Why You Need Image Optimization

Why You Need to Optimize Your Website Images

Why You Need Image Optimization

Think about it…When was the last time you uploaded an image to a website? There’s a good chance you downloaded it from a stock photo source, uploaded it to your site’s backend, and then put it into the page.

A great example of image optimization, yes? 

Um, not really. 

In actual fact, you’ve just added lead weight to your website, which ultimately slows your page speed down. Also, (sorry to point this out) without alt text, search engines can’t even read your images! 

So now that we’ve shattered your world… Let’s sort it out and get things right.

The vital thing to remember is that MANY web searches happen on Google Images. Image optimization has several benefits, including improved user experience, quicker website load times, and extra ranking prospects. 

SEO novices and experts know optimizing your website’s photos is not futile. And, you’re squandering a superb SEO asset if you’re not optimizing your images appropriately. 

But which criteria are most important in ensuring that your images are easily found and don’t slow down your site?

Here are some key image optimization tips you should be aware of.

Image Optimization - Image file format

1. Select a suitable format

While there are several image formats to pick from, the most common on the web are PNG and JPEG.

  • PNG: Produces higher-quality images but has a larger file size.
  • JPEG: Image quality may suffer, but the quality level can be adjusted to achieve a suitable balance.
  • WebP: The only image format supported by Chrome and Firefox allows you to choose between lossless and lossy compression.

Note: If you use.jpg pictures within an inline SVG format, Google’s systems will not index them.

2. Image compression

According to the HTTP Archive, graphics account for 21% of a webpage’s total weight. That is why we strongly advise compressing your images before uploading them onto your website. 

This can be done in Photoshop or using a platform like TinyPNG. Utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool if you’re unsure how your photos influence your page performance.

3. Create unique images

We all want our images to POP! on our websites. If you use stock photos on your website, you’ll appear unoriginal, much like the millions of other beige sites out there.

Far too many websites are loaded with the same generic stock photographs. Consider a corporate website, a consultancy firm, or a company that takes pleasure in customer service. All of these websites utilize the same stock image of a businessman smiling.

While you may have adequately adjusted your stock photographs, they will not have the same impact or possible SEO advantages as an original, high-quality image.

4. Change the names of image files

It is critical to have meaningful, keyword-rich file names for SEO. Image file names inform Google and other search engine crawlers about the image’s subject matter.

File names often begin with “IMG 98749” or something like that – this is not beneficial to Google or to your website! Change the default file name to assist search engines in comprehending your image and boosting your SEO value.

Depending on your media library’s size, this may require a bit of effort, but altering the default image name is usually a good idea.

Image Optimization - Alt Attribute

5. Create alt text that is SEO friendly

While a human eye can decipher the image, search engine spiders require further context. Search engines cannot correctly index your image content without replacement text.

A great alt tag adds context while also assisting visually challenged people. Search engines can scan the alternative text to determine the page’s rating when a glitch blocks an image from loading. Write a more detailed alt tag than the file name. Aim for 10 to 15 words to give information about the image.

TIP: To increase visibility, use brand-related phrases in alt tags, but avoid keyword stuffing.

6. Consider the image file structure

Google’s Image Guidelines have been changed. One of the significant changes they highlighted was that they now rank images based on the file path and name.

Again, the file location and file name are genuine ranking factors.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce firm with various goods, rather than putting all of your product images in a generic/media/folder, organizing your subfolders into more category-specific subjects like /shorts/or /denim/would be best.

Image optimization - Make images mobile friendly

7. Make images mobile-friendly

Since Google’s algorithm uses mobile-first indexing, crawlers focus primarily on a site’s mobile version. As a result, your images should be mobile-friendly as well. How? The basic answer is to make sure your graphics and website layout are mobile-friendly.

Some website builders and templates resize images automatically, but you may define an image size based on a device’s width. To accomplish this, add some custom CSS code to your page. 

8. Include images in your sitemap

You want images in your sitemaps, whether adding them to an existing one or building a new one for them.

Including your images in a sitemap boosts the likelihood of search engines scanning and indexing your images. As a consequence, site traffic increases.

If you’re using WordPress, Yoast SEO and RankMath SEO include a sitemap plugin.

9. Incorporate structured data

Use structured data to markup your content categories to help Google and other search engines produce more visually appealing results. 

For instance, if you use schema markup on a product page and identify an image as a product, Google may associate the image with a price tag. Search engines bypass the algorithm to give the correct image and rely on the information supplied in structured data.

10. Takeaways from image optimization

So, before you begin uploading your image to your site, be sure to perform the above image optimization procedures.

The most crucial factor is that the image and alternative text suit the page. 

Make the most of what you’ve got … Optimize your images!

Consider these tips before posting any photos if you want your material to stand out. Using these methods of picture optimization can make your material more appealing to both search engines and human readers.

Have fun optimizing!

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