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Marketing

Use image optimisation to boost your SEO

02/05/2019
By Lilian Sue
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Effective seo is the first step to customers finding you online but, for retailers, optimising images can drive online marketing one step further. LILIAN SUE explains how to get your images ranking higher.

When it comes to optimising a website, much focus is on creating content. Incorporating effective page titles and descriptions for each webpage, inserting the proper keywords – the search terms that customers will be using – into the content and linking pages to boost click-through rates are all key.

Brainstorming sessions might centre on how to create effective content, such as product descriptions and which page titles will result in increased web traffic, but one crucial aspect of SEO that can get overlooked is image optimisation.

For retailers, high-quality product images are everything. Optimising these images is one of the best ways to position a business so customers will find it.

Image optimisation is crucial

Image searches – When images are properly formatted and have relevant titles, they have a good chance of showing up in Google image searches and other search engines.

The end goal is to increase the visibility of a retailer’s brand and boost traffic to its website by having that site’s images appear more frequently in Google image searches.

Optimising a library of images could make significant differences to a business’s monthly traffic.

"When images are properly formatted and have relevant titles, they have a good chance of showing up in Google image searches."

Site speed – Images can be much larger in size than the sum total of written content or page-design code. The more space images require, the more they can interfere with how quickly a website loads.

If a prospective customer visits a website only to discover that it takes a long time to load, there’s a good chance that visitor will leave… and they won’t be back.

Loading issues – If product images aren’t loading properly, prospective customers might see blank spots where images are supposed to be.

If captions that describe the images are included, customers will be able to know what the image represents, rather than missing out on the experience entirely.

Use free software

TinyPNG and Compressor.io are free image-optimisation tools available online that both use smart compression to make images smaller.

Batch upload your files and the software will process each photo while preserving the original image quality.

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The benefit is that you won’t have to worry about ruining your product shots with heavy compression.

Other ways to optimise

Rename those images – image filenames will represent how each image is indexed online and having a technical title like IMG4981.jpg won’t help prospective customers find a brand.

Giving images a descriptive title that explains what it is probably won’t help customers directly, as images filenames aren’t displayed on page, but it will make it easier for search engines to find and display these images.

Include tags – When uploading product images to a website, be sure to include tags that describe objects in the photo, such as the brand. style or colour of a pair of glasses.

Tags placed on images will help increase search results based on the keywords customers are likely to use.

Create a caption – Captions, or alt descriptions, are what will appear if an image is unable to load. Captions are also used to describe photos for Google’s search index so a good product description will help retailers appear higher in search results than if no caption is provided.

Host images properly – Image hosting services such as Imgur may seem like a good idea for retailers looking to avoid overloading the bandwidth on their own websites by hosting their images elsewhere; however, retailers should be wary of relying on third-party image hosting as images may be deleted or blocked when the hosting service is overwhelmed by high traffic.

Integrate social media – Integrating high-quality product images onto a store’s social media pages can be as simple as adding social media share buttons to the company’s website.

This can be an effective way to convert casual visitors into regulars.

Take note of the tactics and tools listed here.

Optimising images will help a company’s website to rank higher in search results, to convert more traffic and potentially to gain more sales.

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