There are a myriad of search-engine optimization tactics that you can use to make your website rise to the top of users' search results. Many of the tactics require advanced knowledge of web design and coding. However, even if you're not an Internet guru, there are a few simple ways you can optimize the images on your site to improve the search rankings for your small business.
Include Alt Tags
Including alt tags in the image links on your website is a simple and effective way to boost the traffic you receive from search engines. Essentially, tags tell search engines what your pictures depict. When users type in related keywords on search engines, your pictures will be much more likely to appear at the top of their search results.
Alt tags were originally coded to assist blind Internet users. When a blind user visits your website with a screen reader, the alt tags are automatically read aloud so that the user knows what your pictures depict without seeing them. However, search engines now use alt tags to assist in properly categorizing images.
You don't need to be a coding wizard to create alt tags. Simply access the HTML layout of one of your webpages. You'll notice that all of the pictures on the page appear between brackets that begin with the tag "img" followed by the URL of the image. To add an alt tag to an image, simply paste the following text after the image URL: alt="image description". Replace the words "image description" with a short but detailed description of the image. Search engines will then use your description to categorize your picture and display it to users who are searching for related keywords.
Include Title Tags
Title tags are another simple way to make your pictures appear higher in search rankings. They work the same way that alt tags do, except they consist of a brief title for your pictures rather than a detailed description. To add title tags to your images, simply paste the following text after each alt tag: title="image title". Replace the words "image title" with a relevant title that describes each picture.
Combined with alt tags, title tags will do wonders when it comes to optimizing your web images for search engines. Users who are using search engines to find images will be much more likely to come across your pictures and click through to your website.
Minimize File Sizes
The amount of time it takes your website to load is extremely important when it comes to retaining users. In fact, computer scientist Harry Shum's research suggests that a mere 250 milliseconds can make or break a website. If your competitors' sites load 250 milliseconds faster than yours, users will be much more likely to frequent your competitors' sites in the future.
Minimizing the file sizes of your images is an easy way to decrease the amount of time it takes your website to load. Before you upload a picture to your website, use an image compressor to reduce the file size as much as possible. You don't want to compress your images so much that they appear blurry or pixelated—that will make your site look unprofessional. Use your compression software to find a happy medium where your images are crisp and clear without being unnecessarily large.
Not only will minimizing the file sizes of your images improve your site's load time, it will also help maximize the search ranking of your site. Google and other search engines have begun penalizing sites with slow load times. Minimizing your site's load time will help it rise to the top of search-engine results when users type in relevant keywords.