Are you real or are you a robot?
Consider the typical “About Us” page. An about us page can paint a great description of you, your family, a responsible breeding program, and model dogs. But without a few images to back up your claims, the viewer will never fully connect with what they are reading. You and your dogs remain a non-personal entity that they read great things about on the internet.
The importance of pictures on your website
Nothing has changed. A picture is still worth a thousand words and is critical to a successful website design. I’m always seeing large blocks of text, or entire pages of text, without any images to bring them to life. Without pictures backing up your text, there is a viewer disconnect.
People are naturally skeptical of anything they read on a website. Help put them to ease and complete your website design by including images to back up your text. Power Breeder allows you to use galleries, slideshows, and individual images throughout your website. Take pictures of each of your dogs. Also include pictures of their litters, shows, and of everyday life with them.
Take a lot of pictures, but only upload the best of the best
My wife is a photographer, so I know that the typical photoshoot includes several hundred photos. Out of those hundreds of photos, only 10-15 make it onto her Facebook account. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your viewers by uploading every single picture you take. Only upload the best of the best.
Resize pictures for faster and more successful uploading
Most newer model digital cameras can take a picture with dimensions large enough to fit a poster. That’s great if you are printing a poster, but it’s too large for your website. Power Breeder will automatically resize the pictures in a gallery or slideshow so they will fit on your viewer’s screens. However, there are upload limitations on the image size (mega bytes) and the larger the image is the longer you will be waiting for the upload to complete.
You can help speed up the upload process by resizing the pictures on your computer before uploading them to your website. There are plenty of free batch resize programs out there. If you use Windows, the program I use is Image Resizer for Windows 7 (x64), also available for XP, Image Resizer Power Toy for Windows XP (click the Power Toys tab). These programs allow you to right click multiple pictures and resize them in batches. I recommend using the “large” resize option.
Don’t resize your original images though. Make a separate web folder with the resized images. You need to keep the originals intact in case you want to print a magazine ad (or that poster I mentioned earlier).
Title your images
Another important think to remember is that the pictures need to include a title. The titles may not always be visible on the website, but they are still there. The titles are used by Google and other search engines when the index your website. They are also visible on some slideshows and as a caption under the image when clicked on in a gallery. This way, if a person is using Google Image Seach to find images of your dog breed or your dogs by name, they can find your website. So image titles are not only handy for you visitors, picture titles are also a critical part of Search Engine Optimization. Image titles also help increase the usability of your website from an accessibility standpoint (screen readers for the visually impaired).
You can add a title to an image by clicking the “Edit” button on the individual images within the Photos page of Power Breeder.
If you are interested in hearing Google’s Matt Cutts explain this from a technical standpoind, check out the video below. The “image titles” I’ve been talking about are viewed by Google as “alt” tags and they can be seen if you view the page source in your browser.
Proper Image Titles
You don’t what to cram your image titles with too much information. You want the title to be short and accurate. Take this picture for example:
If the dog pictured above was famous, you would use his name in the description, otherwise, you might get better results using his breed name.
So a good title for this image would be “Richie Zoroiwchak with a Tennis Ball”.
Need a stock image?
There are occasions were you might need a stock image. Be sure not to break any copyright laws by grabbing just any image from Google’s image search. There are plenty of places to get free pictures. Some require a linkback, others like xsc images and Wikimedia Commons have royalty free and linkback free images available. Just check the license.
When designing your website pages, remember not to forget the importance of pictures!