Don’t make these six common mistakes that can hamper effective use of images on your site:
- No images: Using no images or graphics will result in boring pages, regardless of how good your texts are.
- Using duplicate images: Unfortunately, there are still rather few services that allow checking images for being unique or already a copy of an existing image available in Internet (do not mix with checking for duplicate images on your local drive). Some SEO tools like SE Ranking SEO audit check images for being unique as part of their audit.
- Large images: Using huge, slow-to-download images is the most serious mistake newbie often make. Experienced web designers can still make the same mistake – everything is compressed and well-edited, but one uncompressed photograph may sneak through, making the entire page unbearable to download. Small resolution image doesn’t always equal to small image files, through a simple HTML tag you can still inadvertently display a huge 4 Mb image as a small picture.
- Improper size and placement: Users will be annoyed by outrageously large and poorly positioned images. Your image size should be about half the text body width and placed on convenient areas such as at the top of the article or between paragraphs.
- Irrelevant images: Your images should accentuate your articles. A news article about rising stock prices should use relevant images such as jubilant brokers in stock exchange floor, while using irrelevant images like a garden will leave your visitors confused.
- No text alternative: A large number of vision-impaired users are using the Web, while others surf with disabled images due to slow connection. You need to accommodate them by creating your Web site in a way that allows text-only access.
Try this experiment: open your browser, disable the graphics, and visit your Web page. If you are confused about what’s on the site, you should redesign your page. According to SEO concepts, using an image without text alternative can undesirable, as anchor text has an effect on backlink quality for your internal pages.
Some sites have a complete parallel set that is entirely textual rather than graphical. It will let a user chooses whether he wants simple, fast text-only pages or attractive, bandwidth-sucking image-laden pages. Popular sites such as Wikipedia also run a mobile version with minimal images to allow faster access through cell phone or for those with sluggish connection. In some countries, creating text-based version can be overkill but there are millions of people in developing countries who are still stuck with slow dial-up and GPRS connections. Consider offering a text version, with minimal use of images, less complicated layout, and alt-text for images. This could be just the only opportunity for users with badly impaired sights.
Here are the most fundamental rules for supporting graphical and text access:
- As you develop a site, think about the way your page will appear with all images turned off.
- Test your site in different browsers.
- Use ALT attribute inside the IMG tag, so text explanation appears whenever an image isn’t displayed.
- Use text-only menus instead of image maps and icon-based selections.
- If you wish to accommodate everyone, you should build a separate, text-only version.
If you are considering building a Web site that is accessible by mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, then developing a text-only version will make a good deal of sense.
Give me 1 good reason why you should disregard the golden rules of image placement?