Making better use of images for CRO

Images are an extremely important part of your website, not only from an SEO standpoint, but also in terms of conversion rate optimisation (CRO). As you prepare your site to convert more often it is vital to take a look and what you are currently doing with images, and what you could be missing out on.

Here we take a look at some of the ways that your website can use images (and make better use of them) to improve your conversion rates.

Size matters

Image size can have a huge effect on CRO for a number of reasons. And one of the major challenges here is finding the right balance between small file size and high quality, both of which can influence your conversion rates.

From a size perspective, it is ideal to have images that are 100kb or less. Images that are much larger than this can significantly slow down your website loading speeds. When pages load slowly it has a very negative effect on conversions; one study found that pages that load in 2.4 seconds have a 1.9 per cent conversion rate, while at 4.2 seconds that number had nearly halved to less than 1 per cent.

However, of course it is also necessary to have images to the correct quality. In some instances, if you need high resolution images it can be acceptable to use larger file sizes – however, it is best to keep these images off of your key landing pages.

Visual CTAs

One smart way to use images to improve your CRO is to place calls-to-action (CTAs) in them. Making images clickable and including text in the picture can be a powerful way to foreground the next step in the process for the customer. It also gives you the chance to make your CTAs more descriptive, so that customers know where the next click will take them.

Having descriptive CTAs is recommended by Google as a valuable part of improving the user experience (UX) on your site.

Showing off your credentials

If your business has any kind of professional accreditations or industry standards then it is a very good idea to show images of these on your website. Displaying your credentials shows off to potential customers that you are trusted at the service that you provide.

It also gives your website a more official and professional look – so ensure that these images are visible on your homepage.

Be unique

It is important to use unique images wherever possible. Remember that some customers will engage more with imagery than they will with text, so you should try to use as many different images as possible when they are appropriate with the page.

Don’t overload

However, it is also crucial that you shouldn’t overload your site with images. Aside from adding to the page loading time, it can also be overwhelming visually and have the opposite effect on your conversion rates.

 

Are you interested in learning more about conversion rate optimisation? At Artemis we have years of experience using images to improve websites. If you would like to learn more about what we could do for you, get in contact with us today.


London Big Ben

The big picture – what to do with bigger images

London Skyline Test Image - Original

In one of our recent blog posts, we took a look at image optimisation and some great online tools to reduce the file size of your images. In that post, we suggested that the ideal file size for images should be 100kb or below. This is because big images with large file sizes can slow down your website, which is a key factor for site optimisation – as well as keeping users from leaving your site to go somewhere else.

However, getting your image to this file size isn’t always achievable. In fact, there are some cases where you might not want to lower your image to 100kb at all. If you’ve got a big hero image that needs adding, then it is more than likely that reducing that larger image to 100kb will lower the overall quality of the picture.

When should images be 100kb or less?

So, you might now be wondering when you should actually aim to get your image to 100kb or less. Imagine you are working on a service page for your website, taking our previous blog post about image compression as an example. If you are putting an image in a content area like this, it doesn’t need to be very big. This includes the actual dimensions of the image, as well as the file size itself.

Say you have taken a great photo of one of your recent projects, and you want to include a preview of that on your service page. The photo itself probably looks fantastic, but you don’t need to squeeze in print quality images from a HD camera into a small section like this. Take a look at the file size and the image dimensions before you upload it to your page. You can check this easily by right clicking and going to the properties and details section of the image. If it is really big, try and reduce this to fit the area it’s going to be put. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use a free tool like Pixlr.com or GIMP.

When should images be over 100kb?

Again, you should always aim to keep your file sizes low. In some cases however, this is not an option – and as mentioned, reducing the file size can have an impact on the quality of the image. If you are adding a big hero image, or maybe a gallery of photos to show off a recent project, then the image dimensions and file size are naturally going to be bigger. Still, you don’t need to upload images that are several MB in size. This is going to have a notable impact on your site speed if you do.

Try some of the tools from our previous post to see if you can get your file sizes down. There are a lot of great, free tools out there on the internet that can reduce your file sizes. Some of them also include a handy tool that let’s you preview the image as you adjust the size. This way, you can see whether the image quality is getting too low for your liking. You should also think about the dimensions of the picture you want to use. Does it fit the section you’re trying to put it? Does it need to be several 1000 pixels wide by several 1000 pixels high? Reducing the dimensions can also help to reduce the file size.

