The Website Images Checklist

Website Images are an integral part of your content, whether you are an eCommerce business or a brochure site selling services the images are a key component of your sales Funnel.  When done correctly, images will aid your website when done correctly.

To make sure you are getting the most from your website images we have built a simple checklist.

Are Your Existing Website Images High Quality?

Website images are like websites themselves, they date. After a few years, they can begin to look tired, images from the early 2000’s are often too small and pixelated for today’s high-resolution screens. Photos of staff members and premises can go out of date, as fashions change and your staff members come and go.

Review your images, do it honestly, ask some team members and friends to review the images too. Get detailed feedback on the images on your website.

1) Take new photos yourself
If you are a great amateur photographer this could be the way to go.  It would be a good investment to buy a decent SLR camera, Some lights and a green screen or a lightbox. Again, be honest, if you can’t take photos, and you can’t use photoshop, forget it, Options 2 & 3 will serve you better.

2) Pay for Stock images
There are loads of good Stock image companies out there. My advice would be to pay for a premium service such as Shutterstock. The level of photos available is far superior to most others out there. However, if you are struggling for cash, then try a free Stock image account like Pixaby or Pexels.

3) Hire a Professional
To get exactly what you want, hiring a professional is by far the way to go. They will translate your vision into reality whilst providing their artistic interpretation. the photos will be of high quality and you will own the rights to them ( if you negotiate that).

Hire a professional product photographer to come into your business and photograph your products or if you only offer services,  you should hire a good wedding photographer to come to your business and shoot your team in situ. These photographs will make a huge difference to the way users perceive your website.

Does Your Website Images Depict Your Goods & Services?

Working in this industry I see many websites that fail to utilise images well. It’s your job as the website owner/merchandiser to SELL your business and convince users that your products and services are the best.

Try to show your customers the benefits of owning such products, so blurry, dark, or poorly presented images won’t help you to sell.

Would the product benefit from any extra images?
If you are selling a product, the more detailed images you can provide the better impression of the product you will present to the customer.

Selling cars? Provide lots of feature images.  Selling software? provide screenshots of the different functions. It’s not rocket science. A good example is the Apple App store or Amazon. I’d never buy products that don’t at least try to sell the product. Most customers need to be convinced of how good the product is before they buy.

Are Your Images Compressed ?

Whether your images are coming from a digital camera or from photoshop or similar apps, they need to be compressed so that they load quickly.

Even in today’s world of super-fast broadband (jokes if you live in the UK) uncompressed images can still slow a website down significantly.

To avoid this compress your images. Image compression software squeezes images and removes and unnecessary data from the files. Good image compression software is included in Photoshop, using the save for web feature. A quick Google search will help you find alternatives if you don’t use Photoshop.

WordPress users can turn to a range of image compression plugins.  My favourite two are WP-Smush and Shortpixel.

Try to avoid scaling your images.
Blurry product images with a small physical size have been stretched to fill more space on a page.  It’s better to create clear, high-resolution images, and then create smaller versions to use on category and product pages, rather than to try to scale an image up or down.

Scaling a small image up reduces the sharpness of an image.
Scaling a large image down reduces the way it looks on the page. It will still have its large file size, which can slow down the loading time of your web page.

If you think the images need replacing, don’t hold off.  When it comes to replacing the images on your website, you have three choices.

Are Your Images Named Properly?

This is a great tip. So many websites and I literally mean about 98% of all websites I ever see, do not name their images correctly.  It’s such a simple tip that can help with:

  • Your organisation of files, both on your server and local machines
  • Helps search engines categorise the images better
  • improving  your SEO

Never just use the names from your digital camera. eg: DSC12674546sd
instead, try something like Eg. blue-salomon-trail-shoes.jpg

Do your images have alt tags?
Alt attributes within <img> tags are used by search engines to understand the contents of your images. If you neglect alt attributes, you may miss the chance to get a better placement in search results because alt attributes allow you to rank in image search results. Not using alt attributes also negatively affects the experience of visually impaired users and those who have disabled images in their browsers.

  • Always use hyphens to replace spaces or underscores
  • Always use lowercase not uppercase letters
  • Use Alpha-Numerics (and hyphens) where possible

Image Formats and Physical File Sizes

Ideally, use PNG formatting or JPG.
PNG files are good for logos, buttons and banners. use JPG/JPEG for photographs.  GIFS (Jiffs) are good fun but shouldn’t be used for product images.

Files size is the number of bytes (information) contained in an image. Physical size refers to its dimensions, eg: with and height. Depending on the aspect ratio you have decided upon for products, we recommend somewhere between 1000 and 1500 pixels in dimensions for image uploads. This should cover any zoom requirements.

If all of that wasn’t enough, here’s a quick audio podcast we made too.

Phil Gregory

Phil is the founder of Peak District SEO. He helps businesses make more money. Using traditional Search engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media, and paid advertising (PPC). Phil loves Real Ale & Fell Running.

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