Photographers and other content creators need to make sure their images are searchable, so it’s important to optimize them for SEO. Image searches on Google, Yahoo, or even Pinterest can bring traffic to your website – and if you are a photographer, it can also lead to more clients. (And who doesn’t want that?!)
So how do you make sure people can find your images online and get to your website? You optimize them for SEO.
Here are some tips:
1. Compress your images.
Don’t upload high resolution files with huge file sizes to your website. There are ways to keep the quality while reducing file size. Having large images on your site reduces page loading time, which in turn will affect your ranking. Keep them at 72 dpi, and try to keep the file sizes lower than 500kb.
2. Use descriptive file names.
When you save your files, use file names that describe the image. (e.g. bride-&-groom-cutting-cake.jpg vs IMG_205.jpg) You don’t have to use overly long names, and if you have several images of the same subject matter, you can always number them.
3. Use alt tags.
You know that text that appears when an image won’t load? That’s the alt tag, and it’s important not to skip this step. It has a high impact on your SEO, because search engines use alt tags to better understand what your images are about. Further more, when you use images as links, the alt tags will act as anchor text.
4. Limit the number of images in one page.
Look, I know you want to display your work, and it can be hard to choose when every single image is perfect. But for the sake of page loading times, and also the patience of your viewers, choose only a maximum of 30 images for a single gallery, and 10 for a page. Just pick your best work – the ones you want to be known for. You can always send your clients a proofing gallery with all 300 images.
Can you imagine if you had 100 or more images in one gallery, and someone was viewing it on a mobile device? The time alone it would take to load the page will make the person give up – not to mention all the images he/she has to scroll through. Even if you had a lazy loading script (those spinning things to show that content is loading), you’re still not serving the best user experience by making people wait several minutes.
There are a lot of other ways to boost SEO for your images, but these are the easiest ones to implement, and don’t require a lot of tech know-how. In short, if you choose to showcase only your best work, take time to tweak the file names, and mind the file sizes, you’re on your way to getting more traffic from image searches.
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