Let Google Know You're Here!
A huge item Google looks for is to optimize website photos properly. There’s also a human side to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for the photos you choose for your website. Here’s a list of what that means:
- Proper file name
- Proper alt tag
- Clear picture
- Legal picture
- Sized correctly
- Appropriate mood for site
- Local pictures
Proper file name
Make sure you rename your photo, especially if it is a stock photo that comes with a number or generic file name. You want your keyword in your page title or blog title, the body copy (no more than 5-7 times of an exact match and preferably in the first paragraph), in the metadata, preferably in the internal or external link, and in the file name and alt tag.
Proper Alt Tag
The original purpose for alt or “alternative tag” was to allow people with visual impairments to surf the internet. Google has adapted the alt tag for optimized website photos because it is an easy way to describe photos with text and Google is an expert at reading and organizing text. The alt tag can be found when adding a new picture to your website and it varies based on your website provider or plugin used.
This may be common sense but you need to have clear pictures for your website. This installs professionalism, trust, and can improve analytics stats such as average time spent on site. Blurry pictures and low quality pictures are unacceptable in today’s internet.
If using stock photography, all pictures must be acquired legally. If you are using Google images or if your interns or employees are grabbing images off of sites like this, immediately remove these from your website. There are companies out there who search for illegal pictures and send out major fines even for small pictures. There are many free, pay-per-picture, and low monthly pay websites. As an alternative, you can also use your own.
For a blog, using the same size pictures will add consistency and professionalism to your website. Use sites such as Webresizer.com, Photoshop, or Gimp (aka free photoshop) to resize your photos. You can use a free screen measuring app to determine the pixels of the height and width of your articles or pages.
Appropriate Mood for Site
Happy smiling people is always a great theme for your site. If your staff or your about pictures are not matching the mood you want when people physically walk into your store, then change them. If you sell food or clothing, make sure it looks delicious and is jumping off the page or clothes should be on a model or on a white background and not wrinkled. Make your pictures look the best they can be. Decide if your site has a friendly, serious, funny, or another tone and match to the rest of your site.
Adding borders to your pictures adds uniformity and a professional look. Try using only 1 color border and match to your color scheme.
Whether you are competing at a national level or locally, using pictures that have recognizable landmarks or people around town can create a huge sense of trust and serve a big advantage over competitors.