Handling Website Images for SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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When it comes to SEO, your website can have a huge impact on your results. If you do everything right with the rest of the elements of your program, such as your keyword research and posting and sharing and content, it won’t do much good of the technical elements of your website are standing in the way. This is especially true with image-heavy websites, where if the images aren’t handled correctly, this could confuse the search engines, slow down your website, and have a negative impact on your results.

Be Careful of Load Times

Websites that are heavy on images need to be careful that the graphics don’t slow down their website too much. A slow site not only negatively impacts your SEO and digital marketing efforts, but it also annoys your visitors. If a website loads to slowly, chances are pretty good that they will click away from your website and find the information, product, or service they are looking for from someone else. This can result in a drop in business.

This isn’t to say that you should have images on your website. However, there is a way that you can have it both ways. A good developer will be able to advise you on how to optimize your images so that your site runs a lot faster. That way, you can have the images that you want without compromising usability.

Make Sure There Are No Crawl Issues

One of the biggest things you need to check is whether or not your website’s images are getting indexed correctly in Google. When working with clients, we often see when we look at their data that image heavy websites tend to have some crawl errors, where the Googlebots don’t seem to crawl the site correctly.

In order for a website to do well in returned search results, Google has to believe that your website has what the searcher is looking for. Google discovers whether or not it is a good website or not by its ability to crawl the pages. If there are a lot of crawl errors because the images are interfering with the bots, Google won’t know to return your page in the results. If you do have crawl issues, you should get your developer to make the necessary technical chances on your site in order to correct them with the bots.

You Might Need Images for Your Industry

We believe in taking as conservative an approach as possible when handling images. Images are an important part of web design, but they should be used tastefully and in a way that doesn’t interfere with the site’s load time and crawlability. Each industry should think about whether the images are truly needed in order to create a great website.

There are some industries, however, where image-heavy pages are necessary. For example, if you have a graphic design firm, you will need a lot of images on your site because you’ll want to showcase your work. The images can show your design abilities, and also you will need images to showcase portfolio pieces.

No matter if your site is image-heavy or not, it helps to be aware of its impact on SEO. You can decide if your site needs to have as many images as it doesn’t, and if you decide to keep them, you know that you will need to find ways to optimize them so that they don’t slow your website down.


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