When you run an e-commerce site, you will need to be on the ball when it comes to image optimisation for search. Through working on your image SEO, you may be able to attract more customers who might be perusing through Google images. Image optimisation can also reduce load times for your site, stopping people from bouncing off your site before it has even finished loading on their screens. Google also marks your website down if it takes too long to load, so image optimisation really is necessary for your e-commerce website if you want to succeed.
Have you ever Googled your products and wondered why your photos never come up, or wondered what the heck alt-tags are and whether you should post JPEGs or PNGs? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some top tips for image optimisation for SEO.
Name your images
Using the default file name that your camera gives a photo might be easier, but when it comes to SEO, default file names discount your images from search engines that are looking for keywords and not ‘IMG243’. Use descriptive titles instead which contain keywords so that crawlers can find your images.
You should choose keywords based on what your users are searching for. If you sell teabags and users find you by searching for ‘green tea teabags’ or ‘teabags green tea’, make sure that you use these in the image title to ensure that it comes up when they search. Keep an eye on your SEO tools for information on popular search terms.
Optimise your alt & title tags
An alt tag is a text alternative to help search engines understand an image’s content by associating keywords with your images, just like in your titles. It’s also useful for assistance technologies for the visually impaired. The title text pops up sometimes when you hover over an image depending on your browser choice and its settings. When it comes to e-commerce, alt & title tags are very important to your ability to show up in Google images and in web searches. You must create alt & title tags for all of your product images on your e-commerce site.
- When creating alt tags, use plain English.
- If your products contain model numbers, include these as well.
- Don’t simply stuff the alt tag with keywords; this can lead to black marks from Google.
- Only use alt tags for images for products on sale – you don’t need most of your theme elements marking up (an exception would be your brand logo).
Try multiple angles for your products. Not only does it help with customer’s view of your products, but it is an opportunity for you to add more keywords to your site through alt text.
Don’t use really large files on your site as these can increase load times, frustrating customers and decreasing your Google ranking. Prepare your images for the website by choosing ‘save for web’ in Photoshop if you have it. If not, try to keep image size below around 70kb. JPEGs are usually the file type of choice due to lack of image degradation. However if you need transparency look at using .PNGs. GIFs may also come in handy if you need animation! Compare a variety of methods/quality levels side by side until you find the right balance for you.
Thumbnail images should be as small as possible and whilst we’re on size, don’t resize images via HTML; it wastes bandwidth!
Test your site and keep up to date with alt tags, title tags and optimisation for best results from your e-commerce site.