How to Optimize Visuals

Using images in your blog posts, articles, and advertising is an important aspect of grabbing your audience’s attention and explaining your story with fewer words. Images can speak volumes over text alone. You have only seconds to get their attention; a great image can capture your audience. Here’s how to optimize your visuals.

* Choose the Right Image – No matter how much coding and optimizing you do, if you don’t choose the right image that makes your point then you’re wasting your time. Plus, you want a legal to use image, not one that is taken illegally. Be careful with free image sites.

* Scale Images – How fast your website loads makes a huge difference in whether or not you keep your audience on your site. A too large image can cause serious problems with loading your website. Ensure that you’ve scaled for mobile devices and made everything mobile friendly. Load the images in the size you want them viewed and not larger.

* Reduce File Size of Image – Images that will only be viewed online do not have to be as large as images that you’ll use for printing. You can reduce the file size substantially while not destroying the quality of how it appears online. Test which percentage works best for your needs so that the image still looks good. You can use a tool like PunyPNG to compress your images.

* Name of Image – When you name your image, give it a file name that uses the keywords that you want to use in the article and that also describes the image. This will give you another aspect for search engines to index that has keywords. In other words, don’t name it “image 2” or “imagexyz.” Instead, name it “construction-site-in-Colorado” or something equally descriptive.

* Alt and Title Text of Image – Always fill in this information with the right keywords. You can repeat the keywords you used in the name of the image, but give a real description. When blind people, or anyone else for that matter, hover over the image, the description appears. Blind people hear the description from their readers, and sighted people will see the words float over the image.

* Add Open Graph – This is used for Facebook and sites like Pinterest; it goes in the image tag to the <head> section and allows you to add a link to the image in the coding so that people will be sharing the original image that leads back to your website on social media. Without this, your images may not show up properly in Facebook. You can learn more about Open Graph Protocol here.

* Watermark Your Image – People are going to share your images and they may even try to use them illegally. If you Watermark your images, no matter what they do to them, you’ll be able to know and others will know that it was your image and came from your website. Even if everything else is stripped out of it, people know it came from your site.

* Location of Image – Where you put your images is just as important as which images you decide to use. The image is supposed to advance the story you’re telling your readers, so you want to put it where it makes the most impact. That may be within the blog post or article, or it may be at the intro of the article. You’ll need to make that determination as you publish.

But, often images at the top of an article can be a distraction from the article, so putting it inside after the title and an intro paragraph might be better.

* Add Captions to Your Image – Putting captions on your image is another way to get more text, thus more places for keywords for the search engines to locate on your site. But, it also serves as a way for your reader to identify the image and understand its meaning in terms of the overall story.

Using images in your blogs and on your website is important to help tell the story you want to convey to your readers. They help expand the readers’ minds, get your message across with fewer words, and help evoke a feeling that you want them to feel. But, they can also be useful when it comes to proper SEO.