How to Optimize Your Visuals

optimize your visualsUsing images in your blog posts, articles, and advertising is an important aspect of grabbing your audience’s attention and explaining your story with fewer words. Images can speak volumes over text alone, and if done correctly, they can even be optimized for SEO. You have only seconds to get their attention, so a great image can capture your audience AND get get your article found. Here’s how to optimize your visuals.

Tips to Optimize Your Visuals

Choose the Right Image – No matter how much coding you use or how much optimizing you do, if you don’t choose the right image that makes your point then you’re wasting your time. Choose an image that communicates your end message.  Also be careful that the image you choose is legal.  Be cautious of free sites, as those don’t always provide legal images .

Scale Images – How fast your website loads makes a huge difference in whether or not you keep your audience on your site. An image that is too large can cause serious problems with loading your website. Ensure that you’ve scaled for mobile devices and made everything mobile friendly. Load the images in the size you want them viewed, and not larger.

Reduce File Size of Image – Images that will only be viewed online do not have to be as large as images that you’ll use for printing, so you can reduce the file size substantially while not destroying the quality of how it appears. Test which percentage works best for your needs yet still looks good. You can use a tool like PunyPNG to compress your images if necessary.

Name of Image Carefully – When you name your image, give it a file name that uses a keyword that you want to use in the article and describes the image. This will give you another aspect for search engines to index that has keywords.

Alt and Title Text of Image – Always fill in this information with the right keywords. You can repeat the keywords you used in the name of the image, but give a real description. When some who cannot actually see the image hovers over it, the description appears, which means that people who cannot see but have assistive devices will actually hear the description from their readers, while people who can see the actual image will see the words float over the image.  When you optimize your visuals, sometimes what is unseen is as important as what is seen.

Add Open Graph – This is used for social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest; it goes in the image tag and allows you to add a link to the image in the coding so that people will be sharing the original image that leads back to your website on social media. Without this, your images may not show up properly in Facebook or other social media. To learn more about Open Graph Protocol, click here.

Watermark Your Image – People are going to share your images and they may even try to use them illegally. If you Watermark your images, no matter what they do to them, you’ll be able to know and others will know that it was your image and came from your website. Even if everything else is stripped out of it, a watermark will let people know it came from your site.

Location of Image – Where you put your images is just as important as which images you decide to use. The image is supposed to advance the story you’re telling your readers, so you want to put it where it makes the most impact for your message. That may be somewhere in the middle of the blog post or article, or it may be at the intro of the article. You’ll need to make that determination as you publish.

Add Captions to Your Image – Putting captions on your image is another way to get more text, thus more keywords for the search engines to locate on your site. But, it can also serve as another way for your reader to identify the image and understand its meaning in terms of the overall story.

Using images in your blogs and on your website is important to help tell the story you want to convey to your readers. They help expand the readers’ minds, get your message across with fewer words, and help evoke a feeling that you want them to feel. But, equally importantly, if you optimize your visuals, they can also be useful when it comes to proper SEO in order for you to get FOUND!

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