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Best Practices for Using Images on your Website

I often come across websites that feature abundant images. I don’t mean the images used in a website’s design, but the images that are a part of a website’s content. Sometimes it seems the whole content of a site is captured in images. This may work fine for sites that feature art or photography, but for most websites this doesn’t work.

An image may be worth a thousand words, but on the Internet words still rule as the foundation of good content. You can use images to support your written content, but you can’t use them to replace it.

Images are of course necessary. You can write several pages worth of descriptions of your product, but a single image will usually do much more to show your customers what you’re offering. But that image of your product shouldn’t replace your sales copy. It’s there to augment it, to supplement your written description. You still need words to describe your product’s and company’s advantages over your competitors.

Here are some best practices for using images on your website:

  1. Images don’t replace written content, they supplement and augment your copy.

  2. Don’t make your images too big. If the pictures you use on your site are too large they will drown your text and draw too much attention.

  3. Don’t make your images too small either. If a picture is too small it’ll be overlooked and you’ll lose the image’s impact.

  4. Let your text wrap around your images so that your images become an integrated part of your content. This ensures your visitors will absorb both the written content and the images.

  5. Don’t put written content in your images. Search engines don’t see images on your site, so any words you put in an image will be overlooked. Exceptions to this rule are images that perform an action when a user clicks on them, like a download- or submit-button.

  6. Use alt tags to give images descriptive text. These alt tags are what search engines see instead of the images. You can put relevant keywords in an image’s alt tag and thus help your site rank better in search engines.

  7. Use title tags to give your images appropriate tooltips. In an image’s title tag you can put additional written content that will show up as a tooltip when a user hovers over your image with their mouse pointer. Sometimes this can help you clarify or strengthen an image’s purpose.

Proper use of images on your website will enhance your site’s content and will ensure your users will have a positive experience on your site.

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