It’s all to easy too upload your images quickly and forget about them. However, as with all things digital, with a little more effort and some pre-determined info we can get our images to work a great deal harder for us.
Having a process for optimising all your web-bound building product images properly will pay dividends, in our search marketing efforts, in the long run.
This then is our easy to follow, step by step guide to ensuring your images are being optimised for search.
Step 1 – Pick and choose best images.
Seems pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised how many ‘ohh, that’ll do’ type images we find. Make sure your images are clear and show the product and the application. Think about what your audience is going to want to see. Include detailed shots, shots from ‘before’ as well as the overall finished project.
Step 2 – Are your Images as good as they can be?
Do make any tweaks to the image quality and size. Some good images can look a bit ‘dull’, so give them a little touch up in Photoshop. Amending the brightness or contrast of the image. Make sure images are the right size for your site, images that are too big may take ages to load, and remember to be clear about what size your images need to be for the part of the site you are uploading it to – again obvious but so often over-looked.
Tip: Everyone knows when you’ve added a blue sky – it looks fake. Resist the temptation – shoot the picture again.
Step 3 – Renaming images
This is really step 1 to optimising your images for search engines. Your images should have a name that is product specific or specific to a project if it is prestigious enough. The naming convention should always be in lower case and a dash (-) should be used to split out each word, this way Google can identify the different words.
Step 4 – Upload to your CMS
All CMS’s are different but usually when uploading an image you can just drag and drop…nice and easy.
Tip: If your content management system doesn’t let you upload images easily you’ll be wasting valuable time. Look to upgrade your website at the next available opportunity.
Step 5 – Include an Alt tag – Alternative text.
Alt tags are typically intended for users who have turned images off in their browsers. But also, Google reads this information to detect what the image is about. What’s the difference between image alt text and the image title I hear ya’say…all explained here
This text should include your core product key words – think about what your audiences might be searching for in Google… Watch this 3 minute video by Matt Cutts of Google.
Step 6 – Include an image description
As above – with further detail, include any detailed info that makes the project and image stand out – this will also help certain browsers show users what the image is exactly by displaying when the user hovers over it.
Step 7 – Ensure they sit well online
Once your images are uploaded make sure they sit well within the web page or blog post or case study. Your images could be fully optimised with the correct tags and text, but if they don’t look good on your site or if they are out of position your users experience will not be as good as you’d hope.
Step 8 – One week after posting ensure your images are being optimised for search.
After a week or so try a few searches in Google using the keywords that you included within your alt tag and image description. By now, you should begin to see them within Google’s image gallery – nb. if your images are of a particularly popular product this process may take time but keep refining and you’ll be successful.
Optimising your product images for search is just one way to help position your building products, landing pages and website to better serve your target audiences… and remember Google has 000’s of images to sift through, so those that have been fully optimised and are most relevant to the users search, will be rewarded!
Good luck. And if you need any help or advice give us a shout 🙂