You want to launch your website with search engine optimization so you can start generating leads online, but you haven’t been in business long enough to compile an archive of photos. What should contractors do in such a predicament? There are several steps one can take to find, create, and optimize web-ready images for a business website.
The course you take will depend somewhat on your current resources. For example, do you have access to a modern smartphone or camera? Are you managing your website on your own, or is it the job of your marketing company? Answering these questions will form the basis by which you’ll operate. Check out these tips for generating high quality images for your HVAC website:
Take Photos With Smartphone or Camera
Websites with original content offer more value to the reader, and are looked upon with higher regard by search engines. Many contractors mistakenly believe that content is text only, when in fact, it expands to images, videos, and other forms of visual media. In any case, taking original photos creates original content, and therefore is the best option for contractors. Take photos of the following:
- Company Vehicle: Capture your company truck, perhaps with a wrap, via smartphone camera
- Employees: Have a staff of 2 or more? Take individual photos of them, as well as group pictures.
- Heating or Cooling Repairs: Have someone snap photos of you on the job
- Satisfied Customers: Ask a satisfied customer if they’ll pose for a picture with you
Download Stock Photos From The Internet
If you don’t have access to a smartphone or camera, the next best option is downloading royalty-free stock photos from the internet. While this is far from an ideal solution, since these photos are used on multiple websites, it is better than having no visual content at all. Websites like pixabay.com offer free stock photos. Another alternative is selecting “labeled for free-use” under “Tools — Usage Rights” on Google image search, which will produce usable files. Stock photos should be:
- Appealing: Appear realistic, rather than humorous or fantastical
- Diverse: A variety of files, never used more than once on your website
- Relevant: Relate to the HVAC industry, and the page topic specifically
- Web-Ready: In an optimal file format
Optimize Your Photos For Web Use
Regardless of if you take original photos, or download stock images online, you’ll need to optimize them for web use. With images captured via smartphone, you can use Dropbox or email to upload the files to the internet, at which point you can access them on your computer and make the necessary changes. Modern cameras usually come with a USB cord to upload photos onto your PC or Mac, while stock images downloaded from the internet are already on your hard drive. Once you have the files on your computer, follow these steps:
- Step 1 – Compression: Compress images with tools like Optimizilla or JPEG Optimizer
- Step 2 – File Name: Make a copy of your image file, and rename it with lower case letters (i.e. ac-repair-job.jpg)
- Step 3 – File Type: Save your image as a JPEG, JPG, or PNG file
- Step 4 – Upload: Using a content management system like WordPress, upload the photo to your library
- Step 5 – SEO: After placing the image on your page, enter relevant ALT Text for SEO purposes
Still having trouble finding, creating, and preparing images for your website? HVAC Webmasters can help you through the process. We offer photo optimization for HVAC companies as part of our website design services. We’ll fill your website with relevant images, either from your archive of original company photos, or with relevant stock photos downloaded from the web. We optimize each of your photos for SEO purposes, and to keep your website running as fast as possible.
Competing for HVAC leads in today’s market can be overwhelming. Websites are constantly trying to outdo one another with the latest trend or technique. For a process you can trust, invest in SEO services from HVAC Webmasters. We offer month to month (MTM) plans, as well as pay per lead (PPL) plans, giving contractors their choice of payment options. With MTM you pay a fixed price at the end of each month, while PPL requires payment only after an exclusive lead is generated for your company. Call (800) 353-3409 to learn more about our services.