Images are important in a website because they grab users’ attention, and users learn and understand tough concepts. They also guide the visitors’ line of sight, and they inspire. Images are an easy way of improving your website’s user experience.
However, images should not just be picked up from a stock photo source and uploaded onto the page. If you do this with the optimised images, you add load weight to your site. This reduces the amount of time your web page takes to load completely.
Optimising images before having them uploaded to your website provides the following benefits:
- Page load speed gets improved
- Boost your site’s SEO ranking
- Improve your site’s user experience
To achieve these benefits, here are some tips on how to do image optimisation –
1. Choose An Appropriate Image Format
You can pick from many file formats for digital images, the most common of which are PNG, JPEG, and WebP.
Some of these formats are high in quality; some are bigger. So you choose. Take note that Chrome supports only the WebP format.
Also, you can choose between two kinds of compression – the lossy, which reduces the image file size by removing some of the original data permanently, and the lossless, which reduces the image file size by removing unnecessary meta data.
2. Do Image Compression
The image size should be minimised by bytes without reducing the image quality below the acceptable threshold. Compressing is necessary because graphics are 21% of a website’s total weight. To know how your images affect your page performance, use platforms such as TinyPNG or the Page Speed Insight Tool by Google.
3. Create Unique, Original Images
Uploading stock photos may be alright; however, you can’t expect them to help your search ranking. Why? Because many websites are using the same images? Stock photos lack originality, so avoid using them as much as possible. Even if you have resized the images, they won’t impact your SEO like a high-quality, original image will do.
4. Change The Name Of Image Files
Image file names should make sense not only to search engines but also to humans. So name the file with descriptive and relevant keywords for SEO. Include target keywords at the beginning and separate them with hyphens. Never use underscores – the search engines don’t use them, and they won’t be able to comprehend the individual words.
5. Create SEO Friendly Alt Texts
Alt texts are also sometimes called alt tags or alt descriptions. Alt texts provide a text alternative for search engines.
While your site visitors may understand the images on your website, search engine spiders need more clues, and without these alternative texts, they can’t index your image content accurately.
A good alt tag provides context, but it should be written in more detail than the file name.
Using brand-related phrases in alt texts will increase your site visibility.
However, keyword stuffing should be avoided.
6. Include Image Structured Data On Your Pages
Google’s Image Guidelines have announced that images are now ranked according to file path and name. So the location of the file and its name have become ranking factors. They help search engines display the photos as rich results.
7. Make The Images Mobile-Friendly
Google has a set of rules that uses mobile-first indexing, so search engine crawlers mainly focus on the website’s mobile version. Due to this, your images should be mobile-friendly, also.
Some sites have a pre-designed layout that automatically resizes images on your webpage.
To specify the image size based on the width of your device, add a CSS code, a programming language, to your site.
8. Include Images In Your Site Map
A site map helps search engines to know what content can be found on your site and where to find them. Search engines like Google crawl your site automatically, and with a site map in place, it speeds up the process while ensuring accuracy.
9. Incorporate Structured Data
Structured data makes it easier for Google to understand your pages, website and products easily. Google has to know what your web page is about to show your site on the search results pages. So, structured data is important for SEO.
10. A Key Fact To Remember About Image Optimisation
Before posting any photo or images on your website, make sure that you follow the above guidelines on image optimisation. This will make your images stand out and look attractive to search engines and site visitors.