If you want to find success in online sales, you know the images on your site have to look good. Given that 63 percent of consumers say good images are more important than product descriptions, making sure all of your product photos are clear, correctly sized and perfectly composed is key to helping customers feel confident in their purchases. But if you want more people to see the images on your site, you need to take some additional steps on the back end to optimize them for SEO and site usability. Here are three tips for optimizing images.
1. Use descriptive file names
It’s easy to get a product photo from a manufacturer, throw it on your site with whatever the given file name is and not think about it again — but it’s important to take the extra time to give it a descriptive file name with keywords. Search engines like Google look for keywords within your file names and will reward you for strong ones by ranking your content higher in search results.
Let’s say you’re featuring this Doppler LED tree lamp from Adesso on your site.
What does a good file name look like? Definitely not IMG_0009.jpg and definitely not lamp-pic.jpg. Those do nothing to describe what’s in the photo. A strong file name would be something like Adesso-Doppler-LED-tree-lamp.jpg. Include any keywords that you can, always separating them with hyphens.
2. Always include strong alt-tags
Alt-tags are short descriptions you write on the back end to accompany each image. Strong alt-tags are great for SEO since Google uses them to understand the content of your image. They’re also important to include for visually impaired consumers who rely on them to describe what a photo contains.
Your alt-tags can be the same as or similar to your file names, as long as those are strong and clearly describe what's in the photo. You can also add the product's model or serial number, since some people might search using these.
If you haven't been taking advantage of alt-tags, making a habit of it will likely give your images a jump in search results. Since 60 percent of consumers are more likely to consider a business whose images appear in local search results, making sure that your photos are optimized for SEO is a key step to establishing credibility with online customers.
3. Resize images properly
The larger and more hi-res the photo, the better, right? Not quite. A photo that's too large can kill your page loading time, driving visitors away from your site. One study showed that 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less and 52 percent of online shoppers say quick site loading is important to their loyalty. Not only does slow loading time make your site less usable, but it also gives your SEO a hit since Google's algorithm takes into account page loading times.
Use your best judgement on image quality — product photos should never look pixely or too small. If you want to play around with testing your page loading times with different image sizes, Google offers this handy PageSpeed Insights tool. You can also use tools like ImageOptim, or sites like www.jpegmini.com or www.kraken.io to compress your images.
Taking all of these steps will ultimately make your site more user-friendly and help consumers easily find your great photos. How do you go about posting images to your site? Let us know in the comments!