How to Optimize Images for Your Business Website

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – In the past, articles we have posted on the topic of Web design emphasize the importance of using photos to contribute to the success of your website. In addition to the basic idea of simply adding photos, this article will discuss four of the most important tips for optimizing images for your business website.

Meaningful File Names: Search engines can “read” the filenames of images, even if they are not directly displayed on the website itself. Therefore, if you have a photograph of a bicycle for example, and the filename is something descriptive such as “2013-Mountain-Bike.jpg”, the search engines will know to pair that image (and your site) with relevant search queries from users. On the other hand, a general name such as “img54321.jpg” will not be helpful in generating search traffic.

Size/Resolution: Load times of websites are a major factor not only in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but also in terms of usability and functionality from the users’ perspective. When loading a photo onto your website, it is often not necessary to include a “print-ready” resolution since it increases the file size of your website. Photos with a resolution of 72 to 96 dpi are typically sufficient for website use.

Alt Text: In the underlying code of a web page, developers can include text to accompany an image that most of the time will not be displayed on the page itself. This is referred to as “Alt text”, and its purpose is to be a placeholder for the image should the image fail to load for any reason. Instead of a blank area on the page, this text will be displayed so that the user at least as an idea of what should be displayed there. In addition to this benefit, this text can also be read by search engines, and increases the overall SEO of the website.

Captions: Each image should have a descriptive caption displayed below or to the side of it, with essential information that both your website visitors and the search engines can read. These should be separate from the image itself for optimum success. In other words, text that is included in an image itself cannot be read by search engines, and has no SEO benefit.

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