advanced image search in Google and  filter “usage rights” to “free to use or share.”

 

Author: Jennifer Sanderson

I take the frustration out of managing your WordPress website so you can focus on growing your business. My unique approach to website maintenance means you get dedicated one-on-one attention to your website without the cost of a full time employee. Learn More About the Blue Duck Difference