Everyone knows by adding images and videos to websites and blogs it

can help visitors stay longer. That’s partly true. More importantly, do you just insert them or did you optimize them? Making an image “smaller” in size to load faster isn’t optimizing them. Why? Because search engines are much smarter how they view sites with images, and it can affect your rankings. You might be thinking “hey, I optimize my images by naming them”.  You need to do more than naming images.

Over the years I have named my images because search engines need content to identify and rank a site. Therefore, images need to be identified. If you ignore doing this, then SEO’s will rush through your pages and move on to sites that are more optimized. But wait, things are changing. Yes, it’s still important to name all your images. Now I’ll explain how to correctly optimize your images according to the new methods search engines are using.

The following information is what I found in the Yoast Report https://yoast.com/image-seo/#caption

by Michiel Heijmans. He is a partner and COO at Yoast.

After reading my post, check out his full report for a deeper explanation of how he explains the best ways to optimize your images.

Using images.

Michiel says, using the right image is as important as naming them. Try to avoid using stock photos. If you need to, then make sure it relates to your content. And naming an image correctly is also critical. He continues by saying “an image with related text ranks better for the keyword it is optimized for.” That means you should position your image close to the text that is relevant.

Identifying images.

The report breaks down very clearly the various steps you need to take to optimize images, charts, illustrations, etc. For example, choose the right file name. Don’t use a file name from a camera photo (such as DSC4536); rather name it using the main subject of the article/blog. An example would be if your article or blog were about a specific event (like a golf tournament, or a sports event, or a person) put the subject of the photo at the beginning of the file name.

Format.

Using JPEG, PNG or WebP is important. JPEG’s will give you a smaller file size when inserting photos or illustrations, while WebP can produce high-quality smaller file sizes. Using a reduced file size alone without optimizing it can reduce SEO’s reviewing your page(s). If you are real savvy and have specific audiences such as RVers, then know what types of browsers they use to know the preferred format. Check out this resource to find out what format is supported by browsers: CanIuse.com

Captions.

Why should you use captions? Because according to Michiel, people use them when scanning an article. Have you noticed yourself scanning headings, images and captions when you view a web page? This adds a positive experience for visitors.

FACT: according to KissMetrics, “Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.”

Another significant point to know; mobile devices now represent over 52% how people are viewing websites, doing searches, purchasing products, etc. So make sure your images are responsive as well as your website.

OpenGraph and Twitter Cards

This may not be a big deal, but since you are optimizing images, consider doing this. When you add the following HTML image tag to the <head> section, it will make sure your images are included in your share on Facebook as well as Pinterest.

The code is:

<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://example.com/link-to-image.jpg” />

I hope these tips about optimizing images will help you maintain good, high rankings to stay ahead of the competition. If you need more help with your website or social media, give us a call. We can help update your site. We’re only a phone call away!

Few industries are seeing positive sales increases during the pandemic, yet they wonder why should they advertise. If you manufacture sanitizing solutions, paper towels, and gloves or provide the services of selling essential products, then you probably are not interested in building your brand. Few businesses such as Amazon, Walmart (who has re-developed their online business), grocery and food delivery services are also enjoying this hey-day of sales, and so are RV dealerships and RV campgrounds. This will all change in 2021.  Businesses like restaurants, car dealerships, beauty salons, retail stores, and small businesses, should maintain their branding or it can be disastrous for them next year.

Branding and name recognition are going to be key for business survival.

What are you doing to prepare for the next several months and next year?

Have you written or updated your business plan to meet today’s marketing needs? If not, let’s discuss some reasons and solutions for you to consider.

Various states are updating their pandemic requirements to adjust our lifestyle activities. Fortunately for the RV industry, it is having a surge of sales and RV rentals that it hasn’t seen in over a decade. But soon their consumer-buying spree will peak. Your business may not be experiencing this activity, that’s why you need to be proactive.

Having a positive brand is critical to continue a business and to grow. It’s important to let your potential (and existing) customers know you are there for them.

You need to be developing a marketing strategy plan for the next several months so that you don’t miss future sales.

Knowing how to reach your customers and keep your name in front of them can be achieved by implementing different marketing strategies. We are talking about other marketing strategies that extend beyond social media platforms.

First, consider traditional advertising in various local publications (print and online). Many potential customers are working from home and they have more time to read about local news, events, etc. This can be an inexpensive campaign to keep your brand alive. Be creative with your ads. Don’t oversell. Take this a step further and look at different industries where your products and services can reach new potential customers.

Another suggestion is community events. Almost every city will have a program for locals to enjoy. Even if it’s an online event, consider being a sponsor. In lieu of money, you could provide your services or products for the event, or have a display.

Charities. This is an overlooked opportunity. When your business is involved with a charity, you are recognized as a business of caring and helping others. This will have a strong impact and create a memorable, positive name. The charity can be local, regional or national. It doesn’t always require a lot of money to participate. Be open-minded.

Publicity is often thought of as writing and submitting press releases to the media. Releases are only one form of communicating with reporters. It helps them learn more about your business. Publicity is more than that. Begin by establishing a relationship with local media/reporters. Invite them to your business when you are celebrating an anniversary, expanding your services, or honoring an employee, etc. Definitely notify them when you are partnering with a charity, etc. Create a Press Kit that can be sent to reporters, and post it on your website. Update the kit regularly.

Articles. Write an article about your business. Most businesses have a unique story about how they started or interesting facts about the founders. Submit that to reporters for their consideration. Sometimes this will spark an interest for reporters to follow up to do a story about you.

Remember, keep an open mind and look for opportunities. We are living in a new era of how we communicate; doing business as usual is old school.

If you need help or want to learn how to be proactive with your marketing, reach out to a professional for support. It could be the best investment to keep your business ahead of the competition. For a FREE 1-hour consultation and analysis of your marketing plan, call George Carson.