How to Optimize Images in Your Artist Portfolio
By: Michael Benninger
These days, having an online portfolio is a necessity for photographers and digital image manipulation artists. And though you can use any of the top builders to create easy portfolio websites, your success will ultimately be determined based on two factors: the quality of your artwork, and how well your images are optimized for the Web.
Preparing art for your online portfolio is a twofold process: first finessing the images so they look amazing, then ensuring that the files are quick to load and easy for search engines to find. Here’s a closer look at the latter phase, along with some tips to help you make the most of your portfolio.
Rank and File Type
A major component of artist image optimization is making sure that you're saving your images as the correct file type. There are numerous different image formats, which are recognizable based on the file name's suffix. The three most common and universal types are .jpg, .gif, and .png. And though the naked eye can’t often distinguish between these variations, search engines instantly know the difference because the image types act in unique ways on the Web. Some types load more quickly, while others offer more detail. And depending upon the composition of your art, one format will likely be a better fit for your website.
The myriad image editing options on the market today allow artists to decide on the format to save their files, based on size, color spectrum, and other specifics. Unfortunately there’s not one file type that’s best in all instances, and the distinction between them can’t justifiably be summed up in a few sentences. Luckily, though, Google has a comprehensive guide to understanding the difference among the file types, which will help you choose the right one for your type of art.
Bigger is Rarely Better
Another step to understanding artist picture optimization is knowing that size isn’t everything. Saving your files in the biggest size (or rather, the best quality) is not always best for your portfolio. Most images don’t need to be saved with the highest possible resolution when a level that’s just a bit above average often looks just as good. Plus, the decreased file size could significantly speed up your portfolio’s loading time.
Selecting the proper dimensions for your images is another important consideration when optimizing pieces for your portfolio. Your website’s template will likely dictate how much space you have for your art, but just be sure that your images look good on mobile devices. Adjusting images to the optimal dimensions will enhance the appeal of your portfolio, and help you portray a greater level of professionalism.
What's in a File Name?
Among the most important aspects of artist photo optimization is appropriately naming your files. When uploading images to the Web, it’s imperative that you describe images in their file names, so that search engines are able to correctly categorize them. Because SEO image search can drive a lot of traffic to your portfolio, you should remember to always use detailed image descriptions, while avoiding an excessive amount of characters in the file name.
Most Web builders give you the opportunity to add unique titles to your images, followed by an area for brief descriptions. This “meta information” helps search engines learn more about your website, which benefits your SEO ranking. The goal is to craft straightforward image descriptions that also include keywords relevant to your portfolio.
There’s more than meets that eye when it comes to optimizing images for your art portfolio. By putting this knowledge to good use, you can create a better experience for your site visitors, while also achieving a higher ranking in search engines.
When you’ve finished optimizing your images for publication online, create easy portfolio websites with one of our top builders.