Image optimization is all about image SEO or getting your images to rank on Google and other search engines, it’s also about reducing your images to the smallest possible size without reducing their quality to allow your web pages to load quickly. This is important because everyone on the web expects websites to load quickly, in less than 2 seconds. The speed of loading has a direct correlation to the number of bounces you get and your overall revenue, 30 seconds, either way, can markedly impact your sales. Search engines take into account your site’s web speed and the number of bounces you are getting when ranking your site
There is a lot you can do regarding optimizing your site, your images and your website speed and this is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are using smartphones, approximately 60% of the 1 million new internet users each day are doing so on smartphones. Working your way to the top of search engine results can be hard work, but very rewarding in terms of sales and increased organic traffic.
The twelve most important tips for Image Optimisation are:
1: Carefully Select Images that are Relevant to the message you want to convey
Be aware that internet users are more likely to react to the images on your page before they read any text. A good image should capture attention and inspire readers to investigate and want to share your information. People often react to emotional stimuli and an appealing image that really connects with your topic is more likely to leave an impression. Usually, it is better to take the time and create your own high quality photos rather than using royalty free images from the internet that many others also use. By using images that show humor or drama with your product you are connecting on an emotional level, which is more effective than glossy sterile commercial photos that are technically perfect but cold. Your own original photos are far better for SEO purposes.
2: Always Use The Highest Quality Format That Is Possible In Any Situation.
Search engines are designed to prefer high quality content and high resolution images. Web pages that contain images that are of poor resolution or incorrectly formatted often appear distorted on a mobile screen or a tablet so you are doing yourself a disservice utilizing low-quality images.
Usually, JPEG file formats are best as they provide the smallest file size and best quality.
GIF files should be used only for thumbnails and decorative images never for large product images as the file size is very large and they do not reduce nicely.
When you are only able to get PNG files, they can be used for both JPEG files and GIF files and then, because of their extremely small file size excellent for simple decorative images.
3: Name All Your Images In Plain Language and Descriptively
To succeed with Good image optimization and a webpage that ranks highly on search engines, it is imperative you do everything possible to assist the search engines.
Search engines crawl everything on your web page including your file names so these also must be relevant, descriptive keyword rich file names.
Good image descriptions help to raise your profile and enrich the relevance of your content by helping web crawlers better understand your images.
Alternative text is similar to captions as they both provide an opportunity to boost your content for user experience and search optimization.
4: Name and Optimize Your Alternative Attributes With Care
Alternative attributes are an alternative when a browser cannot correctly render images it uses alternative attributes to images, in the text and for web accessibility. They are important for adding SEO value to a website so should include relevant keywords for the images. This is one of the best ways to have your e-commerce products show up on web searches
Always describe images in plain language
Add all model and serial numbers to your alternative attributes
5: Use Your Alternative Attributes With Care
Do not use over optimize by packing in too many keywords and do not use Alternative Attributes for decorative images as you may be penalized for over optimization
Always check your work carefully as mistakes may be heavily penalized and remember that misleading captions will drive your webpage bounce rate rapidly higher, this sends a signal to Google’s search engine that your site is unreliable dropping your rating
6: Always have a Concise and Precise Captions with your Image
Uses read captions under images on average, 300% more than the body copy itself according to Kiss Metrics. So if you leave captions blank you are missing a good opportunity for SEO and Optimisation
The important factor is to ensure both image relevance and page relevance.
7: Using Multiple images for Better coverage and Optimum Viewing
Always arrange your images in sequence and in context so they flow easily, but be aware of the amount you are loading your downloading time. Check the result and try and balance the right number of images with the quickest loading times. More images may mean more conversions, but too many can mean longer downloading time and more bounces.
When selling a product include multiple angles to show your product at its best, but do not overdo the number of images as they all take up file space and all need to be optimised.
8: Optimising Thumbnails
Using thumbnails is a great option, but they also need to be optimized, but they need to be used with care and as small a possible as they can have an accumulative impact and could affect your page loading times. When placing alternative attribute text to thumbnails be sure to use a very different text to those of the main images or they could all become confused.
10: Decorative Images
Things that are considered decorative images such as background colors, images, buttons fancy borders or anything else added that is not product related, although they can add a certain amount of appeal to a website they also use a lot of file space and therefore slow down your page loading time and as stated before anything that is not necessary that slows down your loading time is detrimental to your webpage and site because people will not wait more than 2 seconds on average and the quicker the better.
11: Content Delivery Networks
Content delivery networks are becoming a very popular place to store content, both imagery and text for your website. This can have the advantage of solving any band with issues you may have and help to speed up your page loading times, but they can also remove your backlinks and placing them on the domain of the content delivery network instead of your site. As we have stated and this is very important to emphasize backlinks are critical for SEO, so it is important to consider whether using CNDs is really in your best interests or not
12: Test Your Webpages and Websites
Testing everything is important and any mistakes will make all your efforts in vain as web crawlers will not be able to find you easily. Always check all webpages and alternative attributes. Also check for double-ups and over optimization as both are often detrimental to your rating standing.
Common sense coupled with a bit of practical knowledge needs to be applied to all optimization, especially images and for some reason, many people overlook this important area. Mastering the art of image optimization is something that could mean the difference between your online success or failure. If you do not feel confident or do not want to spend the time learning and implementing these basic strategies them it would be worth your while in contracting the services of an SEO expert to do this for you. The drastic increase of new organic traffic and subsequent new sales will more than pay for cost incurred over a very short time, remember there are over 2.5 billion potential customers looking for products and services but if you not visible you miss out.