Images are an essential aspect of building a trustworthy and valuable website. They help tell stories, attract audiences, and provide artistic expressions in ways that words cannot.
Research shows that 59% of users think visual information is more critical than textual information across categories. Plus, image search represents 30% of all queries generated across the top 10 US web search properties.
Nowadays, people are more likely to search for their favorite products through Google images. It has become an essential part of the modern consumer’s product research process, making it easy for them to find what they need.
Many businesses tend to put image optimization on the back burner, assuming that their site’s front page represents their entire website. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Although having a beautiful-looking website is excellent, adding un-optimized images to your site can significantly impact its performance.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about image optimization and what benefits come with implementing it.
What is Image Optimization?
Proper image optimization reduces the file size of an image without compromising its visual quality. Image optimization can be done manually or with tools. Manual image optimization involves several steps, including resizing, compressing, and adding metadata.
On the other hand, tools like Photoshop have built-in optimization features that automate some of these steps. However, file size is the most common factor in optimizing an image. This includes the number of bytes and pixel dimensions (e.g., height and width).
Benefits of Image Optimization:
Image optimization, when done right, can lead to significant positive results. A few benefits your website can achieve by putting image optimization into effect are:
- Improves Load Times
- Better User Experience
- Helps with SEO
- Boosts Conversion
- Save server memory and reduces bandwidth
1) Improves Load Times
Adding images to your site will help draw in visitors, but most images are often quite spacy. This led to poor site performance and increased load times. Slow loading times directly involve a higher bounce rate, which means several people will leave your website without even giving it a chance.
“BrandPerfect reports that after surveying 2500 online shoppers…two-thirds of respondents (67%) from the UK…stated that a slow website is the main reason for abandoning a purchase they were going to make.”
A slow website makes the overall user experience awful and doesn’t give them enough of a reason to stick around. Faster sites don’t involve a lot of processes. Simple improvements like optimizing images are something that can be easily implemented.
2) Better User Experience
Users hate waiting! If your page doesn’t load faster than your competition, you won’t be able to create happy and loyal users. Optimizing images directly impacts a site’s speed and improves your website’s aesthetics by displaying high-quality photos with minimum size. Hence enhancing user experience.
When your website is fast and responsive, users will likely spend their time on it. A bookmarkable user experience also improves your SEO as Google’s algorithm deems sites with value more reputable.
Apart from the speed, it is critical to understand your audience when adding pictures. Whether you plan to use original pictures or purchase from legitimate sources, it is necessary to use relevant photos. You should also check the quality of the pictures to ensure a seamless experience for your visitors.
3) Helps with SEO
Image SEO is something that isn’t given the proper time and effort by many businesses. If you overlook this crucial element, it can worsen your site’s rankings, lose valuable backlinks, and drive return traffic.
According to SEOClarirty, more than 1/3 of all search keywords now contain Google Images. Moreover, 50% of the time, when images are in the first 10 results, they are actually ranking in the top 3 positions.
Image SEO helps search engines understand your image, improving the ranking and visibility of your content. Optimizing your image involves improved load times, reduced image size, correct image format, descriptive alt text, and proper file names.
Images are vital in SEO because Google’s algorithm focuses on a reader’s behavior. This matters because Google gives positive feedback to sites where users tend to spend more time.
4) Boost Conversions
As time progresses, customers make visual representation a big part of their purchasing decision. If you are an eCommerce store, the main goal is to generate sales, leading to higher conversion rates.
Optimized images are a great way to grab a potential customer’s attention and drive traffic to the brand’s product page.
Nowadays, people are not interested in scrolling through a black and white website. They want something that allows them to experience what your offer. The right images connect your content with your audience and help boost your site’s conversions.
5) Save Server Memory and Reduces Bandwidth
Image optimization also helps in reducing server memory and bandwidth. Images are pretty heavy in terms of size, meaning unless your website is a block of text, images will be the largest mass of data. According to the HTTP Archive, images comprise 21% of a total webpage’s weight.
Compressing images is a reliable tactic used by many websites to save bandwidth and increase speed. This reduces the load on your site and benefits in reducing bandwidth.
Google also claims that compressing elements could help 25% of web pages save more than 250KB and 10% save more than 1 MB. This will also improve bounce rates and increase the page rank in Google SERPs.
Tips to Optimize Images:
The essential element in optimizing an image is reducing its size. However, you can implement several other ways to one-up your image optimization.
- Choose the most appropriate file format. To ensure faster image loading, use progressive JPEGs and next-generation file formats.
- Reduce file size without significantly sacrificing quality.
- Resize your images according to your overall website.
- Use descriptive alt-text to make your website accessible to visually impaired visitors and help search engines understand your image.
- Ensure that your images are mobile-friendly.
Every little element that improves your website performance is crucial in today’s cutthroat business environment. And visitors are expecting something trustworthy and valuable with time. Although image optimization is just the beginning of your site’s performance, it’s a significant place to start.
Image optimization offers something for everyone. It can improve the way users experience your website. Moreover, it doesn’t only create an optimal browsing experience; it gives you an edge over your competitors. In other words, image optimization can boost your conversion and revenue numbers.
The future of the web is visual. Hence, if you optimize your images, you can present yourself better and become a trustworthy brand. So what are you waiting for?