Publishing great content isn’t all about the text. Considering the visual appeal of your website is paramount to producing an appealing site visitors will want to return to. A significant element to consider in the layout and design of your site is the images you use.
Finding images to use
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t simply search for an image on Google and copy it to your website. Photos and artwork are covered by copyright laws, and using them without permission is illegal. That doesn’t mean there aren’t cheap and free options, including stock image sites and Creative Commons licenses.
How to cite images
Citations are very important, even with free photos. Stock sites will stipulate their citation terms, but as a rule of thumb you should include the title, source link, artist name, and license type. Most licensing terms depend on the citation in order to be valid, so this is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped.
Using text in images
A lot of sites, particularly on blogging platforms such as WordPress, display a branded graphic at the top of each webpage. These can be a great way to build your brand, but used incorrectly they can also be harmful to your SEO, because search engine crawlers can’t read images. For that reason, use text in images sparingly, and make sure it’s properly labeled and tagged.
Naming and ALT tags
When you download an image from a stock site, it will have that site’s naming convention as the title. Before uploading it to your site, rename it with descriptive keywords. Also look for ALT (or “alternative text”) options. These don’t display on the webpage, but search engine crawlers read them, giving you another opportunity to add keywords to your site.
Most sites give you a chance to caption your images. Most people skim webpages, and are naturally drawn to images, and the captions underneath. If you’re not using captions, you’re losing an opportunity to speak to your audience.
If you’re not sure how to start, pick a plan and let TechTe.am’s friendly experts help.