They say a picture is worth 1000 words but what if that image is slowing down your website? Images are a vital part of marketing in today’s world and with over 1.9 billion websites, there’s a lot of competition. Having great images on your site can give prospective customers a better visual understanding of what your business does. In fact, 90% of all data that is transmitted by the brain is visual. Use these tips to help optimize your images to rank well and speed up your site.
How can image optimization help users and my SEO?
Speed kills when it comes to your website. Milliseconds can make all the difference and you should be optimizing your images to load as fast as possible. This can help improve site retention and lower bounce rate since users can’t use the excuse to leave your site due to speed. It can also help improve your page speed which is one of the major Google ranking factors.
The images themselves also have stand-alone value. In reverse image searches, optimization can help your images be found easier especially if it is a product-based search.
What is the best format for my images?
There are two main types of images that you will most likely be used: vector and raster. Choosing the right format for your images can help improve their quality.
Vector images have much fewer options to choose from in terms of formatting and the one you are going to want to use is SVG due to its flat imagery.
Raster images usually come with a few options including PNG, JPG, and GIF. If you are looking for your images to be of the highest quality, PNG is the best option because there is little to no resolution lost. JPG images will result in some resolution loss but normally are much smaller and are easier to load (over 72% of websites use JPG images). GIF is the ideal format for animations due to their vast 256-color space, making animations come out clean.
It’s important to note that image size and image file size are two different things. You want to match the actual size of the image to the dimensions of the space you are putting it. Try to not put super small images in areas where you expect to put large ones and vice verse.
This a common step that many people tend to forget. All pictures on your site should have alt text and have a proper name (tips-for-image-optimization vs. optimization9223679954)
This might be the simplest yet most important tip of all. Image optimization is directly related to site speed and compressing your images is a simple way to do so. Don’t leave your images bigger than they need to be. The smaller the better.
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