Optimizing images for the web is extremely important. A beautiful image, well-optimized and compressed, makes your site pleasant for users and fast in the eyes of Google and it is also a Google ranking factor.
In this guide, I will try to give you some simple tips on how to optimize images for your website, whether you have a classic static site of a few pages, an eCommerce or a WordPress blog.
USE IMAGES IN EVERY TEXTUAL CONTENT
A picture is worth a thousand words, says a well-known proverb. A single image is enough to help you understand and remember a complex concept better, or to summarize an idea or a thought: think only of the success of certain infographics.
And then, let’s face it: who would be able, on the web, to read a long article in the style of “wall of text” without some images inside? Therefore my advice is to insert at least one image in each of your articles or posts. And if the piece is very long, consider inserting more than one.
WARNING: as far as possible, avoid using stock images already used anywhere on the web, as it seems that Google does not like this practice very much.
FREE IMAGES, WHERE TO FIND AND DOWNLOAD THEM
A good solution can be to use photos and images created with your camera on your website/blog (nowadays a smartphone is enough) and then arranged with a photo editing program.
However, if you don’t have time/way to create them, there are various sites where you can download free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics so of them are the following:
Or you can use some free tools to create your images online and download them. I’m using two tools for this purpose one is Canva and the second is Snappa. Both are an amazing tool and have free and paid versions.
I’m using the Paid Version of Canva you can use the free version to create a lot of beautiful images for free.
GIVE IT AN SEO FRIENDLY NAME
Typically images (or photographs were taken with a smartphone or downloaded from any website) have absurd names by default, made from a meaningless combination of letters and numbers (type DSC1234.jpg,download.jpg, etc ).
I advise you to change that name with something more intuitive for a search engine, or a concise description of the content of the image with the most relevant keywords inside (type keyword-descriptive.jpg ). This way Google will understand your image intent.
ENTER THE ALT ATTRIBUTE (AND POSSIBLY THE TITLE)
Within the IMG SRC tag, the ALT attribute provides an alternative text to the image when, for whatever reason, it cannot be displayed: it can be useful for those (for example) using text browsers.
Therefore it is good to always use this attribute, and I would advise you to also add the TITLE, especially if we think that the user can position the mouse pointer on the image, in most browsers, if the mouse pointer it is placed on an image with the TITLE attribute correctly set, a tooltip is shown superimposed, which is a window with a comic type that shows the textual content inserted in the TITLE.
According to Neil Patel, the captions placed below the images are read on average 300% more than the main content of the page (according to Poynter Research only 16% more, but it is still an interesting percentage).
In practice, the caption affects the user’s eye at least as much as an H2: therefore it tries to use them under all the images you insert in your articles, also to give search engines other useful information besides the ALT tag and the TITLE.
COMPRESS THE IMAGES
A typical mistake made by novice webmasters is that of using on their site images of enormous weight, which causes important slowdowns in the downloading of website pages.
Fortunately, there are many free tools to compress every type of image in just a few seconds, keeping the quality unchanged: I use the tinypng.com sites (to compress images in any format or you can use their WordPress Plugin.
But I will suggest you to optimize the images before uploading them to your website. That you can do better image compression.
USE RESPONSIVE IMAGES
Mobile traffic has long since outgrown desktop traffic, and it is therefore virtually mandatory to have a responsive site.
This means that even the images on your website must adapt dynamically to the width of the device in which they are displayed: obviously, WordPress has a lot of themes and plugins that automate the procedure, but if you had a site developed with other technologies you can do reliance on this excellent guide (which explains in detail the use of the srcset attribute ).
INSERT THE IMAGES IN A SITEMAP
If you want to increase the likelihood that your website’s images will be returned in Google Images search results, you can follow the directions in this Google guide.
A wise use of images improves the traffic of your website, the user experience and, consequently, the conversions: it is therefore not a theme that can interest only webmasters or graphic designers.
So I hope you liked this information if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will try my best to answer your question.
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