What are the best stock illustration websites

How to improve your Google ranking with images

At a glance:

  • Images are one of many components that are important for ranking in search engines.

  • If you select images that go well with the text and give them meaningful names, you can make up a few positions on Google.

  • In addition, individual images are an eye-catcher, so you can stand out from other competitors and surprise your customers.

Images are an important component on websites. Sensibly used and labeled images can help a website rank higher in the search engines than one that has no or only a few images.

"But images are only a small part of the search engine optimization of a website," says Tobias Fischer, search engine expert at Schlüterschen Verlagsgesellschaft in Hanover *. Around 200 different factors play a role in the ranking of websites. Nevertheless, even small businesses shouldn't neglect the subject of pictures.

Image and text should match

When choosing images for illustration, they should match the theme of the page or subpages. For example, if you write a text about mold removal and the picture shows curtains or cars, the search engine cannot create a meaningful relationship between picture and text. The user is also likely to be irritated.

With the professional combination of text and images, you can prove to your website visitors that you are particularly familiar with certain topics in your trade. This creates trust on the customer side.

Shorten loading times: choose the right image format

When uploading images, you should pay attention to their file size. Large format images cause long loading times. This may put off visitors to your website. “Many people search for certain keywords on Google while on the move. If your page doesn't open because the images aren't loading fast enough, users click away again, ”emphasizes Fischer. After an average of seven seconds, a user decides whether or not to stay on your site. In addition, long loading times mean that the data volume of smartphones is quickly used up.

His tips:

Save images in a web-optimized way: Images should never exceed a size of 300 kilobytes (KB). A size of around 80 KB is sufficient for smaller images.

Free image editing: Those who do not want to afford a photo editing program such as Photoshop can use inexpensive free programs such as “irfanview” or “gimp”. Cropping and resizing images can also be done by a user who is not otherwise involved with image editing programs.

Improve ranking: The file name makes the difference

When saving, pay attention to the name you assign to the picture. Because the file name is what the search engine "reads". Names like "Image123.jpg" do nothing in terms of Google ranking.

Depending on which part of your website the picture is on, it should also be named accordingly. Tips from SEO expert Tobias Fischer:

  • The main keyword of the subpage of your website should appear in the file name.

  • The company name and a place reference should also be mentioned.

  • In general, it is best to write the various keywords in lower case and separate them with a hyphen. This makes it easier for the search engine to find relevant keywords.

Example: If, as a painting company, you also offer decorative interior plaster, for example, a picture could be named "decorputz-malermeisterxy-hannover.jpg".

On a subpage on which you report on stucco work, the keyword should also be found in the file name. e.g. stucco work-painterxy-hannover.jgp

The following applies: The more precisely you name the images, the more variation you bring to your website and thus to your offer to your customers.

If you offer different types of decorative plaster or stucco work, you should include those in the filenames of the images as well. Detail shots deserve to be described as precisely as possible.

Important: Vary the file names. Leave out the location, the name of the company or the trade, change the order of the words. This way, the images remain exciting for Google and are not perceived as being too uniform.

Make the search easier: The title of the image should be meaningful

Above all, you make it easier for users to search for keywords on your website if you maintain the title of the image. Captions should be as meaningful as possible.

The title of the picture can be a running text or a sentence, for example: "Stucco work on an old building in Hanover". Or "Decorative interior plaster in the living room". Fischer recommends using the most important key words in the text in the title and caption.

However, a concise keyword should not appear in every second sentence. The search engine perceives this - but not in a positive sense, but rather as so-called "keyword spamming".

Example: If the subtitle of the page is "stucco work", you should definitely pick up the keyword in the text on the bottom. And also in the file names and captions. However, the keyword must not appear too often. If it appears several times in a paragraph, Google would perceive it as "spamming".

The Alt Tag: Make it Easier for the Reader

The alt tag describes in a few words what can be seen in the picture. It stands for the "accessibility" of the Internet: Because programs today cannot yet recognize what can be seen in the picture. But they read, for example, to blind Internet users what is in the Alt-Tag. It is all the more important that you fill in the alt tag in your content management system after uploading the images. There, too, you can incorporate keywords that fit the topic and your company.

The title tag, on the other hand, is less important. This is the description of the picture that the user gets when he moves the mouse over the picture. For the sake of completeness, you can fill it out, but it is not decisive for the ranking in the search engines, says Fischer.

Bored of stock photos: How to attract attention with your own photos

At some point, images from databases, as can be seen on the pages of other companies, no longer surprise users. If you use so-called "stock photos", you and your offer can be compared. With beautiful and fresh motifs that match the theme of the page, you can set yourself apart from the competition in terms of content.

That is why Tobias Fischer recommends: Develop your own motifs for the illustration of your website. For example, hire a photographer to take authentic photos in your company and (with the customer's consent) on your construction sites. They should suit your company and cover the range of topics you offer. And then you can be sure that other companies are not using the same photo for illustration as you. In addition, customers are more likely to remember the visit to your website if they noticed the photos positively.

If you do use stock photos, choose different motifs than you know from colleagues. Surprise the users. And use pictures that fit the topic.

If customers stay, your page will rank higher

Unique images have the positive side effect that customers 1. stay longer on your website, for example when looking at the images of your team or your products. Or the customer 2. click on several pages. Both of these contribute to a good rating of your website.

* Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft is also the operator of the website www.handwerk.com

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