How to optimise your images for blogging and the web

Many blogs fail due to the poor insertion of images in their posts. Images cut and pasted from your image library on your PC often contain bloated oversized images which take an age to load.

It is really important to make sure that images – and pages load quickly to stop your readers turning away.  So how do you optimise your image for your blog and the web?

Here’s an image of the office kitten sitting on the sofa in reception.

 Clyde Kitten Eileen Brown Amastra

The image name, WP_20140814_14_26_59_Pro.jpg is not very intuitive, containing only the date and time stamp of the photo. Consider naming it to something more appropriate. I renamed it to Kitten Clyde relaxing on the sofa at Amastra offices.jpg. Logical names will make the image easy to find.

On my smartphone, all images are saved in large file format. This picture currently has a file size of 3.9MB. On slow links, this image would make page loading unacceptable. The file is 1632 x 918 pixels — too wide for most web pages.

Before posting to my blog, the image needs to be optimise. Compressing the file to suit on screen displays and configuring it for websites gives me a image 448 pixels wide and 336 pixels. More importantly it gives me a file size of 33.2KB which has a faster page load time.

In order to find this image on the web it needs to be tagged. Lazy web developers often do not add the Alt tag text to the image. Adding a simple tag can ensure that your image is more likely to get discovered.

I tagged this image Clyde Kitten Eileen Brown Amastra. This will ensure that if you search for any of these phrases then this image will appear somewhere in the search results.

I have also added a watermark to the image. Most image manipulation software packages have this feature. Adding the originating URL ensures that  if the image is copied and used on another site, then the originating site can be credited where appropriate.

So now, it is ready to go, and soon will appear in searches for any of the terms in either the title or the Alt text as the web spiders crawl the site.

Try it on your own site and see your images appear in your own search results… 

Update:

The image above took 17 minutes to appear on bing search for “Clyde kitten” which proves that the technique works.

Clyde kitten Amastra Eileen Brown

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Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

3 thoughts on “How to optimise your images for blogging and the web

  1. Pingback: How to optimise your images for blogging and the web | Technology

  2. Michael Curtis

    A very interesting post on how to do this. Making them retina ready can also be a challenge. WordPress has an excellent pluggin called WP Retina 2x that can help you make the images ready for hi res screens.

  3. eileenb Post author

    Good point.. I was writing this post for insertion in the book I’m writing – which is aimed at all sizes of business and not just the SME with self host WordPress. Thanks for the reminder that I need to add a section on WP plugins too🙂
    http://amastra.com/blog

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