Images are an important part of the web nowadays. They can be used to convey tone, emotion, or to deliver a message more effectively than plain text. What’s more, using them skillfully can help bolster your credibility and brand, as well as help your site’s SEO. We’ll go over how to properly prepare images when uploading them to your WordPress site. Furthermore, we’ll also give out a few actionable tips you can immediately apply to your website to improve your image SEO.
Choosing the Right Image
When it comes to publishing on the Internet, there are mainly two groups of people: creators and aggregators. While aggregators focus on the task of curating existing contents and making them more accessible to the populace, creators are dedicaed to crafting entirely original material.
In the case of images, using original material of your own is always the best option. this is because such material won’t be found anywhere else (at least for a while), giving your site an advantage over the competition. therefore, always try to create your own images instead of using existing ones, even if it takes a bit more effort.
If creating entirely new material is not an option, there are a few details you should consider when using existing images. First, always try to use obscure images that are not so easily found; this means avoiding the first pages in Google Images or going to sites that are not as popular. Additionally, always make sure you have permission to use the chosen images. This is a way of ensuring you won’t have problems later on, as someone might call you out on it and force you to take them down. A good way to do so is to look for Creative Commons licensed images.
Determine The Context
Once you have your image, you must consider its context in order to validate it. It’s important to know where you will use your images beforehand, and what purpose they will serve. This is in order to ensure that the visual material seamlessly integrates with the rest of your site, giving visitors a clear idea of what your message is.
More often than not, it turns out an image is not entirely appropriate for the context it is meant to cover. If you aren’t entirely sure that the chosen image represents your message, chances are it does not fit the role and some other image should be used instead.
Optimize Your Images
Regardless of what image you use, you will probably need to take some steps to optimize it before uploading it. It is never a good idea to place an image into your WordPress site without making some adjustments first. Most probably, the image could have the wrong dimensions, filename, or be plain unoptimized like most photos.
So, open your favorite image editing tool; most people may use Photoshop, but a free editor like GIMP may also do the job. You can then proceed to turn the image into something more appropriate for your particular site:
Resize Its Dimensions
The most important step you can take in order to optimize an image is to resize it. Trying to upload an image file directly from your camera can literally kill your loading times– although WordPress may create smaller copies for different uses, if it is used on a gallery the full image will be displayed anyways. Most of the time, an image will be far larger than what you need to use it for, so it’s a good idea to reduce its dimensions to save on space and load speed. Remember the context we previously defined? Now it’s the time to know what size your image should be.
Apply Some Basic Optimization
You can also try to optimize the image to make it look better. As is the case with most photos, images can normally be enhanced with a few tweaks. For instance, you can increase the saturation to make the colors more vivid, or you can apply a sharpening filter to bring out the details in the image. Just remember not to go overboard, as an oversaturated image can end up looking worse than before.
Add Meaningful Metadata
One often overlooked step of preparing images for WordPress is the process of adding good metadata. This includes giving it a meaningful filename, that has no spaces and clearly describes the image wi a few keywords. The same applies for the alt and title metadata fields in WordPress. Right after uploading your image, you should fill out these fields in order to provide some meaningful context to the visitor– and to search engines. Keep in mind that you should at all times try to add relevant text, which remains useful and informative.
Applying all these optimization steps can result in reduced loading times and better overall imagery in your site, which in turn may lead to better credibility and a stronger brand. What’s more, it can also help you with SEO since your images will be more likely to appear in Google Image Search, as well as rank your pages for the keywords you’ve chosen.