13 Tips – The Beginners Guide to Website Image Optimization

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13 Tips – The Beginners Guide to Website Image Optimization     

If you run any online enterprise or online campaign, then, you probably already know the importance of optimized imagery in driving numbers. So effective are images, that Instagram has over 700 million active users!

You can gain much by perfecting image optimization including building an appealing website, running effective campaigns, creating excellent ad copy, minimizing site load times, etc. Here are 13 tips that will help you on the journey to mastering image optimization.

Use quality photos

Low-quality ingredients can never produce a high-quality product regardless of expertise. Therefore, you have to start off with quality images which boil down to your photography skills. If it is a skill you are deficient in, you could buy image rights or outsource the service from capable persons.

Use keyword-rich filenames

Image visibility online boils down to keywords since Google is yet to build the capacity to scan actual image content. Thus, commence the optimization process by labeling your shots with descriptive, keyword-oriented titles that will elevate their SEO rank. Come up with a naming system suited to your purposes.

Use plain language

Use common words and avoid unnecessary jargon. Refer to the context of the image and the search terms people are likely to use for best results. If it is a motorcycle image, you could name it as 2017-BMW-1200-GS-Adventure-White.

Use appropriate alt tags

Search engines utilize alt tags when they are unable to render an image. Moreover, tags have significant SEO value. See to it that all images have relevant, descriptive alt tags. An alt tag can take the naming format mentioned in the example above.

Alt tag rules

Be very specific with your tags and use normal words. Avoid the temptation of including SEO keywords in your alt tags such as alt=“Buy Cheap Used BMW-1200-GS-Adventure-White.” If you are dealing with product images, you can include the serial numbers or model numbers. Also, be careful not to go overboard with tags when dealing with ornamental photos.

Best image format for designs

Web images have to be in JPEG or PNG format. Either type of image is okay, but some are preferable in certain circumstances. For images featuring designs, locations, and people or animals, use JPEG. Above a certain point, it does not compromise much on the quality, and the resulting file sizes are not that big.

Best format for graphical images and GIFS

To take advantage of animations, use GIF. For best results with graphical photos, screenshots, emblems, and logos, or text-oriented images, go for PNG. PNG retains image quality reducing the chances of skewed, blurry images with unclear text. However, PNG for common images is inadvisable as it will result in big files.

Resize your images

Compress images to upload smaller file sizes to your site or blog provided you do not grossly compromise quality. Use tools such as Lightroom, MS Paint, Photoshop, etc. Uploading images as-is will inflate the size of your site and reduce load time considerably. It is important to mention that around a half of your traffic will look elsewhere if your website is slow.

Best web-friendly image size

Ideally, resize your images to only 70kb or lower. For high-quality images, it can be a hard specification to achieve, but some tools can help you out. Photoshop, Lightroom, etc., can only reduce the size to a certain point but other offerings such as FotoFlexer, Pixlr, and PicMonkey provide a way to further cut down images without a loss in quality that will be easily apparent to the eye.

Use a CDN

Using a Content Distribution Network to deliver your images is more speed efficient compared to using a hosting account. A CDN duplicates images and stores them in various servers around the globe serving them to guests based on proximity to ensure the fastest delivery. Some of the popular CDNs are CloudFlare, KeyCDN, and Cloudfront.

Pay attention to thumbnail images

If you run an online shop, thumbnail images are a must, but they are also risky in that they can considerably reduce page loading time leading to loss of traffic. Therefore, see to it that your thumbnails are as small as possible. It is better for the image to be of slightly lesser quality but small in size.

Submit image sitemaps

Submit image sitemaps to Google to increase the visibility of your images particularly if you have implemented JavaScript galleries on your site or image pop-ups. This way, crawlers will have an easier time fetching your images and serving them in SERPs.

Test your images

After optimizing and uploading images, test to see what works best. You could try using minimal imagery to see if the quicker load times lead to significantly higher conversions in comparison to an image-heavy approach. In short, use analytics to find a personal sweet spot on things such as the listings to have per page, the image perspectives guests like most, and such.

The SEO landscape changes often and you have to continually be on toes to keep up in all aspects including image optimization. That said, consider perfecting your photography skills because the online world is unlikely to veer off the current image-heavy trend that it is on.