Be smart

In summary, you just have to think about what’s best for the image that you’re uploading. Try and get the file size down as much as you can, but keep an eye on the quality of the image. See if you can reduce the image to an appropriate size. WordPress and other Content Management Systems might automatically scale down your images on the page itself, but it will still be loading the full-size image. A small image within your text doesn’t need to be several MB in size, neither does a larger image.

If you would like more advice on image optimisation, or any other SEO concerns that you might have, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.


Successful Magento SEO Optimisation

Successful Magento SEO Optimisation

Successful Magento SEO Optimisation
We are very proud of this amazing review we received today – a 500% increase in quality organic traffic is an incredible achievement. Magento brings its own unique challenges for SEO, and over the years we have seen many instances of large Magento-based ecommerce websites struggling to achieve great organic rankings.

At Artemis we have managed to achieve fantastic results for our Magento-based ecommerce clients – if you would like to learn more about what we could do you for your ecommerce site, please get in contact with us today:

info@artemis.marketing
01444 645018

Review Image

Read all of our great client testimonials on Free Index, here.


drone-flying-range-rover

‘Boys and their toys’ – A sunny afternoon spent filming with our new drone!

Drone Video Production Artemis Image
Our Video Production Expert, Vince Holton and his team, have been filming a 2018 Range Rover Sport with the latest InControl Touch Pro Duo connected infotainment system using the latest 4K Drone technology, the DJI Mavic Air, to produce high-quality, aerial footage for one of our motor industry clients.

Vince has many years producing a wide range of video content from talking heads interviews, conferences, product launches and video blogging. Video is becoming an ever more important component for online success and if you’re interested in discussing where our video production expertise could benefit your business, feel free to get in touch to discuss opportunities, where we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

For more information, please get in touch with our video production experts today: vince.holton@artemis.marketing


brighton-wheel-and-sky

Who needs Photoshop? Top Tips for Image Compression

London Skyline Test Image - Original

Great images can be one of the most important aspects of your website from a user perspective. They can help sell your products, tell visitors what your business is all about and make your website look appealing. However, if your images aren’t done properly then this could have a negative impact on the performance of your site, as well as your rankings in the search results.

Huge images with massive file sizes will slow down your website – and if your site doesn’t load fast enough, people are going to leave. Site speed is also a major part of Google’s mobile-first index, so it’s important to get this right.

Let’s say your business operates across London and you want to use the above image of the London city skyline on one of your pages. Great! However, the file size for this image is too big. Without running it through online compression tools or using image editing software, this file is 183kb. That’s almost twice the recommended amount for optimisation purposes. Ideally, the image should be 100kb or below, although that’s easier said than done for some larger images.

Luckily, there are a few tools available online for free that can help lower the size of your images. We’ve taken a look at some of them below:

Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

London Skyline GIMP Preview Image

If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you could always try this handy image editing software. Available to download for free, GIMP can help compress and optimise your images. You can resize the actual images dimensions so they fit the size needed for your website, as well as reducing them to the recommended level of 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). As you can see from the image above, this lets us get the London skyline image to 97.8kb, which is a perfectly acceptable file size for uploading to your website.

TinyJPG

London Skyline Test Image - After Tiny JPG

If you don’t want to download an image editor, there are a few image compression tools online that you can use for free. TinyJPG is a great example of a free online tool that can help get your file sizes down to an acceptable size. You can also compress multiple images at once, although there is a limit to how many you can do in one session.

Take a look at the image above for example. We tested our London skyline image to see how effective TinyJPG would be. Conveniently, the site gives you a comparison, showing the file size before and after compression. This reduced our image to a total of 79.5kb, which is fantastic in comparison to the original file size.

Optimizilla

London Skyline Test Image - After Optomizilla

Optimizilla is another great (and free!) online image compression tool, similar to TinyJPG. Just like TinyJPG, you can compress a number of images and then download them all once Optimizilla has done its job. Unlike TinyJPG however, Optimizilla shows you a preview of your images once they have been compressed so you can see if you’re happy with the results. If your images haven’t quite gotten below the 100kb benchmark, you can also adjust the quality with each one using the provided quality slider to the right of the previews. This also lets you see how the image would be effected as you play with the slider settings.

As you can see, Optimizilla does a brilliant job of reducing file sizes. With Optimizilla’s compression alone, the image was reduced to 117kb. We were able to reduce this further using the quality control slider, reducing it to a grand total of only 69kb. Thanks to the image previews, we can also see that the image quality is seemingly untouched compared to the original.

