5 Ways to Optimize Photos to Increase Site Traffic

By now you know that when it comes to bringing in quality traffic to your website, words matter. (Hooray for the copywriter!) From titles to tags and text, SEO keyword phrases tell search engine algorithms who you are, and then bring in your target visitors.

Delphic blogger Judy previously shared why photos can improve conversion rates. The visual data in the photo complements your text and makes your page more scannable and shareable (think of the photo previews showcased on Facebook, Pinterest & Google+!). But there’s also some important information happening behind the scenes and never seen by your viewer.

If you’re uploading photos with IMG_XXX file names, you’re losing valuable search, ranking and traffic opportunities.

Is this a photo of your awesome Zen workspace, or a traffic driver for searchers looking to hack their own Mac set-up?

Mac office desktop

Here are 5 simple ways to optimize your site imagery to bring in qualified visitors:

  1. Keyword image names — use short names that include key search terms; separate words with dashes, but never underscores or spaces
  2. Alt Tags — a short description of the photo
  3. Related keywords in the text surrounding your photo
  4. Long descriptions that reinforce the alt tag — a secondary measure for algorithms to identify your photo
  5. Use standard formats — .jpeg, .png, and the very trendy .gif are the most widely accepted and easily shared image formats

And here’s a bonus tip: consider load time. Waiting is the enemy of web visitors, so keep file sizes manageable. Google also factors in site speed, so leap ahead of your competitors by compressing those large images. Try using one of these three optimizers to shrink file sizes.

From product descriptions to travel destinations, optimized photos work harder for your site and increase the value of your site’s imagery as both a communication tool and traffic generator.
Katie Sweeney is a Philadelphia-based copywriter who enjoys using language to create pleasurable web experiences. Follow her on Twitter at @k8iedid.

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