Images can be used as a hugely effective sales tool when thinking about digital marketing. But there are many key points you do need to think about to ensure that an image will help increase your traffic and not do the opposite. Here are my top tips for optimising images using best practices for increasing website traffic.
Firstly, all images need to be as compressed as possible. This means reducing the file size to be as small as possible which helps the site speed because there’s less data to load. This will also help reduce the bounce rate on the website, as the quicker the site loads, the longer a user will stay on your website. You can do this manually by uploading the image files to a free website like TinyPNG. A good WordPress plugin to help with reducing the file size is WP Smush, but make sure you select the tickbox which says ‘ensure lazy loading’ to improve website speed further.
You also need to ensure the images are resized to fit where the images are going to sit. This also helps increase the speed of your website because the resizing doesn’t need to happen as the site is loading. A good free tool to resize images is BIRME.
Try to use unique, original imagery where possible. You are more likely to stand out in the SERPs (search engine results page), as users will not have seen the image before. This then leads onto them being more likely to click on your image, which will help increase traffic as well as rankings. This also crosses over with social, as this image can then be used across social media platforms to help with increased engagement.
Infographics are also a good tool to make you stand out. An infographic is more likely to be picked up by others, meaning you will get more awareness from external sources linking back or using your image as a source. Just ensure that you brand the infographic, so that anyone who sees it, knows it was made by you.
Ensure you add alt text to all of your images, using a mixture of relevant target keywords and a brief description of what the image contains. This helps Google read exactly what the image is of, as Google cannot physically see images, which in turn, will help you rank better in the SERPs with your target keywords.
Although this one may be obvious, you must ensure that the images are of good quality, otherwise, they will be discarded by a user. A poor image will not encourage people to explore further, and they’re more likely to end up searching through a competitor’s website instead, which is the last thing you want!