Maximise Your Website’s Potential: How to Monetise Images by Enhancing User Experience, Speed, and SEO

Flow diagram showing how to monetise the images on your website. 1. Optimise Your Images which leads to 2. Improved website load speeds which equals 3. a better user experience which has a knock-on effect on 4. enhanced search engine optimisation and subsequently leads to 5. more referrals & enquiries.

Have you ever just whacked a load of images on your website without a thought about how they can really help you grow your business? Your images are not just eye-candy, they can also be a powerful tool that increases your bottom line! How? By optimising your images for the best user experience you also gain more referrals to your website from the search engines.

You’ve probably seen the ‘images’ tab when doing a google search and switch to it when you are shopping but did you know that to get your image appearing in that list, you need to have provided key data to the search engines to help them understand what your image is about as well as a host of other things!

In this article, I will guide you through my top 5 tips for small business owners to help you unlock the potential of your website images, turning each picture into a profit magnet!

Top Tips For Optimising Your Images

1. Use Descriptive File Names

  • If you looked at the filenames of the images you have uploaded to your website and they are called something like img1234.jpg, you’ve missed a trick! The search engines don’t have a clue what your image is about unless you give it a descriptive name! And to help the search engines even more, use hyphens (not underscores) in between words to represent spaces. The search engines read a hyphen as a space and that helps them interpret the image better.
  • e.g. A filename of ladies-white-beach-dress.jpg is descriptive and now the search engines know exactly who to display this image to, a lady looking for a white beach dress!

2. Add Alternative (Alt) Text To Images

  • Add alternative text to each of your images to describe the content of the image. This helps with accessibility – If your image does not load, the alt text will be displayed instead! If someone is using a screen reader, the text will be read out to them, so its important to think about what you want the user to read / hear to aid their understanding of what the image is about. The alt text will not only enhance all users experiences, it will also help with your search engine rankings, win win!
  • Only add alt text if you think its appropriate. For example, if you are using a pattern image in a background cover, the user probably doesn’t need to read about that! But they would want to read about your product images, profile images etc.
  • In WordPress, you can add the alt text by clicking onto the image and then adding some text in the alt text field. Make sure you do this on all of your existing images on each page of your website as updating the image in the media library only will NOT update the images you had already added to your pages.

3. Choose the Right File Format

  • JPEG (or JPG): These are perfect for photographs and images with many colours, as they typically produce a smaller file size compared to png’s which means improved website performance!
  • PNG: Perfect for images with transparent backgrounds or images that need high detail.
  • GIF: Suitable for simple animations.
  • SVG: Suitable for logos and icons as they scale without losing quality.

4. Strike the Right Balance Between High Quality & Low File Size

  • A poor quality image will impact user experience so its important to ensure images are high resolution & clear! However, you need to balance this with the fact that an image with a large file size can massively impact your websites load speed which impacts your user experience and search engine rankings! Follow the steps below to ensure your images are in tip top shape for your website:
    1. Always start with your high quality, high resolution original image.
    2. Then, resize your original image to match the size recommended for your website (I use Canva to resize my images but there are many other tools out there such as JPEG-Optimizer that can be used for this task). Your aim is to get a good file size that retains quality BUT is not going to slow down your page loading because of lots of bulky oversized images on it!! I find these image sizes work well:
      • For logo’s: 200 x 100 px
      • For background images that stretch across the whole width of the site: 1920 x 1080 px
      • For featured images (Portrait): 900 x 1200 px
      • For featured images (Landscape): 1200 x 900 px
      • For featured images (Square): 600 x 600 px
      • For thumbnail images: 150 x 150 px
    3. Next, use a tool like TinyPNG or JPEG-Optimizer to compress your image & reduce your file size without compromising quality. This improves page load times which is one of the biggest drivers of users leaving a website! I like to aim for a maximum of 500kb file size, ideally around 200kb per image.
    4. Finally, you can upload your images & check they look good on different screen sizes.

5. Add Captions and/or Descriptions

  • Captions: Add captions to provide context to images. They are often read by search engines and can enhance user engagement.
  • Descriptions: Add detailed descriptions in the image details section to provide more information about the image content.

By following these tips, you can ensure that the images on your website are not only visually appealing but are also optimised for search engines and overall website performance.

In writing these tips, I have tried not to sound too techy…..and I’ve left off anything that is better off with developers!! As a small business owner, you should be able to implement these recommendations yourself however what small business owner has time for this kind of detail??! Me! I do, its my job 🙂 so if you do need help going through your images or anything website related, I would love to help you! Please do get in touch!

Author: Jo Doull
Freelance Website Designer / Consultant