SEO Guide – Step 3: Optimising Product Images for Search

In part three of an eight part series, we’ll take you through optimising product images on your Storbie website for SEO. By using SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, your website and products are more likely to be visible by online search engines, and therefore to be found by consumers.

We’re updating the Very Well website in these steps to help best explain the process. Last time, we looked at keywords and how to thread them throughout your website and into your product descriptions.

Previously: Introduction, Keywords

The keywords we chose include Designer Wellington T-Shirts for the Very Well website, and bars and beer for the specific product, “WELL Lubricated – Men’s Wellington T-shirt”.

File names and alternative text are an important part of uploaded images.

Alternative text is not only used by search engines, but is also a feature of web accessibility. Visually impaired users browsing with screen readers will be read this text to better understand what the image is. You don’t need to say “This is a photo of…”, just simply describe it.

It may be tempting to write “WELL Lubricated” as the alternative text, however as with everything, keywords should be utilised.

Alternative text still needs to make a complete sentence, rather than just have keywords jumbled together. The WELL Lubricated t-shirt has been updated to reflect this.

image-alttext-saved

Men’s Wellington designer t-shirt featuring the best beer bars: WELL Lubricated

This uses all five of our chosen keywords, along with the title of the product, and specifies that it’s the men’s version, as opposed to the women’s.

This is now what will be read by both search engines and screen readers.

Search engines pick up more information than you may realise, including what your image’s file name is. If your file name is titled “tshirt-28hgrnhengh.jpg” this means nothing to search engines, just as it would mean nothing to the average consumer.

Renaming all of your files could be a painful experience, so Storbie takes care of this for you. We override the file name with your alternative text. If you’ve followed our advice above, then your file names will include the same keywords automatically. If you don’t provide any text in this section, the product name will be used instead.

The images themselves should be clear and of good quality. View these tips for great product photo images.

As shoppers could be browsing on their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile, websites should be able to handle all types of screen sizes. Google’s preferred technique for this is “responsive design”.

Your Storbie website has in-built fully responsive design, which means images are automatically scaled to fit the screen your customer is viewing your website on.

And to go one step further, we also provide the opportunity for you to upload alternative images to be displayed on smaller screens. This is optional and is not necessary, but if you have a landscape image that loses its focus on a mobile device, using this feature can make a big difference to the user experience.

verywell-mobile

You don’t need to resize anything, as we do that from our end, but if you have a landscape image,  you may wish to crop it to be either portrait or square.

The higher your resolution, the better. And if your image already looks great on mobile, then there’s no need to do anything more.

However, in the case of Very Well, the hero image on the home page shows more legs than t-shirt on mobile.

In this case, we upload our main image as usual to Storbie, then provide a cropped version for mobile devices.

hero-vw

In the above example, we have the large image of Max Patte’s ‘Solace of the Wind’ (a much-loved Wellington sculpture) wearing a Very Well t-shirt, with the Wellington waterfront in the background.

We then also have a cropped version for mobile devices so that you can still clearly read the back of the t-shirt.

As mentioned, Storbie already uses responsive mobile design, so will automatically resize your images as smaller screens require, but providing a cropped image is another feature we provide to ensure focus remains on your chosen element. 

Next Step: Page Names and URL

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