IMAGE SEARCH IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED

While a lot of energy is being spent trying to figure out how to take advantage of the SEO for discovery there is a much easier search medium that seems to be underutilized: image search. If your images are labels with random numbers and letters and have no descriptions, they probably will never be found on google images. Often time this is overlooked when websites get put together. The designer is under a timetable and the client generally has a hard enough time getting good photos but then adding metadata… yeah right. 

Images are an easy way to show up in organic search. Many advertisers overlook this way to engage. Its fairly easy, and inexpensive, just takes time to resize and enter meta-data. Here are some tips to consider when using images on your website and in different situations. When the proper process is followed your images can improve your organic presence.  We know WordPress and can help you with this type of SEO. 

Quick Reference Sizes

The larger the dimension the greater the chances of getter more search originated traffic.

LinkedIn

• Background image: 1500 px wide by 425 px tall
• Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
• Career cover photo: 974 px wide by 330 px tall
• Banner image: 646 px wide by 220 px tall (minimum)
• Standard logo: 400 px wide by 400 pixels tall (maximum)

Facebook

• Cover photo: 851 px wide by 315 px tall
• Profile image: 180 px wide by 180 px tall
• Highlighted image: 1200 px wide by 717 px tall
• Shared image: 1200 px wide by 630 px tall
• Shared link thumbnail image: 1200 px wide by 627 px tall

Pinterest

• Profile image: 165 px wide by 165 px tall
• Board display: 22 px wide by 150 px tall
• Pin sizes: 236 px widesfadsf

Instagram

• Profile image: 110 px wide by 110 px tall
• Photo size: 1080 px wide by 1080 px tall
• Photo thumbnails: 161 px wide by 161 px tall

Twitter

• Header photo: 1500 px wide by 500 px tall
• Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
• In-stream photo: 440 px wide by 220 px tall

YouTube

• Video uploads: 1280 px wide by 760 px tall
• Channel cover photo: 2560 px wide by 1440 px tall

Tumblr

• Profile image: 128 px wide by 128 px tall
• Image post: 500 px wide by 750 px tall

Google

• Profile image: 250 px wide by 250 px tall
• Cover image: 1080 px wide by 608 px tall
• Shared image (on home stream): 497 px wide by 373 px tall
• Shared image (on feed or your page): 150 px wide by 150 px tall

File Structure

File name : Give your images detailed, informative filenames.Better to have a real descriptive name than a digit file name.  filenames are searchable. Whatever your target keyword is, insert it as part of the filename separated by dashes. For example, “valentine-card-template.jpg” might be one.

File Type : What’s the difference between a JPEG, GIF and PNG – should I use one over another?

•For most ecommerce situations – JPEGs will be your best bet. They provide the best quality and the    smallest file size.

•Never use GIFs for large product images. The file size will be very large and there is no-good  way to reduce it. Use GIFs for thumbnails and decorative images.

•PNGs can be a good alternative to both JPEGs and GIFS. If you are only able to get product photos in PNG format, try using PNG-8 over PNG-24. PNGs excel at simple decorative images because of their extremely small file size.

Image Details

Google recommends that you supplement a picture’s alt tags (which I’ll get to in a moment) with additional information in other tags, such as the title tag. All of this information gives Google a better understanding of the image.

The Alt Tag

Because search engines can’t see images, they rely heavily on the information in the alt tag to help them understand the image.

The alt tag is used as an accessibility tag. It defines what alternative text will be shown in place of an image when the image itself can’t be displayed. Sometimes an image is not shown by error, and sometimes by choice (when a person is using a screen reader, for example).It tell you what the image is about and defines itself to search engines.

Alt text appears onscreen when a device is unable to display the image.

The recommended length for text in the alt tag is no more than 125 characters. So keep the text short, be descriptive and remember to include the same keywords you added to your file name

Don’t embed important text inside images use web fonts instead. 

Thumbnails

Make your thumbnail file sizes as small as possible. It may be worth letting quality slide in favor of a lower file sizes. Remember, the cumulative effect of your thumbnails will have a huge effect on your page loading time.

Vary your alt tag text as to not duplicate text that you would use for the bigger versions of the same image. As a matter fact, make your alt text wildly different. The last thing you want is the thumbnail being indexed instead of the large image. A case could be made to leave out the alt text entirely.

Website Media Rename

If you’re uploading an image to website, the Media page offers a number of fields for adding descriptive information. Use this opportunity to communicate additional information that will help search engines better understand your image.

Add descriptive data when uploading images to a WordPress website.

This information includes:

• Title (maximum of 60 characters)

• Description (maximum of 155 characters)

• Caption (optional)

• Alt tag (maximum of 125 characters)

Depending on your content management system, you may not have these same options. In that case you can look at the raw text version of the page you’re creating and add the alt and title tags yourself.

Image Size

Website speed is a recognized Google search ranking factor, so the speed and responsiveness of your web pages is important. The fewer bytes a browser has to download, the faster the browser can download and deliver your content.

Optimizing images often yields significant performance improvements for your website.

If you’re creating images in Photoshop, use the Save for Web and Devices option. If you’re saving a file as a .jpg (recommended), you can tweak the quality of the image to reduce the file size. Find a good balance between quality and file size.

If you don’t have access to Photoshop or graphic software that allows you to control file size and quality, use an image size shrinker.  Some options include Kraken, Smush.it, JPEGmini, Image Optimizer, Compress Now .

Regardless of your software, always use lossless compression and avoid what’s known as lossy compression. Lossless compression maintains all of your image metadata, and lossy compression usually wipes it out. Use either png or jpg formats.

Peerless Digital Marketing creates integrated web presence strategies. Multi-screen strategies that help businesses engage with potential customers at the right time and place in the online world.  Call Ryan Today 916-450-1335.

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