Welcome back! I’m Tyree from Website Muscle. We are going through our top 10 must-dos for good blog posts and we are on number six, images.
There’s actually quite a bit to say about images, but I’m going to keep it short for the purpose of this video. If you don’t understand what I’m saying or if you need some elaboration on this subject, please read our eBook, where I get into a little more detail on the technical side of image use.
3 Benefits of Using Images Properly
1. Quality over Quantity
First, you don’t need to use a lot of images. One really quality image is enough. And set that as your featured image in WordPress (you’ll see where that’s available in the back-end).
Images can really add depth to your posts. They can help tell the story that you’re telling. Images draw out emotions. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? So they can help, they’re important, but don’t overdo it. One quality image per post is all that’s necessary.
Notice I said “quality”. Not all images are created equal. There are lots of stock images out there. You don’t want poor-quality stock photos. There are good stock images out there too so I would say err on the side of using less. If you can only find one quality image, that’s great, that’s fine.
2. Get Permission
Number two, make sure you have permission to use the images you choose. There are copyright trolls on the internet who are ready and willing to pounce on people who have used images improperly.
We’ve written posts about this in the past, and those are linked in the eBook, but there are lots of good sites out there where you can use their images for free. Be sure to note whether or not you’re required to provide attribution or give credit to the source for those images because that’s just as bad as, you know, stealing someone’s else’s photo.
3. Optimize Your Images
Number three is image optimization, which is gonna be super important for SEO. So what that entails is naming the images, the file size of the images, and more. We use a WordPress plugin called WP Smush to optimize images on client sites.
There’s also a website you can go to called tinyjpg.com. It’s a free online tool where you drop your images and it compresses and optimizes them for you.
We recommend these tools because if your image file size is too large, it will slow down your site and affect page load time, which is a Google factor for ranking. Your site’s performance is very important and images can definitely affect that. So give your image a name, Smush the file, and use alt text.
Bonus: Alt Text
Now the name and the alt text appear as alternative text in HTML code. These are important because Google can’t see images, it can only read the text associated with the image. So when Google bots crawl your pages and index them, we want them to know what this page is about. Alt text helps the algorithm understand your site, and it’s also great for ADA compliance, which I also cover in the eBook.
Our “Blog Writing Guide” eBook has 10 tips on making the best blog posts possible. If you’re interested, you can fill out a form and download it here.
I hope you learned a little bit about your images and optimization. Again, there’s more information in the eBook, but that’s what’s probably most important about images.