Does your business or organization have a website that takes too long to load? Do the images on your site take longer than the rest of the page? If so, your site is likely suffering from a slow webpage load speed, and a main contributor is the lack of image optimization.
Optimizing images for the web has become an integral part of web development and maintenance, since search engines prefer faster page load speeds when ranking websites. The slower your site performs, the more likely it is that users will leave and seek out a competitor.
For obvious reasons, that’s not what you want. But don’t worry, we’ve come up with 4 easy-to-follow steps for optimizing images to improve your SEO and enable your website to load faster.
Step 1: Start with High Resolution Imagery
In order to effectively communicate your product/service (or showcase your employees) to your target audience, you’ll need quality, professional imagery.
In today’s digital world, it’s vital to visually tell the story of your brand. This includes your logo, photography, or other graphic design elements.
High Resolution Imagery refers to the dimensions of these visual elements. These dimensions are measured in pixels, so the higher the number of pixels, the higher the image resolution.
Low-res images appear fuzzy and “pixelated,” which can make your website appear unprofessional and reflect poorly on your business. High-res is definitely your best bet.
Step 2: Resize Images to Proper Dimensions
Now that you have high-res images, you’ll need to resize them, so they’ll fit nicely within your website’s theme. Start by ensuring your images are saved as a .png or .jpg file format.
These file formats are best for resizing or reducing for web and retain their quality better than other formats.
Most website themes include suggested image sizes for the graphic elements of the web pages. Let’s say, for example, your theme suggests a blog post image should be 600 x 400 pixels (px). How would you get a 2000 x 1333px image down to the suggested dimensions?
One of the best programs for manipulating image dimensions is Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop allows you to quickly resize images, and export the file in PNG or JPG format.
Step 3: Reduce File Size for the Web
Once your images are down to the correct dimensions, you’ll still need to reduce the file size for the web. The larger the file size, the longer it takes the image to load on your web page, and it slows down.
In order to combat this, you’ll want to shoot for a file size of 80-120 Kilobytes(KB). Files in this range will retain their quality appearance and avoid becoming a drag on your website.
You can use Photoshop to reduce file size, as well, or if you’re in need of a more cost-effective option, we suggest an online tool such as Kraken Image Optimizer.
Step 4: Include Alt-text and Title-text
When uploading your photos to a blog post or web page, a great SEO tip is to include Alt-text and Title-text.
These two tactics are slightly different, but equally important for SEO. Alt-text describes the words that appear if, for some reason, your images aren’t compatible or are disabled within a web browser. Title-text, on the other hand, is simply advisory information for search engines to find.
Including alt-text and title-text gives search engines more page ranking fuel. Be sure to use page-specific keywords to naturally describe the image it’s attached to. This will ensure your images are fully optimized for the web.
Using these four steps, the imagery on your website will no longer put a damper on your page load speed and overall SEO rankings.
As long as you use high-res imagery, of the right dimension and file size, and include alt-text and title-text, you’ll be able to successfully identify a roadblock to proper SEO and remove it.
Feel free to give us a call at 262-725-4500 or send us an email for more information.