How to Use Images to Improve Your Website’s SEO
Search engine optimization is to your photography website what lenses are to your camera. You could take pictures with a plastic lens, but they would be years away from the ones shot with a fast glass. After all, what is the point of sharing your work online if no one is there to see it? SEO is the practice of optimizing your website so that it shows up on search engines when users look up relevant topics. Ranking high on these searches will ensure people other than your close friends and family visit your online portfolio on a regular basis.
When talking about SEO, it is quite common to focus solely on the textual content side: what and where to write on your site so it ranks high on the results page. However, the role of images when it comes to SEO should not be disregarded. Especially when it comes to visual content creators, such as photographers. Ready to give your website a popularity boost? These are the ways in which you can use images to improve your SEO:
Make people fall in love with your work
First and foremost, you’re a photographer. When visiting your website, people will expect to see beautiful pictures that will melt their hearts or blow their minds (depending on your field of expertise). The very first step to use images to improve your website’s SEO is making sure you’re offering just that. This includes not only your technical and creative skills, but also the quality in which the photos are shown.
The more people like your work, the more time they’ll spend browsing your photography portfolio. Having visitors spend long periods of time on different pages of your site can have a direct impact on your SEO ranking. This practice tells search engines’ bots that users are happy with what they see on your site, and that they should probably send more users in that direction.
Optimize your photos for online use
Ain’t nobody got time for a slow website. Long gone are the days in which people waited ages for a website to load. Nowadays, at least 40% of users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. That means that not only do you need to display praiseworthy photos, you also need to do it faster than you can say Nicéphore Niépce.
The key to learning how to optimize images for your website is finding the balance between image size and image quality. Basically, the best resolution for website photos is that compressed enough to load fast but not enough to lower the image quality. The easiest way to find this stability is letting technology do it for you. Using the Wix Pro Gallery comes with many benefits, including automated image optimization. Simply upload a high-quality JPEG file and let Wix work its magic.
Curate your site’s user experience
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. No matter how outstanding your work is and how fast it loads, no one will want to spend time on a website that they can’t enjoy. When coming up with your photography website design you’ll need to keep future users in mind at all times. As we’ve already mentioned, online visitors don’t have too much patience and won’t hesitate to leave your site if they encounter any difficulties.
Put your photos at the front and center of the website. After all, they are the reason visitors are there in the first place. Make sure you’re giving your images enough space to breathe and be enjoyed. Use themed galleries to encourage people to explore other aspects of your work. Create menus that are easy to navigate and use clickable icons to make it easy for people to click, browse and discover like there’s no tomorrow.
Get found in Google Images
There are two approaches to getting organic traffic from Google. The first method is optimizing your site to get a high ranking on the results page. If you’ve ever read anything about SEO for photographers, this is probably the method you’re familiar with. The second one is using your outstanding images to catch people’s attention and bring them to your site.
A third of all searches performed in Google are for images, making it a powerful tool for media content creators. Even more so now that Google automatically directs users to the source of the image. Despite this, many photographers don’t properly optimize their photos for a chance to appear on Google Image Search. So what does it take to get your images chosen? Just a few minutes of your time and a bit of typing. These are the main elements affecting your image SEO.
Alt text is a brief piece of information that describes images online. It is only visible on the source code of the site, so don’t worry about having it get in the way of your stunning website design. This section helps search engines’ bots understand images better so that they can be indexed more efficiently. Learning how to write seo friendly alt text is an absolute must if you want to give your images a shot at appearing in Google Images.
Adding short captions to your photos is a great way to offer some context for each scene. This is valuable for both humans and bots visiting your site. Captions can be much more creative than alt text, which will allow you to match them to your portfolio’s language and style.
Similar to the caption, just in a broader sense. Essentially, surrounding your photos by relevant text will improve the chances of bots selecting your images as the best reference for a specific topic. In order to maximize your options, the best choice is starting to write a photography blog. Doing so will also have a positive impact in your site’s overall SEO, as well as help you establish a closer relationship with your audience.
File name and image title
These two elements may not play an essential role in your images’ SEO, but they can give you some extra credit in the eyes of the bots. Rather than leaving the default camera file name or ignoring the image title space, write something short and descriptive about the photo. It won’t take a lot, but at the end of the day it can be a big gift to your business.
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Photography Expert for the Wix Blog & Social Media Team