Optimizing your images is a great way to increase your visibility and online presence. The problem is that very few people take image optimization seriously.
Why is it that we will spend hours, sometimes days, creating an amazing piece of content and then upload the first image we find? Why don’t we take the extra 20 or 30 minutes to create a polished, engaging and brand friendly image?
I would like to stress this point. You must begin to take your image optimization seriously. There are a few simple and quick methods that can pay huge dividends to your brand, your site, and your online presence. Let’s take a deeper look.
Lesson # 1 – Get a Stock Image Account to Use Clean and Professional Images
Before we even get into the more high-level tactics, the first thing we need to do is increase the quality.
Getting a stock image account will give you access to tens of thousands of professional photographs, illustrations, stock videos and even icons.
With a stock image account, you have instantly polished your images and grown the professionalism of your website and design. The images come from professional photographers who allow you to license the rights to their content.
You can buy the images one by one, or you can pay for a monthly subscription which gives you access to the entire database. With this license, you now have permission to download the images, edit them, put your logo on them and manipulate them in any way.
The worst thing you can do is finish writing an article and then go to Google images and use a picture that you found on the web. This is a mistake for a few reasons.
- The quality of the image is probably lacking. Most images on Google aren’t the perfect dimensions, they may have watermarks on them or are very low resolution. You want quality!
- Those images are not yours. If you use public content and claim it as your own, the day will come when you get a letter in the mail from the owner of the content you stole. They will demand that you pay them and you will have to. You stole their intellectual property. It’s bad karma and bad business.
- If you want people to take you seriously, you must first take yourself seriously. Let’s start by making sure the images you use are quality.
Lesson # 2 – Brand Your Images
A huge majority of content we consume is visual.
Think of your image as the cover of your article or video. They say not to judge a book by its cover but isn’t that the whole point of the cover?
You need to put a branded cover on your content. It’s that simple.
Let’s imagine you spend 3 days writing a great article. You can’t wait to publish it and share it on social media. You find an image and you think “okay this is good enough.”
When you put your masterpiece online and share it on social media, it flops. What a heart breaker.
The reason it flopped is not because of the quality of the content, it is because the call to action was lacking.
A great way to put a call to action on your social media posts is with images. Here are some good ideas for you to start doing immediately.
- Put some text over your images so the reader can get a quick idea of what the article is about.
- Find a font you like and stick with that font on all your images.
- Use a filter or color scheme and stick with it for all of your images.
- Put a watermark or your logo on all your images.
Eventually, people will start to associate a certain font or a certain design concept with your brand. If you notice, I use the same font, the same font color, the same overlay and the same logo on all of our featured images. This way, when people see the image shared on social media they can begin to establish some brand recognition.
It’s just good branding.
For other good examples of branded images, feel free to check out Copy Blogger and also Sumo Me. They do a great job!
Lesson # 3 – Optimize Your Images for Mobile
What does this mean exactly?
When business owners are creating a new blog post or uploading a new video, they usually do so from a desktop. When you look at a desktop screen, it can be difficult to imagine how that content is going to look when you shrink it down to a mobile device.
Let’s imagine you have a small, square image residing in your content. Let’s imagine you align that image on the right, so it fits in nicely with the words on the page.
What can happen is when you shrink that down to the size of a mobile screen, that small image doesn’t quite take up the entire width of the mobile device, so you end up with a small line of text running down the side of the image. It looks very amateur and rookie.
Some quick solutions to this are…
- Making sure all your images are 100% width. They will take up the full width on desktop and on mobile.
- Centering your images.
- Finding out the correct aspect ratio and making sure all your images within the text are that size.
It’s difficult to remember that most people are reading your content on a mobile device. Always double check to make sure that your publication is optimized for mobile. You don’t want to come across like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Lesson # 4 – Remember to Fill in Your Alt Tags
A quick lesson.
When you Google something, and you click on the images tab, how do you think Google knows to display those images for the associated keyword? You can use search engine marketing for images just the same way you can for videos and written word.
It’s very simple. You can assign keywords to images in the alt tag.
These images are extremely valuable for product search inquiries. When someone goes to Google and searches for “organic soap” and they see a beautiful image of organic soap right at the top of their search results, there is a high probability that they will click on it and purchase that item.
You want to spend time inserting keywords into your image alt tags. It takes 3 seconds and if you are not doing it you are missing out on a potentially huge influx of business that you were too lazy to capture.
If you are unsure as to how to insert alt tags into your images, feel free to contact us and we will show you how. Yes… it’s free.
These simple lessons will get you far. However, there is much more to optimizing your images than this. We still have to consider how to compress our images, how to create image galleries, how to embed images and how to make your images responsive. We haven’t even touched on how to create infographics. Another day.
As many people expect, my best advice is to start small. Start conquering these lessons one at a time. If you have already made blog articles with bad images, don’t sweat it. Take what is in front of you and get to work on how to make your next piece of content as good as it possibly can be.
You will be amazed on how quickly your brand will grow with proper image optimization.