Images are extremely important to your website. Not only do they break up blocks of text but they also convey a message or emotion that words cannot. However, using images effectively on your website can be troublesome, especially if you don’t have an understanding about licensing or file types or sizes. Don’t fret! I’m here to give you a detailed explanation. Let’s get started!
Why Should I Care About Using Images Effectively On My Website?
Here are three reasons why:
- Proper image use improves your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Images makes a website appear professional.
- You can convey directions, instructions, or emotions through an image than you could blocks of text.
How Using Images Effectively Improves Your Site’s SEO Rankings
The first way of proper image usage on your websites to improve your SEO is by using small file sizes or compressed file types.
You may have the greatest photo of all time but if you use the wrong file type or upload a huge version to your website it’s going to slow it down. And a slow website destroys your rankings. Finally, visitors give up on slow-loading websites.
So how can you avoid this? By using web-friendly file formats. The most popular on is JPEG. This file format compresses your image which reduces the file size. Thus, your image loads quickly. In addition, this format provides good image quality.
Now there is a rising new image web-friendly format that you should consider: WebP. Developed by Google, it’s an alternative to JPEG. I currently use WebP images on my web app Where Should I Go Eat? and the file sizes are smaller than JPEG but the images still look good.
How Images Make A Website Appear Professional
Images make your website appear sleek. Having blocks is text is required but it can appear boring to some visitors, especially if the text blocks are large.
Now if you’re writing a short post, between 300 to 500 words, then having one image at the beginning of the article is fine. However, once you get to the 1000+ word territory, you need at least one image in the middle to break up the monotony.
Yet, you shouldn’t use any random image. You want to use one that’s related to your keyword and/or article. While it’s better for your SEO rankings to use a custom image, it’s fine to use free-to-use images from websites like Pexels and Unsplash.
How Images Explain Directions Or Instructions Better Than Text
Text works great to convey directions for recipes but images can offer better explanations for certain visitors. This is especially true for repair and or similar how-to guides.
In this instance, using custom images is key because it may be difficult to find a generic image to match your directions. You can manipulate your images using a image program. I highly recommend (and constantly use) GIMP.
Are There Any Programs To Make Using Images Effectively Easier For Me?
Yep! I already discussed using GIMP which is great to edit and/or manipulate your images. You can use that program to export your images into other file formats. And you can use GIMP to resize images to reduce their file size.
If you use WordPress to build your website you can use the ShortPixel plugin to compress and optimize your images. Hence, this plugin makes your website load faster. You can also look into using a Lazy Loading plugin which only loads your images when the visitor scrolls down on your website.
Finally, you can look into buying a Content Delivery Network (CDN) package. You can read this article from Cloudflare to learn more about CDNs. While there are free versions out there, you will probably blow through their data allowance quickly. If you’re running a business or a large website the cost of a CDN is minuscule to the benefits you’ll derive from it.
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