Four Important Things to Know About Using Photos on Your Website

Posted on Posted in Effective websites

1.  Using photos or images on your website is important to break up long paragraphs of text. Visitors are turned off by too much text.  They are scanning your site to see if your company offers the services or products they need/want.

Most of these visitors are in a somewhat hyperactive state.  They want information and they want it fast. If your website looks too wordy, they will move on to another website.

Use images/photos to break up the text into bite-sized pieces.  Using an appropriate image often reinforces the message communicated in the text.

2.  There are lots of images/photos available on the internet by searching Google images.  In Google images, click on Tools and choose Usage Rights.  You can use any photo labeled as ‘For non-commercial reuse.’   Free stock photos are also available on Pixabay as well as other such sites.

Using Photos on WebsitesAn original photo might be even better.  We carry cameras in our pockets so pull out that cell phone and set up a photo shoot to get the specific look you want.

3.  Choosing the correct image size to upload is very important.  Photos come in different resolutions.  High-resolution photos are very large files.  These high-resolution photos are important for print products to reproduce the best crisp and non-pixelated photos.  The computer screen, however, is limited in resolution.  As such, a high-resolution photo will not be seen as any more clear by the viewer than a lower resolution photo.

If you are using large photo files (high resolution) on your website, the images have to load when the website is being accessed.  This results in a slow load time.  We have all had the experience of becoming exacerbated with a slow loading website.  The search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) algorithms for choosing which sites to show to searchers give a negative score to slow loading websites.

You can test the page load speed for your website for both mobile and desktop visitors using this free Google tool. If the results are Poor, you will see suggestions on how to rectify the issue.


4.  Understand that the search engines crawlers do not see photos on your website.  They see code that is associated with text.  To make your photos viewable to these search engine crawlers and improve your website rankings in search engines, there are a few things you or your website developer/designer must do.  The first is to make sure that the photo file name when uploaded is SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.  Do not upload photo files with names such as image125.jpg.  Rename that photo file to what the photo is about and use keywords appropriate for your business before uploading it to the website.  The second is to make sure that the back-end of your website has ‘alt-text’ identified for the photo.  This alt-text should also describe the photo contents using appropriate keywords because the alt-text is what the search engines will recognize.

Using photos are great additions to your website.  Use them to break up long paragraphs of text and whenever possible make them personalized.  Save the photos with keyword specific file names and in low resolution so as to not slow your site’s load time. Make sure to have good alt-text descriptions behind the scenes in your website.

Now, go unleash your inner photographer.

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