Originally Published February 2020
In this vlog and blog, we’ll explain:
- Why Image Size Matters
- Why Alt Text Matters
- How To Reduce Image Sizes Without Losing Clarity
- How To Add Alt Text To Images In WordPress
Too large of images can slow your website down. And images without alt text don’t count for much when trying to rank on Google. Let’s delve into the why and how.
Also, be sure to check out our YouTube video on “How To Optimize Images On Your Website” if you prefer to watch rather than read.
Why does image size matter? A large size images will make your website load slower, and a smaller image will make your website load faster. This doesn’t necessarily apply to the physical size of the image, although it can. Usually what we’re talking about is DPI or quality.
Because of that slow load time, you can lose those people. If your website doesn’t load within like three seconds, a lot of people tend to just back out and leave the page. Google is going to see that people are not completing their visit to your website, and rank you lower in future searches which results in fewer people coming to your website in the first place.
So, having a fast loading page – very imporant. Image size is a huge part of that.
Why does alt text matter? Well, we’ve also covered this in a previous video – How To Write Alt Text To Help With SEO.
Screen readers for the visually-impaired are going to be reading the alt text. If there’s no alt text and the visually-impaired person is trying to navigate your website, they don’t know what that image is about, there’s nothing there to describe it.
Web crawlers from Google and other search engines – Bing, Yahoo – the alt text on those images helps them understand what about that image is important, what is it really about. The image reading software is just not there yet.
Also, alt text is a backup in case the image can’t load. If the internet connection is spotty for any reason, if there’s something wrong with your server and it doesn’t want to load the image it may still load the alt text so that allows people to at least get some of the functionality.
How do you reduce image sizes without using clarity? One thing I do is use PhotoscapeX. If you have access though to Photoshop or someone in your office does, Photoshop allows you to reduce the dpi or dots per inch from a photo say down from a 96 dpi down to a 72 dpi. This can really reduce the file size of an image allowing it to load faster on your website.
In PhotoscapeX you can save that file as, and then reduce the quality. So if the quality’s at 100, bring it down to 70 and reduce your file size by half. I did one recently that was 233 kb (kilobytes) and reduced the quality from 100 down to 50, with no visual change really and that reduced that size to 33 kilobytes.
How do you add alt text to images in WordPress?
Go to the backend. On the left-hand side click Media and go to the Library. Once you’re in there, either choose the image that you want to add alt tex to or upload the image that you want to add alt text to.
Once you’ve clicked through the image, at the bottom you’re going to see a section for alt text and a section for caption as well. Caption is visible to everybody, but the alt text is there again for the web crawlers as well as visually-impaired people for their screen readers to grab.
In this example, let’s put “Four teammates sitting around a wooden conference room table during team building, cluttered with mugs, food, and hand-written notes.” Something like that, descriptive but not-to-long, not-to-short, get it done.
Now you know how to optimize your images for size and alt text – get out there and do it!
Next week is our break, we make videos three weeks in a row, then break for one week to recharge and keep it fresh for ya. So see you in two weeks.
Thanks for watching.
Check out our other Marketing Monday videos in our YouTube playlist to help you learn how to develop your website and handle digital marketing for your company.