How to Build an Image Database You'll Actually Use
In our last article, we talked about How to Create Engaging Content
(you can read it HERE
). But, in order to create content that captures your audience’s attention, you’ll need a plethora of stock and branded photography to choose from. Believe it or not, there’s a lot that goes into building an image database, including sourcing the photos, storing them and optimizing for search results. After nearly 50 years in business, Weed Man knows the importance of quality images. Below, we list some of our go-to tips on How to Build an Image Database You’ll Actually Use
There are many options when it comes to stock photography. There are free stock photo websites available for everyone and anyone to use, such as unsplash.com
. The only downfall to sites like these is you may be limited as to what you can find, especially if your business is niche or in a very specific industry. If this sounds like you, there are paid stock photography websites available as well, and at an affordable monthly rate.
You’ll have no problem sourcing generic photos by using stock image libraries, but having branded content is important, too! Just think about your marketing efforts – you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors and to do that, you need unique content that showcases your brand, who you are and what you do. Arranging annual, bi-annual or even quarterly photoshoots (depending on how frequent your products and/or services change) is an important piece of the puzzle.
Storing Your Images
Are there multiple people that need access to your photo library? If so, storing images on your mobile device or desktop may not be an ideal solution. Not to mention, categorizing your images is recommended, for easy access. Consider using a secure file sharing and storage software, such as Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud.
It’s not just about sourcing relevant and useful images, it’s also important to ensure your photos are optimized for search engines, like Google. Why is it important to optimize your images? According to sparktoro.com, about a quarter of all search traffic today happens on Google Images. If your pictures aren’t optimized for search, they simply won’t appear in search results. To optimize your images, follow the below steps:
- Ensure photos are high-resolution but not too large, as bigger-than-recommended file sizes could affect load time. Images should be at least 1200 pixels wide (minimum of 800,000 pixels total), in .jpeg, .png or .gif format. The recommended aspect ratios are: 16:9, 4:3, or square. If photos do not meet Google’s recommended dimensions, the photo will likely be cropped in search results.
- Name your image (ie. “IMG.0089” does not tell search engines anything about your photo). Keep your file name basic, but descriptive – a term or phrase people might query for.
- Add alt tags – an alternate display of text in place of the image. Keep is relevant to the image and page content. Do not keyword-stuff or over-SEO, as this could ultimately impede your results in Image Search.
- Include image captions, such as an image title and description, and anticipate them showing up in search results. Also adding a more thorough, in-depth description is also recommended.
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