It goes without saying that as a photographer, you want your work to be appreciated by as many people as possible.
Not only do images have to be high-resolution and clear, but they also need to be the right file size and type to ensure a high-quality viewing experience.
Your photos are your product. Therefore, optimising your images for the web allows you to showcase your product in the best way possible and subsequently entice customers in. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about making your images SEO and web-friendly, so that you’re maximising your work’s potential to the fullest.
Choosing the right image
Choosing relevant images for your blog or site not only makes your site more user-friendly, it can also significantly impact your SEO.
If you’re putting images on a web page with text, such as a blog post, it’s important to ensure that the pictures are related to the text you’re putting them with. This can enhance the user experience and reduce bounce rate, as well as making the page more SEO-friendly.
There’s nothing more irritating than when images and GIFs take ages to load online. Your image file sizes can affect this significantly, so it’s important to make sure your images are the right size for a more user-friendly experience.
If you’re using Adobe Photoshop, there is a ‘save for web’ option that will do this for you. This allows you to reduce file size without sacrificing a great amount of image quality. Alternatively, sites such as picmonkey.com and pixlr.com allow you to reduce your image file size with ease, without the need for Photoshop.
When saving your photos, it’s important to change the file name to something that is relevant to the picture. For example, a photo of a poodle should be saved poodle-dog.jpg; or something along those lines.
This is because search engines cannot ‘see’ images, so they use your file names to try and decipher what your pictures are about. Giving your images appropriate, understandable names rather than img9288.jpg, can increase your site’s relevance and push it up in the search engine results.
Here’s a breakdown of the main file types and the best ways to use them:
JPEG: Can be compressed to a small file size and maintains the high quality. A JPEG is good for most purposes.
PNG: Small file size makes PNG images good for simple, decorative images.
GIFs: Large file size and lower image quality than JPEG and PNG images. Best used for icons, decoration or thumbnails.
People usually scan over captions and text when reading an article or webpage. If you’re just using your website to display your work, it’s a good idea to include captions for your images to improve their SEO potential.
Search engines scan this information to decide the site’s relevance and ranking. However, you should only include captions if they are needed, as too many irrelevant captions and text could actually harm your site’s SEO rather than help it.
These are just a few of the things that you should consider when optimising images for SEO. However, making small changes can make the world of difference to your site and point any potential customers and viewers in your website’s direction!
If you’re looking for more online photography tips and tricks, head over to some of our other guides:
- A photographer’s guide to reverse image search
- Top tips for photographers looking to improve their SEO
- The amateur photographer’s online toolkit