One of the main purposes for why a business would want to establish and maintain a strong online presence is because they want to attract consumer attention and create conversions. However, simply setting up and maintaining a website is not enough–a business must create a web content strategy that bears in mind how to establish and improve search engine optimization (SEO). Online content development is generally considered to be the greatest factor in SEO, but there is one particular type of web content that is often overlooked: images.
Many users will type in search queries and request information results, which is where well-written, high-quality web pages, articles, and blog posts come in handy. However, many users will also type in search queries and request image results. Just as is the case with other types of content, users will typically click on the image that they find to be the most attractive and fitting, and this obviously takes them to the website upon which that image is hosted. This translates into the beautiful organic traffic that businesses thrive upon, as it can lead to conversions, shares, and sales.
Following are the most important steps that must be taken in order to ensure image optimization:
- Select the right images by finding ones that are compelling and relevant. Images are just another form of web content, and therefore must be selected with the same care that you create your other web content. Compelling and relevant images attract user attention, let them know that they are in the right place and make them want to know more. This is especially helpful in driving up SEO because the more users click on your links and the more time users spend on your page the more Google recognizes that your content has value and the more your rankings improve.
- Make sure that you have legal permission to use the images. In your quest to find the most compelling and relevant images for your website you may come across some that you do not have legal permission to use, and ignoring this fact can be a very costly mistake as the owner will have grounds for a copyright infringement lawsuit against you. It is far better to pay a small, reasonable fee to use images legally in a manner that is approved by the owner.
- Use keywords wisely as part of your image. Keywords can play a critical part in SEO of any web content, including images. Keyword research can help you to determine which keywords will be most beneficial in attracting your target audience, and working these keywords into your images can give them an added boost in search engine rankings.
- Carefully consider image size. Search engines consider many things when ranking web pages, and one of these things is the speed with which a website page loads. Larger images tend to take longer to load, so while they may be more attractive to users in certain situations they can also adversely affect your SEO.
- Use your images to help break up big blocks of text. Many users will scan a web page before determining whether it is worth it to dig deeper and read more thoroughly. Big blocks of text can be a bit discouraging and can cause the user to back out of the web page and go looking for easier-to-digest content elsewhere. Images can be placed strategically throughout your content in order to break up these big blocks of text and make it look more appealing overall.
- Ensure your written content matches your high-quality, compelling, and relevant images. If a user is attracted to your website by an image, and then is turned off by sub-par written content, this will signal the search engine and affect your overall SEO.
Spending time and effort to ensure that your website is using images in an optimal way can be very well worth it because, with proper image optimization, a business can experience a beneficial surge in SEO improvement.