How To Optimise Images For Web - Top 5 Tips
A picture is worth a thousand words...
Are you looking to optimise your website's images without losing quality and improve your SEO in the process? Having high quality, optimised and SEO-friendly imagery is extremely important for any good website in 2021. Today, let's take a look into the world of website imagery and check out the top 5 steps for you to get the most you can out of your website.
1. Be relevant
The images on your website often provide the very first impression for your potential customer. After all, it's usually the first thing they will notice when they land on your website. The 'hero' image on your website should reflect and mirror the message of your business and services. It doesn't need to be as literal as possible, but you shouldn't underestimate the taste and expectations of your users. Make sure you hit them with something strong, attractive and relevant.
This mindset is especially the case for blogs and products. You must consider; does the image for your blog or product reflect the content? The last thing people want to do is be enticed to click a link after seeing a beautiful photo of a mountain range, only to land on a web page about car manufacturers! So next time you're choosing your image, be it for your homepage, your blog or your products, put some thought into this.
2. Ensure your image files have proper titles
It's very easy to lose track of your file names, particularly if you're regularly uploading dozens of images to an e-commerce website. Here's the thing though; it's actually quite useful from an SEO perspective to incorporate relevant file names to help your website's overall ranking. This is because when Google bots are crawling your website, they will actually read through all your file names. While this is just a small element of the SEO puzzle, it's shame to miss out on this optimisation opportunity.
So, if your image file of a red Maserati is called 00021.scaled.copy.jpg, you need to rename it! Over time, your website will thank you for it and so will your customers who find you faster in their Google searches.
3. Use Alt text
An 'Alt tag' or 'alt text' is the alternative text on for the image files of your website. Unlike file names, this secondary alt text is partially used for when someone's internet browser can't render certain image files, but more importantly, it's also another useful tool for SEO. When you give your images appropriate alternative text, you will strengthen your overall SEO ranking. This is very important for e-commerce websites. If you insert proper tags on your products, they are more likely to show up independently in Google searches if someone is using relative keywords.
Here's what to remember;
- Do not overload your alt text with keywords. Google's algorithm will penalise this.
- Generally, you'll want to stay within five words for your alt text.
- Keep your alt text descriptive, honest and use simple language.
4. Choose the proper file type
The two most common types of files which are being used as images on websites are JPG (.jpg) and PNGs (.png). If you're uploading images to your website and want to keep things as optimised as possible, you need to be aware of the differences in these files.
PNGs are better at retaining quality when it comes to colour and resolution. They also work better if your image requires no background layer and you need a branded colour to show behind the image. For example, a carousel of your partner's logos on your website or a list of products can look much better when the images don't have a white background layer, typically associated with JPGs.
The drawback of using PNGs is that the file size is going to be larger than JPGs if you wish to retain the quality. JPGs are generally smaller files, which can be compressed a lot more without losing as much visual quality. Having larger files means having a slower website. A slower website means a lower SEO ranking in 2021. For this reason, we recommend you stick with compressed JPG files for standard images and if you're going to use PNGs, try out compressing the file size first and then assess the visual quality before uploading it to your website.
5. Don't forget to optimise your thumbnails.
Thumbnail images are a great way to give someone a window view of what your webpage post or product can be about. On most modern e-commerce website's, there's usually a smaller image file and then a second larger file of the same image for when people click through to your product and want a closer look.
A lot of people who use thumbnail images forget to optimise and compress the files seizes, which over time, start to weigh down the whole website. People also can risk slightly damaging their SEO ranking by having duplicate alt tags on both the smaller (thumbnail) and larger image file. It's such an easy thing to overlook, but every little step helps when it comes to optimising your images for the SEO performance of your website.
Want to learn more about how to optimise your website, or why your website may be underperforming?
Check out our blogs; 'Why Is My Website So Slow?' or, 'Why Is My E-commerce Website Not Selling And How Do I Fix It For 2021?'