Every business today needs a website as part of its strategy, whether to disseminate information internally, close sales, attract the public, or carry out marketing campaigns. One of the most important elements in building a website, which is still often forgotten, is optimizing images for the web.
Hardly a website that has just text and icons on its interface. To attract the public, facilitate identification, illustrate content, and guide the user’s gaze, it is essential to use images. However, if you don’t know how to add these visuals, they can negatively impact your website’s loading speed, which harms the user experience.
An optimized website works better on more machines, is responsive, and loads faster. And images are one of the factors that most think about this optimization. Furthermore, they also play an important role in your SEO work, affecting the page’s chances of discovery.
To help with this, here are some image optimization tips for the web that you should implement right away. Check out.
1. Name the files
Search engines are not yet able to observe and understand an image in the same way as humans. At least not with complete accuracy. Therefore, to be able to identify the content of a photo, it evaluates other factors, such as the file name or other associated texts.
This means that to improve your page’s SEO, you need to pay attention to the naming of the image files used on your website. Ideally, these names should be informative and complete, but still effective, without including too many unnecessary terms. A name that is too long can also affect the site’s performance.
For example, when creating a new image file, it usually comes with a standardized name, such as “IMG001”. Before putting it on your website, change the file name to something more descriptive. For example “product-name”. This way, search engines can also more easily identify your content.
2. Invest in Alt Tags
Sometimes the best way to describe an image is in a longer sentence, which is not suitable for file naming. In this case, your next feature is Alt Tags. They are text-shaped markers that you can add to an image file. So, when a user does their search, they can also find the terms in the Alt Tags.
Let’s say you have an image named “red car” on your website, but you want to describe the image in more detail. You can create Alt Tags with terms such as “red car driving on the road”, and mention the model, and size, among other characteristics of the object and the surrounding environment.
All of this is typically done by the website creation platform. The image’s main keyword must be also included in the Alt Tag.
3. Match the image to the correct content
In addition to evaluating the image itself, its title, and Alt Tags, search engines also take into account the context in which it is inserted. Therefore, it correlates all terms with other words in the page text, to find out if the image is connected to the content.
If the terms used in the Alt Tag and file name are not consistent with the content of the page, the page may lose some positions in search results. And even if the user reaches the site, it may not be the audience you want to attract.
Another interesting point is that the image has a stronger correlation with the surrounding content. That is, you must use keywords related to the title and Alt Tag of the image within the closest text.
4. Choose the appropriate setting and size
If you intend to use any image assets on your website, then it is important that they are of good quality and match the responsive characteristics. Very small images are distorted on larger screens, which greatly affects the user experience. However, many also make the mistake of going to the other extreme, using images with much higher definitions than necessary.
The image may even be clearer and more detailed, but this also makes the page heavier. Therefore, it takes longer to load, which is one of the main factors in the quality of the user experience.
It is more efficient to use images with adequate definition, which are aligned with the other elements on the website. In the end, the extra detail is hardly visible. Even more so on cell phones.
5. Perform image compression
Another possible path to image optimization is through compressing your data. You can run the file through compression software, which reduces the amount of redundancy in the file’s code. And with fewer digits in the code, it is lighter and easier to carry.
Remember to test the image quality within the website after compression, as, depending on the method used, this can affect the final result. There are also cases where the form of compression does not interact well with the platform itself, which reduces image quality.
6. Choose the ideal format
There are several file formats for images, each following its logic in its code. In everyday life, most people don’t notice the difference between one or the other, but this becomes a very important factor when placing an image on your website.
The three most common formats recommended are GIF, PNG, and JPG, as they are more compatible with a large number of tools and are not very heavy. You can check on your platform which format is recommended to optimize your performance.
With these tips, optimizing images on your website is not difficult. All it takes is a little planning and guidance to improve the quality of the images used, both for your SEO work and for greater efficiency on your website.
Do you have any other tips on how to optimize images for the web or other improvements? Tell us in the comments below!