If you want to run a successful website nowadays, you need to optimize it with images. This is an important rule you must follow, whether you are just simply running a blog or something more sophisticated like an ecommerce store.
#1 – There are so many benefits of using images on your website…
They can get you more social media shares:
Buzzsumo analysed over 100 million articles and found that blog posts with one or more images get 2 times more shares than those without any images.
Insert image: blog posts with images get more shares
So, if you add images to your blog posts you will be able to drive more traffic with social media.
They can get you more backlinks:
Moz found that posts with images get more backlinks than those without.
#2 – Insert image: posts with images get more backlinks
Caption: LRD stands for Linking Root Domains in the above graph.
As you know backlinks are an important necessity if you want to rank high on Google rankings. Therefore, if you add images to your blog posts you will get more backlinks which will help you drive more search engine traffic.
They can generate more subscribers:
The Home Repair Tutor ran a split test on one of their landing pages. One of the versions of the landing page had a background image of a bathroom, while the other one just had a plain white background.
Insert image: images can get you more subscribers
As expected, the landing page with the background image got 409% more optins. Hence, adding images can get you more subscribers. This list of subscribers can later be used to drive more traffic and sales.
They can also have a direct impact on sales for ecommerce stores:
Adding images can also have a direct impact on sales, especially if you are running an ecommerce store.
Salomon, an ecommerce site based in France, already had some images on their website. But they changed up the design by replacing the images with new ones. One of the new changes they made was adding the blue and white background/hero image you can see at the top of the page.
Insert image: images can increase ecommerce store sales
This change increased sales by 39.8% among French shoppers and 29.7% among global shoppers.
So, adding images can not only have an indirect impact on sales by helping you up your list, but they can have a direct impact by driving sales on your website.
Another important point to take note from the above result on the Salomon website is that you won’t make an impact by adding any image. As the site already had images. Sales only increased when they made changes and added new images.
The lesson you learn here is that your site won’t automatically improve for the better when you add any image. You need to follow a proper strategy and the right images only. Therefore, I am going to show you how to do this below…
Choose the right images for your site:
The images you choose for your website should depend on two things. These are…
- The goals you want to achieve
- The type of site you run (blog, ecommerce store, forum, etc.)
Once you know these two things, figuring out what types of images to add will be easy. As all you will have left to do is a little competitor research to figure what images would work best to get the desired result.
For example, if your goal is to drive more social media traffic to your blog, you start off by analysing the content of your competitors.
A tool you can use is Buzzsumo. You just add the URL of the site to it and it will show you all the pages that received the most shares.
Insert image: optimize site with images based on social networks
The sites on which the post was shared most are the sites driving the highest traffic to this site. As you can see this site is getting the most shares on Facebook and Twitter.
So, you simply optimize the post with images that would perform well on these networks.
For example, if you want to get more shares from Pinterest, you add portrait shaped images to your webpages as taller images perform better here.
To get a better idea on how to create Pinterest optimized images checkout Oberlo’sEbook Library.
Insert image: portrait shaped images perform better on pinterest
Every ebook landing page on their website has a portrait shaped image that is similar to the one on the left as seen in the above screenshot. The image contains a simple illustration and the title of the content on the landing page.
These types of images do well on Pinterest. So, if you want more traffic from Pinterest, you need to create and add images like these to your webpages.
But if you want to get more traffic from Facebook, you need to create and a landscape image that is 560 X 292 pixels as this will ensure that the large thumbnail will turn up when someone shares your page on Facebook. The large thumbnail will standout and get you more engagement and clicks.
To easily create the images of the best dimensions for each social network, you should use a simple image design tool like Crello for Business. It contains pre-set formats for top networks like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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All you need to do is choose the format and it will automatically set the dimensions for the image.After that you can use their image editor to quickly design the image.
This way figure out your goal and then take steps to create the image every time. As different goals will require you to take different steps. If your goal is to increase sales to an ecommerce store instead of driving traffic to your blog your methodology will be different.
To achieve this goal you will analyse the ecommerce sites of your top competitors and then create images that are similar to the ones present on their landing pages.
Reduce the size of the images:
It is important for the images you create to look their best, but it is also important to make sure they load quickly without slowing down your site. This is because your website’s loading time can have an impact on your conversion rate.
The slower your site takes to load, the more number of people will abandon it. Therefore, a smaller number of them will convert to sales.
This is why when you are running a site like an ecommerce store and getting more sales is important you should ensure that the images are optimized to load quickly.
You can easily do this by reducing the size of the images. By this I mean the file size and not the dimensions of the image. But make sure that you don’t compromise the quality of the image while doing this.
You should find a balance between visual quality and file size. This is because if you reduce the size too much and your image appears blurry it can affect the conversion rate negatively.
Add images to more places than just the page itself:
After you create the image and reduce the size, you can begin adding it to your website. But just adding it to the page isn’t sufficient. You should add some of the images to other important places.
For example, if you are optimizing your webpage for Facebook sharing and want the big Facebook thumbnail image to appear, you should add the image to the metatags to ensure the right image is picked when shared.
If your site runs on WordPress you can easily add this image by using a tool like Yoast SEO.
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All you need to do is go to the sharing settings on it and choose the image you would like to add to the tags.
Add the image alternative text:
After you have added the images, one final thing you must do before you go live is add the image alternative text (ALT Text). The ALT text is the text that appears in place of the image when the site takes too long to load. You might have already seen it when you had a bad internet connection or when you visited a site that loaded too slowly.
One of the reasons why site owners add ALT text is that it tells people what the missing image contains when it doesn’t load. It is also read by search engines like Google, hence it plays a role in SEO too. So, make sure you add some good keywords relevant to the page to your ALT text.
Another benefit of adding ALT text is that this text will automatically appear in the description of the images pinned onto Pinterest from your website. If you are looking to drive traffic from this network you will highly benefit from this addition. As Pinterest isn’t just a social network. It is a cross between a social network and a search engine where 2 billion searches are made.
So, when you add keywords to the ALT text and they get shared along with the image, your pins will rank higher on Pinterest search and you will drive more traffic from there too.
Test out image performance:
After you add the ALT text your webpage will be visually optimized and you can publish it. But don’t leave it at that. Use a tool like Pingdom to check how long it takes to load.
Insert image: test your loading time
If the page is taking too long to load because of the images, you should replace them with smaller sized ones.
If the site continues to load slowly even when you reduce the image sizes, the culprit is probably your hosting service. You should consider moving to a more robust Virtual Private or Dedicated Server.
Now go ahead and optimize your website with images:
These are all the tips you must follow to effectively optimize your website with images. Follow the exact step by step process I have laid above and you will not only see your traffic increase, but also your sales.
How do you optimize your website with images? Which techniques have worked best for you? Please leave your comments below.