Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Blogger's Corner: Make your images more than just a pretty picture

This instalment of Blogger's Corner is all about image optimisation and making your images more than just visual additions to your blog's content. I'll take you through three quick and easy steps to make your images even more useful for every single post!


How many of us use images within our blog posts? Probably all of us...I for sure find it weird posting without anything visual.

Next question... Why do we feel the need to use images? Most of us will probably answer to help break up our content, demonstrate the point we make in our post, make it look visually more appealing to the reader...

I agree, adding images for these exact reasons.

But, did you know images can help you in another way too? Yes, they can really help your blog's visibility in Google searches. You just need to do a couple of things to you images to kick start this....things that your users won't even realise!!

Save your image with a search related file name

I'm guilty in a lack of discipline for this one!  But Google can rank your images, so consider what it represents and save it as a related name.

Most of us take the image from our phones, which will be named something like 'IMG_1549'...

What does that mean to Google as a name? How can Google understand your image? Simply, it can't.

So, if you image is of some November dressage training, rename your file before uploading it to your blog as 'november-dressage-training'...

Your file names need to be unique even when you upload to your blogging platform, so if you have a few similar images, it's fine to add a numeric after it.

Now Google can easily understand your image as being about dressage training. When included in a post talking all about that same topic, it can really help not only your post to rank well in Google for related search terms but also rank the image alone in a Google image search result.



The above shows how in a recently collaboration post with Roosa from Roosa's Horsey Life, images from Team Tunnah Eventing rank in the image search for her blog name.

Upload only the required sized image

Do you REALLY need try image to cover the size of a house, when it only displays as the size of a postage stamp in your post?

No.

So long as you keep the image ratios correct and use the highest quality version of the image to start with, you'll be fine.

Take the original image, not the photo edited version, the real original! Get the height & width of the image and calculate the ratio...

How do you work out the ratio? Really easily and quickly... Just take one dimension and divide it by the other.

Here's an example, my original image is 3346 wide and 1267 high. So, my image ratio is 2.64 times as wide as it is high.

Therefore, if I have a space on my post that is 550 wide, I edit the original image size to 550x208.

This example shows how you can take the dimensions, but don't forget to alter
 the size of the original image & not just in the HTML

Never try to make the image bigger than the original in either dimension - you'll end up with a pixelated, unprofessional image that users will look at thinking it's an it blurry or hasn't finished loading...

  • Save it (as a new version, not over your original) with a related file name.
  • Photo edit the heck out of it.
  • Upload to your blog.

Top tip: if you're not that familiar with working with image dimensions, the width is ALWAYS the first number, followed by the height.

Did you know that this hugely helps the speed that your blog will load at too?

Page speed is a signal for ranking to Google - one of many. The better user experience you can give your users by serving the content they want to see efficiently, the more credit you'll get from Google.

For those of you with Google Analytics installed onto your site, there's a dedicated reporting section on page speed. It can quickly identify image issues, redirects, tags and scripts, and a lot else that can be slowing your blog's load speed right down. It considers desktop and mobile speed separately, and if you got an hour or so, it's more than worth paying it a visit!

Use images for future ads


How many of you saw the word 'ads' and turned off!? Well...stay with me!

Having images that represent your blog title in a nutshell should be your primary image - stick it as the first image, ahead of your logo.

Why?

Because that's what will be pulled through when someone shares your post on social media. And when you've had the fantastic share, you of course want that to result in even more people visiting your site?

Make it attractive to click and related 100% to the topic.

Consider your dimensions because Twitter and Facebook use different dimensions when pulling through. My advice would be for you to make whatever is in your image in the centre of it. This way, when the social platform adjusts the dimensions that it's going to show, the most important factor of the image isn't cropped out, fully or partially.


Here, on Twitter, images are kept square due to the 1:1 ratio that the platform uses. However, Facebook uses a landscape ratio so stick to that can have a big impact on how your images pull through onto the platform when someone shares your link.


Someone has given your a free advert by sharing your content, so make sure you look your best!

To summarise why images are SO much more than a pretty face:
  1. Use them to support your traffic from Google
  2. Give users a better experience by preventing slow page load speeds
  3. Maximise socially shared traffic by looking tip too in front of potentially new readers

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2 comments:

  1. This looks absolutely adorable. You do really know what you are takning about. All the photography tools http://alternativephotographyinc.com/ you've told about are really useful.

    ReplyDelete