Images are critical for your contractor website, for two reasons. Obviously they help customers clearly visualize what your capabilities are. But they are also equally important towards teaching search engines specifically what services and locations you prefer to work in. Many time you will hear people ask “What type of Image Format do you prefer?” There are three image formats many may say, but we prefer to focus on JPEG (also known as JPG) and PNG.
Here is a quick summary of ideas to consider with both JPEG and PNG image formats. We include a quick introduction to GIF too.
A JPEG (also known as JPG) image format provides the best options for maintaining a quality image when compressed or resized. They work with many colors, shadows, and patterns to display a high-resolution image, and is the most popular photo type in the digital space.
Due to its ability to be compressed considerably, the JPEG forms quality images in small file sizes.
One downside of JPEGs: it uses lossy data compression. This means that the image quality can suffer depending on your settings. There is also no support for transparent backgrounds like there is with GIF and PNG formats.
That said, using this format is beneficial because it keeps file sizes small and it is supported universally.
A PNG image format is typically used when editing or downloading files from Adobe Photoshop. PNG is known to handle transparency, and are often used for the logo image as the image appears small, yet the resolution is high quality.
PNGs can be saved as a PNG-8 or a PNG-24. The PNG-8 file type is limited to a pallet of 256 colors, whereas the PNG-24 will deliver a much higher quality display, but result in a larger file size, which could disrupt the page’s performance.
You’ll find that as you continue to resave your images, PNGs won’t degrade.
A GIF image format is lower quality than JPEG and PNG images, and are used for more simplistic images, such as icons. GIFs also support animation. GIFs are good for those plain, simple images on a webpage (which include just a few colors).
JPEG vs PNG vs GIF
When it comes to a contractor showing off their work, most contractors and photographers will choose either JPEG or PNG file formats.
Ensure to take pictures in Landscape View
Hiring a professional photographer covers many of the variables and quality of the pictures taken as well as the image format to deliver them. But many time you will take pictures using a smartphone. One thing to remember is to take pictures in landscape view (horizontal) in addition to just vertical, like many do by default when holding a smartphone upright.
The image format is independent of Optimization Issues for Search.
Taking a picture with one of the suggested formats doesn’t automatically equate to having optimized pictures for helping generate leads. There are a handful of topics such as file names, alt Text, files sizes for page speed and image site maps. Next we introduce just one of the topics.
Optimizing for Page Speed
Many times you will hear people talk about optimizing images for Page Speed. The topic can be lengthy all by itself so we provide more information here at Search Engine Land’s Images for Page Speed Overview.
As you can see, there are many aspects that can go into getting good pictures as well as optimizing them for inbound lead generation efforts. But to begin with, ensure you get as many good pictures in JPEG or PNG image formats to start the process. Don’t know how to specifically optimize for pictures, then learn more by trying the #1 Online Basic Website Marketing & SEO Education class.