More top tips and advice

One thing to keep in mind when trying these tools is that you might see different results depending on the image you’re trying to compress. While we had the best result using Optimizilla with our example, we have had mixed results in the past. For example, in some image tests GIMP has come out on top. It’s always worth trying different tools to see what will give you the best outcome for your image.

If you’d like more advice on optimising your images, take a look at our blog post here for more of our top tips. Alternatively, get in touch with us today to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns you might have.


Mobile Matters

Why Mobile Matters

Mobile Matters

In 2016, a study found that the number of people browsing the internet on their mobile overtook desktop for the first time ever. Another article from Search Engine Land found that nearly 60% of search queries were made from mobile devices. The message is clear: mobile matters, and speed is key.

Think about how often you use your mobile to search for information. Now think about how many potential customers might be looking for your business. Ranking highly in Google will help put the spotlight on your website – but poor performance on mobile will turn perspective clients away.

For example, imagine you’re out and about and you want to find out more about where you’re going. Or maybe you’re looking for a café near you or the nearest hardware shop. You pull out your phone, load up Google and click on the first result – but it’s loading too slowly. Think about the last time you were in this situation, how long did you wait before leaving the site and trying another link? Most of us don’t wait very long.

We’ve grown to expect information on our phones at a moment’s notice, and having to wait just simply won’t do. 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. If your website doesn’t load quickly on mobile, this will also impact how many people will try and come back.

A study from Google last year showed that 79% of visitors who are unsatisfied with site performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. Whether you’re running a large e-commerce site or a website for your local business, this attitude from mobile users will have a major impact on visits and returns to your site.

Mobile performance is continuing to become more and more important to businesses and SEO. With Google’s mobile-first index continuing to loom on the horizon, it’s now more critical than ever to make sure your site loads quickly on mobile.

Contact us

At Artemis, we are constantly preparing for Google’s mobile-first index and focusing on mobile speed, design and user friendliness. If you would like to discuss this subject or any SEO concerns, get in touch with us today. Visit our blog often for more updates from our SEO Team.


SEO Basics – Title Tags, what are they and how can they help?

website optimisation

When you’re browsing a website or looking through Google search results, you will without a doubt end up seeing title tags on almost every page that you click on. When done correctly, title tags can be very beneficial for you, your business and the people visiting your website. A good title tag will also improve the overall optimisation of your website and improve click through rates. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at what title tags are and how they can help improve your click through rates and overall SEO.

What is a title tag?

A title tag is a short snippet of text that shows the title of your page in search result pages and browser tabs. For example, if you hover over the tab for this post in your browser you will see the title tag we have added. A good title tag is typically short, contains one or two keywords related to the page, a pipe command (This character: | ) and then your company name. This helps to show your readers what the page is all about, as well as sending positive signals to Google.

 

 

The recommended length for a title tag is 50-60 characters. A title that is too long will not display properly on Google, so it is important to keep within this limit. However, different devices may only be able to show title tags at different lengths. You might have written a great title tag that displays correctly in Google on a desktop, but it could be too long to show correctly on a mobile device.

As with all aspects of Search Engine Optimisation, keyword stuffing is frowned upon. This looks spammy and will drive away potential customers, as well as sending negative signals to Google which will result in your page ranking much lower.

Luckily if you’re using WordPress, you can easily add title tags in using plugins. If you’re on a different Content Management System (CMS) you will probably need to add this to the html on each page in head section, for example <title>Internet Marketing and SEO Agency in Sussex | Artemis</title>. Speak to your site administrator to find out the best way of adding these in on your website.

Why are Title Tags useful and how can they improve my SEO?

Title tags have two main benefits. Firstly, they are a great way of getting visitors to click through to your page from search result pages. A short and tidy title tag with a clear message could make all the difference when a potential client is looking through the search results. Good click through rates from well written title tags also send positive signals to Google, making your page more likely to rank higher. If you have a poorly structured title tag, you could end up unintentionally sending prospective clients to competitors with better title tags.

Keywords in title tags help to send signals and let Google know what your page is about. Not having a keyword in your title tag can dramatically reduce your chances of ranking higher, especially if your competitors are using well-structured title tags with the terms that you’re trying to target. Having the keyword close to the start of your title tag will also help Google to see it easier. Remember not to use too many keywords and to write a nice, short title tag, as Google will be more likely to rank this higher.

