There are times when a gentle reminder on how best to optimize your pages can go a long way. One thing that I notice a lot when surfing the Net is the poor optimization of images, particularly images that overlap other areas of a page. There is really no excuse for that and it does indicate a lack of respect for readers and an amateurish approach to web site design.
Resizing an image is one of the easiest tasks to perform. Simply using the width= and height= commands will enable you to resize an image. You can, for example, alter the size of a graphic in percentage terms – width=”50%” height=”50%” or width=”120%” height=”120%”. Be sure to keep the graphic in perspective by using similar sizes for height and width. You can get away with using the width command on its own, most browsers will then alter the height to keep it all in perspective.
For search engines, there are a number of ways to optimise your images. These include:
- Using text in the file name rather than just image001,
- Including the ALT tag with descriptive text,
- Including the TITLE tag with descriptive text, and
- Placing your image in line with relevant content
There is an argument that suggests that the title tag is no longer relevant. However, since it doesn’t hurt your optimisation, why not include it? Placing your image in line with relevant content can also be important. It reinforces the text used in the ALT tag and provides the search engine with further proof of the image’s relevance.
Other suggestions include placing your images high on the page; hosting the image off site to increase load times (and reduce your own server times); and using smaller images rather than larger.
Images can be important to your pages. Optimize first for the reader in such a way they enhance your page rather than detract from it. Then include tags to help the search engines.