3 Crucial Steps To Optimize Images For Squarespace SEO
I'm noticing that a lot of Squarespace websites I come across aren't taking advantage of the great opportunity that images permit for bolstering SEO.
So I decided to put together a little checklist, things to make sure you do every single time you upload a photo to your website (blog posts included). It's simple and straightforward and very important for the success of your website, so let's get started.
A note about SEO keywords -
The foundation of all good SEO is thorough keyword research. If you aren't clear on the keywords for your site, you won't be able to move forward with any other SEO endeavors, like optimizing your images.
I work with many clients who have a very poor understanding of keywords so many of their blogging and website endeavors end up being futile.
For example, a wedding photographer who wants to target for the keyword phrase "wedding photography" probably doesn't understand how SEO works.
Who is your target audience, your target client? What are they searching for on Google? Good SEO anticipates your ideal customer's Google searches.
If you live in Carmel Valley, CA and are searching for a photographer for your wedding, you won't just search for "wedding photography" because that would bring up wedding photos from around the world and that doesn't really help you at all. Instead you'll have more specific searches such as: "wedding photographer carmel valley" or "best creative wedding photography carmel" or "affordable wedding photography carmel ca." Choosing keywords is simply guessing what your clientele will be searching for online. SEO is a waymarker, a little road sign, to your content.
If you have a website but aren't clear on your keywords, it's likely that your website is an expense and not an asset.
This post isn't about how to hone in on the best keywords for your website though, so I'd consider hiring a professional for this if you're new to SEO, because the right keywords really are fundamental to all other SEO endeavors.
So step 1 of optimizing images (or anything) for SEO is thorough keyword research.
Moving on ~
Optimizing images for Squarespace SEO, a checklist:
(whenever you upload a photo to squarespace, including blog posts, make sure to do the following)
Resize Images For Faster Loading Times
Squarespace's photo editing software allows you to resize images that have been uploaded to your website using image dimensions - just hover over the image, click Edit, then hover over the image inside that box and click Edit, then Resize, Apply, Save. However, image dimensions and aspect ratio are not the same as overall file size.
Using the photo editing software on your computer, make sure that every image you plan to upload to your website has a file size that is no larger than 500 KB in order to achieve the best load times.
Optimize image file names
When you upload a photo file to Squarespace, it maintains the native name that you've assigned to it. Often these names are just file numbers such as IMG_9617, so you need to edit the file name to describe the photo, the particular blog post, and/or your business. Though we can't see this particular type of SEO, search engines can.
Images are a wonderful way to boost SEO on your site.
When you upload a photo, whether it's to your site in general, or to a blog post, make sure to change the file name. Using our wedding photographer example, let's say you just uploaded a portrait to your homepage with a native file name of "Jessica-Anthony-071618." Since your potential clients likely aren't searching Google for "Jessica Anthony 071618" edit the name to be something they are searching for like "Carmel Valley Film Wedding Photographer."
Here's an example from my own website:
add alt text in the form of captions
Next, you want to add keywords to the caption of each photo. Don't worry, we're going to hide this so no one will see it. But Google will see it, which is what matters.
Once you've uploaded a photo, add a caption. I choose some SEO keywords and - if it's a blog post photo - I also include the title of that particular blog post. To do this, click on the uploaded image and a box will appear below the image. Enter your caption there. Now, hover over the image, click Edit, then click Design at the top right, and in the dropdown menu select Do Not Display Caption, then click Apply.
Ta-da! You now have alt text for that image - more keywords for Google bots to crawl and index.
That's it! Now it might be time to go put the kettle on and edit every single photo that was ever uploaded to your site prior to this knowledge download. Have fun ;)
I'm Tiffany - a Squarespace Web Designer & SEO Specialist. Here on the blog, I write about Squarespace tips, creative inspiration, art & design, and being self-employed.
Let me know if there's any way I can help you!
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