Website content expands beyond the written word. Visual content, and images, in particular, play a vital role in SEO for roofing. Photos can impact several aspects of your digital marketing campaign, from website speed to keyword placement and many things in between. Tried and true techniques from Roofing Webmasters can help roofers optimize their images both for ranking and user experience. Properly optimizing website images is part of a broader strategy to earn high rankings on Google search results. When Google crawls a website, they crawl everything on it, including image files embedded onto a page within its HTML code. Here are some of the factors that comprise the optimization of an image:
- Alt-Text: The completion and accuracy of the alt tag
- Compression: Compressed for web use and encourage fast loading
- File Name: A renamed file using all lowercase and dashes (i.e., damaged-roof.jpg)
- File Type: JPEG, PNG, or other web compressed file types
Well-optimized images are not only about ranking higher for keywords, and they are not only about enhancing user experience. Image optimization is about a collective effort to improve your roofing company website’s health and outperform competitors online. Because the proper optimization of photos is often a detail-oriented process, many websites flat out ignore it. Laziness from other websites provides an opportunity for roofers willing to go the extra mile to gain a competitive advantage. The quality of an image is about its resolution and compression and its originality and uniqueness. Google crawlers and visitors themselves both prefer optimized images.
Benefits of Image Optimization
Roofers’ main goal is to generate web traffic, which ultimately converts into lead generation. Optimizing on-site images helps achieve that goal. As Google increasingly values brands, image optimization grows even more critical. Still, it is the technical aspect of on-page photos that most directly influence rankings. Images can affect both organic results and image results, not to mention conversion rates. You’ll notice top-ranking local roofing websites showcase quality photos using techniques listed above. Check out some main benefits to websites with optimized images:
- Conversion Rates
- Image Rankings
- Organic Rankings
- Site Speed
Site speed is perhaps the most noticeable beneficiary of image optimization. Most users exit a website that fails to load within 3 seconds, and Google has increasingly weighted speed metrics as ranking factors. As attention spans decrease, users now expect instant results from their online channels. Small image files help sites load faster, enhancing user experience, reducing bounce rate, and encouraging calls to action.
In contrast, large files increase loading times and discourage user engagement. Test your website’s speed using Google PageSpeed Insights and Test My Mobile Speed. Each tool will identify images that negatively influence your site speed.
Choosing Images for Your Roofing Website
The most common mistake made by roofers online is the use of stock photos on their company website. These mass-published, royalty-free images are used on countless websites across the web and generally evoke a sentiment of non-professionalism from those who consume it. In other words, roofers using stock photos on their website seem unqualified to perform professional-level roofing services. Is that fair? Not necessarily. But remember, online, perception is 75% of the battle. Instead of using stock photos, roofers should upload images of their on-site jobs, employees, and equipment. With smartphone technology accessible to most Americans, this is easier than ever before.
Choose images that are:
- Branded: Associates with your roofing company brand
- Original: Captured using your smartphone or other mobile devices
- Unique: Cannot be found on other roofing sites across the web
The most compelling images are original and depict your employees, equipment, transportation, etc. Google prefers photos like these because they are unique and cannot be found elsewhere on the web. Website visitors also value company-based images more so than stock photos, which are dull and non-engaging. With that said, not all roofers have pictures in their archives, and for those just starting their business, using some stock photos as placeholders will not prevent it from optimizing. Still, if you hope to increase conversions over time, you should start developing a library of original images to add to your website progressively. Use your iPhone, Android, or another mobile device to snap pictures on your next job.