Starting your own gaming blog or website has never been easier thanks to platforms like WordPress and the wide variety of themes and plugins that complement it. But while making the website itself is a fairly straightforward affair, creating and optimizing content for it can be a bit more complicated. In order to be successful, your content needs to be SEO-friendly and that means taking the time to come up with things like tags, meta descriptions, and meta titles as well as finding featured images to accompany your articles.
Featured images, sometimes also known as hero images, are particularly important for a gaming website. When you’re posting video game related content you’ll find yourself having to use a lot of screenshots, wallpapers, box covers and promotional images depicting various aspects of the game. Although you could slap any old pictures to your articles and call it a day, it pays to not rush this process because the featured images are the first thing your audience sees. And they often determine whether users end up clicking on your articles or not. Think of them as the thumbnails you see on YouTube videos, but without the exaggerated editing.
Also Read: 7 Best AI in Video Games Review 2022.
How to Pick Perfect Featured Images for Your Gaming Blogs
This seemingly simple process actually involves a handful of different steps if you want to do it right. You may find some of them annoying at first but, as with a lot of other things, the process will get faster and easier the more you do it. With that in mind, let’s start things off with the most obvious step.
Where to Find Best Gaming Images
The first instinct most people have is to simply go to Google, type in the name of a game, and use whatever images they find there. While you will have some success with this technique, you may run into some issues sooner or later. The first of which is related to the format. The ideal format to use for featured images should be .jpg in pretty much every situation because it takes up less space while still maintaining good picture quality.
A lot of the time the images you’ll find on Google won’t be jpeg, which means you’re going to have to convert them. This isn’t a huge problem in the case of certain formats like .png that can be converted quickly with something lie MS Paint, however, that won’t work with other formats like .webp. This is a relatively new format developed by Google that has gained a lot of traction in recent years and will no doubt continue to grow moving forward. The problem with it is that it’s not supported by all platforms just yet, which means you can’t simply reuse .webp images in many cases and they’re not as easy to convert as other formats either.
So where can you find good gaming images besides Google? As it happens, video game marketplaces are by far the best when it comes to this. Not only can you find a lot of information there that you can use in your articles, but there are usually also a lot image galleries designed to promote the games. It’s worth noting, however, that PC-centric marketplaces like Steam and GOG are generally better at providing featured images than their console counterparts. Among console marketplaces, the Xbox Store is generally your best bet.
Featured Gaming Image Dimensions
Image dimensions are often overlooked by webmasters who run gaming blogs but they are absolutely essential both for SEO and for providing a good user experience. First off, you’ll want to make sure that all your featured images have the same dimensions, which can differ depending on the website structure. For example,800x 450px is a very popular ratio at the moment, but you can sometimes go bigger or smaller. The main thing to remember is that you need to strike a good balance between image quality and image size. Images quickly add up on a gaming blog so using pictures that take up 2-3 MB each will start slowing down your website quicker than you might expect. The same thing can happen when you’re not using the correct format.
Since the images you’re grabbing off the internet won’t always have the perfect dimensions, you’ll need a couple of tools in order to edit them. To shrink images, you can simply use good old MS Paint. Open the picture in Paint, hit the Resize button found in the upper left corner, and type in the new dimensions. Make sure to also mark or unmark the ‘Maintain aspect ratio’ option if needed and you’re all good to go.
When it comes to enlarging images, things are a bit more complicated. You can of course use tools like MS but doing so will greatly reduce the image quality in many instances. Instead, we recommend you enlarge featured images using a very neat tool known as VanceAI Image Upscaler. VanceAI does exactly what it says and allows to increase the dimensions of an image by a factor of 2X, 4X, 6X or even 8X. The best part about this image enlarger is that it enlarges images without affecting the overall quality, which is really amazing.
While you’re visiting VanceAI’s website, don’t hesitate to enhance your featured images using some of the other tools developed by the company, such as the Image Sharpener, Background Remover, Sketch Converter, Image Cartoonizer, and more. Using unique featured images is very important for a gaming website and these tools are a great way to achieve an original look that your audience will appreciate.
As an additional VanceAI choice, VanceAI PC is full-featured desktop software developed by VanceAI that lets you instantly process local photos in bulk with more customization options, which will significantly simplify your workflow and boost your productivity. Download
Featured Image Labelling
A lot of people don’t think about changing the names of the images they get off the internet before uploading them to their website. Big mistake. Even though this might not seem essential at first glance, it can actually more a big difference.
As mentioned earlier, familiarizing yourself with good SEO practices is crucial for growing your website. There are a lot of factors that impact the SEO of your content, including the names of your images. Needless to say, search engines like Google will have a much easier time identifying and categorizing images that have proper names, as opposed to names that consist of a random sequence of characters.
So how should you label your featured images? Ideally, the name of your images should reflect the topic of the articles they are attached to. If you’re posting about a possible release date for the upcoming Elder Scrolls 6, for example, you’ll want to make sure the featured image contains keywords like “Elder Scrolls 6” and “release date”. Renaming your images to something that matches the title of the articles is the easiest way to do it but you can play around with things. Just make sure to separate words with special characters like “_” or “-“when labelling featured images instead of blank spaces.
Finally, if you’re using WordPress be sure to make good use of the Alt Text offered by the platform when setting featured images. The alternative text can be identical to the regular title of the image or something different, but make sure it’s once again representative of the image’s purpose and incorporates your primary keywords.
The importance of using good featured images for gaming blogs and websites should not be underestimated. Featured images say a lot about the quality of your website and its attention to detail. Not just that but featured images are also a great way of improving the SEO of your content. If you follow the tips described in this article, including formatting and resizing images with VanceAI, we guarantee you’re going to see positive results in no time. Also Read: 5 Best Mosaic Maker Applications List 2022.