A quick recap

  • A title tag is a snippet of text that shows in search results and in browser tabs.
  • Keep your title tags short and make sure they are well written. Avoid keyword spam!
  • Title tags help customers know what your page is about and improve click through rates.
  • A good title tag will send positive signals to Google, making your page likely to rank higher.

If you would like to discuss the subject covered in this blog or any other SEO concerns, get in touch with our professional SEO team today. Keep an eye on our blog for more SEO advice and updates.


Internal links – what are they and how can they help?

Internal links are everywhere – you’ve probably come across plenty of them on every website you visit without giving them much thought. Internal links can be very helpful – not just for people using your site, but also for how Google sees and ranks your website. In this blog post we’ll be taking a brief look at internal links, explaining what they are and how they can improve your website and overall SEO.

What is an internal link?

An internal link is simply a bit of text on your website that is linked to another page on the same site. For example, imagine you’ve just added a new page about one of the services your business provides and you add a link to this within the text of your main services page. This hyperlinked text is called “Anchor Text” and anyone who clicks on it will be taken straight to your new page. Luckily if you’re using WordPress then adding an internal link is easy – just highlight the text you want to use in the page editor, select the paperclip icon, paste in the url of the targeted page and click apply. You can see an example of this in the image below.

Why are internal links helpful and how can they improve my site?

Internal links are helpful for two main reasons. Firstly, they allow site visitors and potential customers to easily navigate your site. You can also use them as a call to action, for example to direct a user towards your contact page to fill in a form submission.

Secondly, internal links allow Google to crawl your site easier which in turn could mean that your pages rank higher in the search results. Google uses internal links to navigate your site almost the same way a visitor would to explore your site, see new pages and index them, so including internal links is a good idea. Using a keyword as the anchor text for your internal links is recommended as this signals to Google what the page is about. Say for example you’re linking to a specific services page, rather than using services as the anchor text you should use a keyword that also helps describe the page, such as SEO Services.

Too many internal links on a page however is not ideal and may negatively impact your rankings. A lot of links clumped together on a page also looks bad from a user perspective and can make your page look spammy and unpleasant, causing potential customers to click away from your site. Similarly, you should also avoid using too much anchor text for your internal links and avoid stuffing too many keywords in as well. This is also considered to be spammy to Google.

A quick recap

  • An internal link is a hyperlinked piece of text pointing towards another page on your website
  • Internal links help customers navigate your website
  • Internal links also help Google crawl your site easier and index your pages
  • Use keywords in your anchor text to let Google know what the page is about
  • Keep your internal links short and sweet – avoid using too much text and keywords in your links
  • Avoid using too many internal links to keep your page looking good

If you would like to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. Visit our blog regularly for more updates from our SEO team.


London City Skyline

Optimising your Images to Improve SEO

There are a lot of small ways to improve the overall optimisation of your website that many people may overlook. One way is to make sure that any images you add to your site are well optimised. A website with well optimised images will always outrank a site with poor image optimisation, so it’s important to make sure your images are up to standard if you want to get ahead of the competition. Fortunately, this is very easy to do. Take a look at our top tips below for better image optimisation.

Naming your files

London City Skyline

One of the simplest mistakes people make when saving and uploading an image is not choosing a good file name. Choosing a short but descriptive filename is a good way to tell Google what the image is and what it’s about, as well as possibly adding in a keyword.

Avoid default filenames such as image3323.jpg. Instead, try to describe the image in a few words. For example, if you’re uploading an image of the London city skyline you could call it just that – london-city-skyline.jpg. As a matter of best practice, you should always avoid spamming keywords or adding long file names.

Inserting alt text

Adding alt text to your images is another easy way to optimise your images and let Google know what they are about. Alt text is a short bit of text that shows when the image is unavailable for any reason, such as if images are disabled by the reader’s browser or if they have trouble with their internet and cannot correctly load the page.

How to add alt text using the WordPress media library

Luckily if you are using WordPress, there are two easy ways you can add alt text to your images. One way to do this is through the WordPress media library. Select the image from your library – on the sidebar to the right you will then see an option to add alt text to that image.

