If you are into an e-commerce business or a regular blogger for a website/magazine, then it is essential that you know to optimize images. People very often wonder as to why images on their website are not showing up in the Google Search Engine, or should they use an image or not, or does it matter at all to add images or not. Let’s clear all the air; if or not you should optimize images. Optimizing images is as important as optimizing other contents, and a factor affecting search engine rankings. Images help to provide a visual appearance to your visitors, which makes them feel comfortable and more connected. Here are few insights from Hubspot which gives an analytical approach to this topic:
- About 74% marketers use visual materials in their social media campaigns.
- 37% marketers have agreed to consider visual marketing as the second most preferred content form for their business after blogging (38%).
- People (or you can say customers) remember only 10% of anything they have heard after 3 days, whereas they remember 65% information when they see a visual representation of the same thing even after 3 days.
To read more insights, visit: 42 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2017
When images are used properly, they can convey your message in just a single glance while a careless use of images can ruin your impression on visitors. Adding up to this, images can be a quality source of traffic from Google Image Search and other Image Search engines.
Keeping in mind the essentials of optimizing your image on a web page, here are few tips that can be obliging for you.
Finding the Right Image
The foremost step in optimizing your image is the relevancy and accuracy of selecting images. Images speak a thousand of words, it gives a visual insight of what you actually want to showcase your customers. When you have found the right image to use, either an illustration, chart, photo or gif, the forthcoming step is to optimize that image for use on your website. Relevancy is one factor, you need to also check if your image is responsive or not. Check if your images are ruining mobile experience which will increase your bounce rate.
There are mainly three common types of images with extension as JPG, PNG, and GIF. Maximum of online marketers use jpg, also called jpeg. The best part is, JPGs can be saved in high quality, low quality or anywhere in between. This permits you to adjust and save the image exactly how you want, balancing quality and file size at the same time. On the other hand, the difference between jpg and png is that png supports transparent backgrounds. Chose wisely what type of image you should use. Try to use GIFs sparingly since it is often larger than even an HTML5 video.
Generally, online marketers overlook the name of the image file and simply upload images by the default name that your camera states. But always keep in mind that when it comes to SEO, it is recommended to use acceptable keywords which affect your web page rank in SERP. For that make sure that you create creative and descriptive file name because search engines not only crawl the text on your web page, but also it searches for keywords inside your image file names.
Optimization of Alt Tags Smartly
Alt tags represent the text alternatives when the browser is not able to accord your image. In fact, even if you move your cursor over the image, it will display alt tags, describing your image (it may vary with your browser settings). This alt tag also adds value to SEO and affects search rank by associating keywords with images. Always describe your images in simple English, as you do for image file names.
Read other on-page optimization tips: Glossary on On-page SEO-I
File Size of Images
According to research, most users wait just about 3 seconds for a website to load on the desktop and 5 seconds if loaded on the mobile device. Amazon said that it loses $1.6 billion a year if their web pages load slowly. The Search Engines also considers page load factor in SEO to rank your website. Have you checked how much time does your images on the website takes to load? If it takes more than 3 seconds, then you need to optimize your image. The below-mentioned tips will help you.
- Always save images for the web.
- Compress images for the web.
- Save the right dimensions.
Use Image Sitemaps
In order to provide Google with information regarding images on the website, you (site owner) must add relevant details to the standard Sitemap. This also includes the type of image, subject matter, caption, title, geographic location, and license. This whole process enables site owners to identify which images on each page are most important and relevant.
Related read: Glossary on On-page SEO-II
Avoid Decorative Images
It is true that decorative images add visual appearance to your website but what you need to know is that it can often result in a large combined file size and slow load times which affects your SEO ranking substantially. Of course, you would not like to compromise with your ranking with such a minor flaw. Initially, you need to check the file sizes of all the decorative images on your web pages and use a template that minimizes file sizes for all or most of the pages on your website.
Pro Tips: Crop the middle of the background image and make it transparent or flat color. This will decrease your image file size significantly.
Test! Test! Test!
Keep testing your images to check what kind of images gets converts into more business. Keep testing and analyze what angles your customers prefer. You can conduct surveys to get their opinions too. Few things can only be concluded by testing. Keep testing your images and make the required changes.
This is how I think you should go about optimizing images. Let me know your ideas and thoughts on this.