Images that are not optimized can lead to the serious consequences connected with the performance of a website. In most cases when your website speed is very slow, “unoptimized” images bear the bigger part of the blame. Our current world is characterized by cut-throat competition in almost all industries. That is why slow websites just can’t survive the heat.
Jason Adler, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, warns that if a user visits your site and feels that it’s taking one second longer than he/she is used to, it’s highly likely that they’ll jump to your competitor’s website if it loads relatively faster.
How do you make sure that your images don’t slow down your site?
Consider using these seven image optimization tips to improve SEO:
1. Use high-quality original photos
This is a fundamental truth that applies to all types of website content. You need the most unique and original pictures on your site if you aim at providing better user experience. If you can take photos with a good-quality camera or get designers who can create original photos, the better odds your site will have to be ranked highly.
The temptation of using stock photos can be understandably high. However, you really don’t want to have a photo that millions of other sites have.
2. Improve your images with tools
Users like images that are not only appealing but also personalized. Photo editing tools are extremely widespread all over the internet. You can always find a suitable tool to add something to your images before posting them online.
Whether you want to add text, uniqueness, personality or need to enhance its appeal, there’s a tool for that. Make use of photo editing tools to create images that stand out and give your site an edge.
3. Descriptive and keyword-rich file names
SEO best practices emphasize the importance of incorporating keywords in file names describing the image. Such a file name informs search engines about the image and what’s in it. When you download images, replace the default naming with something that describes the image in the best terms possible.
4. Reduce the size of your images
You can reduce the file’s size without diminishing the quality of the image. By resizing and compressing images, you could significantly improve the site’s speed.
Use the “Save for Web” feature of Adobe Photoshop to ensure that the images that end up on your website are of optimum size.
5. Use the right file format
There are three common image formats: JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
JPEG is the most popular format because it keeps image sizes small. GIF is mostly used for animations and simple art. It supports transparent backgrounds and is therefore perfect for company logos and other website elements. PNG is a more modern alternative to JPEG and GIF. This format supports transparency, has automatic gamma correction, and better color range.
6. Optimize image alt text and title
The alt text and title of an image should be properly created to help your website achieve better ranking on SERPs and renders good user experience.
Alt text is perhaps the best way to ensure that your products appear in Google web and image searches.
7. Create image sitemaps for your site
Optimizing images for SEO is definitely worth the effort. Your site loads faster and visitors can get what they want quickly. Slow websites suffer the loss of visibility, a decrease in conversion rates and thus sales and revenues. The above tips will help you to avoid these losses.