You can also change this each time you add the image to avoid spamming the same alt text across all of your images. You can also add alt text by clicking the “Text” tab from the page editor in WordPress. This lets you see the html text for the page and is useful for a lot of other things. Any images already in your post, such as the image above, will have an alt section, for example alt=”How to add alt text using the WordPress media library” />

Reduce your image sizes

Loading times are a hugely important factor when it comes to SEO. The longer a website takes to load, the more likely it is that people will leave your site – especially on mobile. Having a large image will increase loading times, as the image will still have to be loaded at the original size. For example, imagine you have downloaded a great image to use on your site, but the image dimensions are huge.

reducing-file-size-with-pixlr

Unless you’re using a full page template it’s unlikely that you will need an image with a 1000 pixel width. The images in this post for example are scaled down to a width of 680 pixels which fits nicely on the page and helps to reduce loading times. If you don’t have Photoshop or image editing software, there are a number of free tools you can use online such as Pixlr.com. To help reduce loading times even further and improve your overall optimisation, you should also make sure the file size is as small as possible.

A quick recap

  • Name your image file appropriately
  • Add alt text to your images
  • Make sure your images are not too big – reduce the image size and resize them to fit your page

If you would like to discuss this subject or any SEO concerns, Get in touch with us today. Visit our blog often for more updates from our SEO Team.

 


Keeping your WordPress website safe and secure

 

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SEO is a slow process – it takes lots of time and hard work to reach the first page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for your rankings to drop if Google’s algorithms detect an issue with your website. For example, a hacked site will quickly be flagged by Google and will drop in rankings, or be removed from result pages if the problem is severe. This will take a long time to recover in rankings.

Ning Song, a software engineer at Google wrote a blog post in October last year detailing the changes to the algorithms that target hacked spam in search results:

“We are aggressively targeting hacked spam in order to protect users and webmasters.

The algorithmic changes will eventually impact roughly 5% of queries, depending on the language. As we roll out the new algorithms, users might notice that for certain queries, only the most relevant results are shown, reducing the number of results shown

This is due to the large amount of hacked spam being removed, and should improve in the near future. We are continuing tuning our systems to weed out the bad content while retaining the organic, legitimate results.”

Source

It is undoubtable that since then Google has refined its algorithms to target hacked content. Fortunately if your site is on WordPress there a few easy steps you can take to prevent hackers and vulnerabilities from having a negative impact on your rankings. These simple suggestions could potentially save your time, rankings and revenue in the long run.

Take a look at our suggestions below:

Keep your WordPress version up to date

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WordPress regularly releases new versions, often including bug fixes and new features that will help to improve your website. You or your site administrator will typically receive an email if a new update is available, or if WordPress has automatically updated – so you will have plenty of notice when a new version is released. It is important to keep WordPress up to date to avoid potential vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit.

As a precaution, you should take a backup of your website before updating WordPress in case of incompatibilities with any themes or plugins that you’re using, as these may not yet have been updated to work with the new version of WordPress. If you’re not sure about updating WordPress, speak to your site administrator.

Make sure your theme is up to date

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Just like WordPress, your theme may also be updated regularly. You can check if a new version of your theme is available by going to your WordPress dashboard and checking your available updates, or checking your themes page. This is part of the essential framework of your website, so again it is important that you take a backup before updating your themes.

You should also remove any unnecessary themes that aren’t in use on your website, as these can quickly become outdated and create vulnerabilities in your website. Take a look at the example site below:

 

keeping-your-wordpress-website-safe-and-secure-4

 

In this case, Executive Pro and Genesis are both in use, but the others are not. Default themes such as Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Fourteen etc. are typically left hanging around on WordPress sites. These optional themes are added when WordPress is first set up – so unless you’re using them you should remove them as a matter of safe practice. Fortunately these are easy to remove, just click on the themes and delete the ones that are not in use. Make sure you do not delete the active themes that are being used!

Keep an eye on your plugins

keeping-your-wordpress-website-safe-and-secure-5

 

Plugins are great – they can add new features to your site and provide easy customisation. However, these can easily get out of hand. Ideally you shouldn’t have lots installed on your site. The more plugins you have, the more updates you will need to run to keep them in check. This will also mean a higher chance of incompatibilities between plugins, themes and WordPress, leaving your site vulnerable to hackers and potentially causing other issues.

A quick recap

  • Take backups before updating
  • Make sure WordPress is up to date
  • Update your themes and remove any that are not in use
  • Keep your plugins up to date and don’t install too many to reduce vulnerabilities

If you would like to discuss this subject or any SEO concerns, contact us today. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates from our SEO Team.