Keep your visitors and Google happy with these quick tips on image optimisation for your website.

Let’s suppose you’re a Milton Keynes landscape gardener. You have just completed an awesome project that you are sure will wow prospective clients and you’d like to show off your amazing creation to the world via your websites gallery. You’re savvy enough to recognise the value in booking the services of a professional photographer to show your work at its very best, and you’ve just received back your image files from the shoot. What next?

The first thing you should NOT do is directly upload your images to your website. In their present state, they are far too “big” (BTW, for clarification, this also applies to ANY images you upload, even those from your mobile phone or stock images etc.). This can create all kinds of problems with page loading speeds, which will not only annoy visitors but could also harm your Google ranking. Google rewards websites that work well and give the viewer a hassle-free website visit. Slow loading websites are not considered a pleasure by anyone. They are a frustration. Also, by failing to take some simple naming steps, you are also losing out on an opportunity to HELP boost your SEO organically and therefore increase your website rankings.

Size matters

The first thing you are going to want to do is to resize those images for use on your website. Preparing images for print, and preparing images for website viewing are a whole different kettle of fish and neither will work well with the other. A high-resolution digital photograph file can be as high as 7,8,9 MB or more! These big file sizes are great for print, where you need that kind of image and pixel size. For web use, however, those file sizes are completely overkill and need to come down DRASTICALLY before they take residence on your website. If they don’t, they will make your webpages slow to load, and the more images your website accumulates the slower things will become. That’s a turn off for any visitor. You can either use editing software to optimise your images for the web, such as Photoshop, or there are websites where you can resize images online. So, step 1, ANY images that go on your website need to be resized beforehand.

Name them

If you look at the name data from a photograph file, it will typically be compiled by letters and numbers; for example, “DSC12345.JPG”. Any images you’d like to have on your website should be renamed before uploading them to something cohesive with your business. For instance, using our example of the Milton Keynes based Landscape gardener, his latest beautiful creation came with a koi pond installation. He has a wonderful image from his Milton Keynes Photographer that he wants to add to his website. He has resized it ready for the web, but before uploading it, he should rename it to something like “Milton Keynes Koi pond design”. This title targets his target area (Milton Keynes) and describes some “Keywords” relevant to both the image and his service (Koi pond design). If a prospective client in Milton Keynes is searching google for a Milton Keynes Koi pond designer, this kind of description will help him rank in images. Take a look through your website’s media gallery and consider how you can rename your images in line with your business and target area. It might seem a tedious exercise, but it’s well worth the effort.

So that’s it. Two simple steps you can make to optimise your images which will not only keep your website visitors happy and safe from slow loading web pages but will also help keep you in Google’s good books. Be sure to follow these simple steps for any images you plan to upload, or if you’re time-deprived, why not consider hiring our services to do it for you?