Visuals are always an important aspect of any piece of written content, whether online or offline. Aside from the aesthetic value it brings, images also make content more interesting and comprehensible. Research published by 3M backed this assumption by reporting that visual aid improves learning up to a whopping 400%.
In the online world, adding images is one of the easiest ways to enhance a published blog or article. Moreover, it is also an effective way to increase the chances of getting a high search engine ranking. However, it is also possible not to see any positive results if you are clueless about the best practices of using images as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool. Taking note of the following basic tips can help you maximize the benefits of adding pictures alongside your online content:
Choose relevant pictures of high-quality.
You want to complement the text, so make sure that the pictures you will add will make it more valuable for the readers. To help you find the most appropriate image, be ready to provide adequate answers to the following questions. Are your images relevant to the content? What is the purpose of your image? Does it pique the interest of your target audience? Does it make the content a lot easier to understand? The appearance of your images highly matters as well so it is always a must to choose clear and high-quality pictures. Irrelevant and blurred images reflect a firm’s adherence to quality and negatively affect a brand’s reputation. Another important thing to remember is to only use images that will not put your website at risk for copyright complaints. You can choose to take your own pictures and upload or search on websites that offer good and royalty-free stock photos such as PublicDomain Pictures and Wikimedia Commons.
Use appropriate size, file type, and quantity.
Proper use of visuals in the online landscape is a way to greatly improve the UX or user experience of your website. If you want your visitors to stay and come back, provide an efficient and fast-loading website. One way to do this is by using images of good resolution, appropriate size, and right file type. High-resolution images may look stunning but it usually comes with large file sizes that can slow a page down. The solution is by resizing the images to strike the right balance between resolution and file size. You can resize images with programs such as Photoshop or Sketch. Free online tools are likewise available such as Pixlr and Canva. In terms of file type, web images are usually in a JPEG and PNG format. To make it easier, many photo application tools come with a feature that allows users to save for the web.
On the other hand, you will find a number of recommendations about the ideal number of images per particular word count. A better way to settle this is by taking into consideration how the images can support the purpose of your website and deliver what your target readers want to see. If your business is selling something, you want to help readers make a good decision by presenting your product at all angles. Meanwhile, if your industry is offering services such as bookkeeping or editing, too many images may not be necessary.
Optimize images with tags and keywords.
The best SEO practices in SEO always emphasize the use of tags and keywords. Thus, if you want people to discover your website through the images you utilize, it is essential to utilize keywords. Replace default files names of images with a keyword that best represents what is shown in the image. The blogging platform, WordPress, has a feature called alternative texts which allows bloggers to input an appropriate alt tag for an image. The texts you use can improve your chance of getting a high SERP (search engine results page).
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