Image optimisation is a key aspect of any website page building process, as it helps to reduce page loading time and enhance SEO, without affecting the quality of your images or the experience of the user. Image optimisation is a great way for increasing website traffic to your website.
Why do we need to optimise website images?
Site loading speed is super important for a successful business. For example, the BBC website loses 10% of users for every additional second it takes for the site to load. Even a one-second delay can make a big difference!
Optimising website images helps to increase the loading speed of your web pages. Not only does this enhance the visitor experience and lead to a lower bounce rate, but page loading speed is also a ranking factor for search engines, so it will improve your SEO too.
Alongside optimising image size, there are several other important tricks that will boost your SEO when uploading images to your site. We’ve put together a list of some of the most important things to remember.
Choose original images
For a great user experience, it’s best to choose original photos that will really stand out.
We’ve all seen those stock photos of smiling employees that have been featured hundreds of times on different websites. Something eye-catching that is unique to your company will be much more interesting to a potential customer, which in turn will help your website to rank more highly on relevant searches.
Choose the correct image format
The most common image file formats for websites are JPEGs and PNGs. It’s important to know the difference between them and when to use them.
JPEG files can be compressed considerably without losing too much quality, whereas PNGs start off at a higher quality but with a much larger file size, and they will lose quality if the file size is decreased.
For complex or colourful images such as photos, it’s best to use JPEGs. Graphics should be saved as PNGs.
Compress your images
Large image files can cause a web page to load slowly, which in turn may cause users to leave your site. There are several ways to reduce the image file to a smaller size. If you have Photoshop, you can use the ‘Save for web’ function. Alternatively, if you’re using WordPress, there are several plug-ins that can compress the image size for you. Another option is to use a free online tool such as TinyJPG.
You may also want to decrease your image’s dimensions by cropping it to a smaller size before uploading and compressing it.
Change the image file name
It’s important to customise your image file names to help improve both on-page SEO and search engine rankings. The file name gives the search engine more information about the subject matter of the image, which will enable it to be included in relevant searches.
Don’t leave the image file name as something generic such as “IMG_2363”. A relevant file name with strong keywords related to the image and subject matter will help your web page to rank more highly in searches.
Optimise your alt-text
Alt-tags are the text alternatives to images, which are added to the HTML code. They provide a description of the image to search engines, helping them to index the image correctly. This is essential for SEO, as it means your images will appear in the relevant searches. Alt-text also enables visually impaired visitors to navigate your website, and it will appear in place of the image if the browser can’t load the file.
Just as you would with an image file name, choose alt-text that is descriptive and includes a targeted keyword.
A few other tips include using image sitemaps to get your images noticed by search engines, adding descriptive captions underneath images, and making sure that the images are optimised for mobile viewing.
In today’s world where none of us want to wait around forever for a web page to load, these image optimisation hacks will help you to hold people’s attention and stand out from the crowd. If you’d like help with website optimisation or any other digital marketing services, get in touch!