If you want your website to be as compelling as possible to the people who visit it, images need to be a part of your overall website strategy. Once you start thinking about this aspect of your website, it’s important to understand that not all images are equal.
A common mistake both business owners and web designers make is going with the first image that looks good to them. Even though this may ultimately be better than not having any images on a website, this type of selection is unlikely to maximize the effectiveness of those images. To get the best results from the images you add to your website, it’s vital to take a few different factors into account:
Identifying a Purpose
When you start thinking about adding an image to any page on your website, you’ll want to think about the purpose that image should serve. This is because the style of image you choose for a sales page may be completely different from an informational blog post. Different content serves different purposes, which is something your website’s image strategy should reflect.
Search Engine Traffic
The ability of images to send additional search engine traffic is something that’s commonly overlooked. By giving your images a descriptive filename and alt tag, you can help them rank well in Google Images and then get targeted visits from people searching for relevant terms.
Social Media Sharing
You’ve probably read about the importance of writing great headlines for the content you publish. The reason headlines matter so much is even if you have a great post or another piece of content, it’s not going to grab people’s attention without a great headline. That means fewer clicks on your site, as well as fewer shares on social media. The same concept applies to images. Complementing a piece of content with a great image will noticeably boost how well it performs on social media.
While there are a lot of good things to say about strategic image selection for websites, there is one big potential downside. The file size of images can be quite large. If this type of image isn’t optimized by compressing its size, it can significantly increase how long it takes a website to load. And because speed is something that’s very important to Google, a website which takes longer than average to load may be ranked lower in Google’s results.
By incorporating images into your website strategy and thinking through the issues we covered above, you’ll be able to make your site even more compelling.