SEO For Photographs and Galleries on Squarespace Websites

Squarespace SEO Tools for Images

Building Squarespace Website Galleries with Keyword Phrases For SEO

An interior design firm is a visually oriented businesses and your Squarespace website should reflect this fact. With a little work you can optimize your images to improve your search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your site. For many non-visual websites SEO is accomplished solely through the creation of keyword rich content using industry specific keywords and phrases. Visually oriented businesses (like interior design firms) have the ability to add another layer of SEO by optimizing images for search.

As social media and mobile device use has become more prominent, SEO criteria has changed. Today the focus has shifted slightly to include page load times, social authority and structured data, but image optimization is still a key area ripe for driving traffic.

Taking a little extra time when posting images can transform your photos into traffic drivers. The following four best practices can turn your photo posting process into a traffic driving, lead generating tool.

The first step: Amend your image file name

Digital cameras assign a numerical identifier to photos, for example DCS0250.jpg. This offers no information about the photo or how it may be used. Simply posting this photo directly with the numerical identifier bumps up against Google's image publishing guidelines and does nothing to enhance your SEO. These guidelines specifically state that image file names should be amended before posting.

While Google's algorithm is robust, it's still not able to “read” an image and determine what is depicts, although that may change in the future. Currently Google uses the surrounding text including the photo identifier to identify a photo and its relevance. Google examines the file name and in the absence of other data, that identifier may be used as the image's snippet in search results. Take the time to rename your photos with a long tail keyword phrase like "Contemporary Kitchen Interior Design Boston, MA" or something similar for your image and your market. It can provide significant SEO benefits.

Resize Your Images dimensions and weight

Google has been taking strides to improve the mobile web experience by penalizing those websites whose images are to large. 53% of all Google search inquiries are on mobile devices. Before you upload your image to your Squarespace website page or gallery, it must be resized for the web. This can easily be done using Photoshop Elements or the free app, JPEGMini. Both of these options reduce file sizes without reducing the quality of the image. Begin by setting the width of your image to 1500 pixels for a horizontal format and 1000 pixels for a vertical. Drag the image into Photoshop Elements and after tweaking the look of the image choose "Save For Web" in the File drop down. Make certain to select the option, "Optimized" and select a quality that results in a file size under 300kb. It has been my experience that images of 1.5MB can be reduced to the appropriate size without a visible reduction in sharpness. If you have downloaded JPEGMini, resize your image to the 1500px or 1000px dimensions and then drag the image into the app and it will resize the image automatically. 

Complete the file name text box

When uploading a photo, you are prompted to provide add alt text to the "File Name" box. Alt text is the text associated with an image file. Some browsers display this text in place of the photo, or while it is loading. Search engines use this data to further identify photo content. Adding alt text gives your site an SEO boost that makes it more visible to search engines and can improve your page rank.

Google has stated that alt text is closely examined for relevance when determining page rank. Alt text also has a deeper purpose. It is displayed as a replacement for images when browsers cannot access image files. Visually impaired users or those with slow Internet access may also get alt text in lieu of images.

Use natural descriptive words as opposed to keyword stuffing your alt text. Accurately describe your image including descriptors like color, texture, location, materials used and other words that can improve your SEO. Alt text can be up to 16 words, use them well!

Click Here For Step By Step Instructions on Adding Alternative Tags To Your Squarespace Website

Squarespace Image Captions

Caption your photos

Captions are sometimes seen as controversial. Some designers feel that they clutter a page and show how poorly an image integrates in the page design. The belief is that if an image integrates seamlessly into your design, you shouldn't need a caption to explain it. Ultimately the argument against adding a caption is just plain false. Squarespace allows you to create the caption for an additional SEO boost and then select the option "Do Not Display Caption" in the image upload screen. It solves both the aesthetic and functional problem.

Captions help with bounce rate

A caption can work to catch your visitor's attention when scanning your site and may keep them on your page longer. Creating a link to an internal page for the caption can help reduce your bounce rate. A high bounce rate can negatively impact your SEO score. By keeping readers engaged, and moving them to another page on your site, even for a little longer, you can improve your search results. 

In Squarespace, captions act as title tags

The title tag is the text that appears when a website visitor hovers over an image. It's also the text that a user sees when the place your image onto their Pinterest board. Title tags are a valuable SEO resource and it's a good practice to include specific keywords. For example if your image is attached to a blog post try to include the same keyword in both your post and your title tag. Using the same or similar keyword phrases adds search authority and can improve your ranking.

This little snippet of text is important, visible and valuable. Don't skip it or fill it with useless information. Avoid industry jargon and focus on relevant keywords to add maximum value.

Employing these best practices for photo search engine optimization can impact your interior design firm's search ranking. With proper use following these guidelines can help to increase visibility and authority with the search engines, resulting in higher SERP rankings and driving traffic to your website. It's a simple fix that takes just a little bit of extra time but returns big dividends!

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About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.

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