How to optimise website images
Images are essential to building a successful online presence. I’m sure we have all heard the term “Pictures are worth a thousand words”. If a website is like a cake, the videos and images are the icings, they add a lot of value helping you communicate your value proposition quickly and effectively.
The human brain can interpret pictures faster than we can with text, therefore adding context and depth to a topic and even your brand. Images are more important than ever, with the continual shift to the digital age, all eyes are on you and your website.
At the same time, incorporating images into your website requires more than just uploading them and hoping for the best. Google, for instance, requires alt text that communicates in writing what the image is about.
Step by step guide to optimising website images
1. Choose the right image format: JPEG vs PNG
PNG and Jpeg are the two main image formats used today, the main difference is the quality. The PNG format is higher quality than JPEG, but JPEG provides 10:1 compression which means you will have a smaller image file size.
Find your image size using the inspect element on your browser. If you are on windows you press F12. If you’re using a Mac, you use “Command” + “Options” + “I” when in safari. Download the image, either from your back end or find the image URL using the inspect element.
2. Resize the image.
There are plenty of online websites that are drag and drop but I prefer using a dedicated software as you are more in control. If you are on Mac you will be able to use “Preview” which is apart of your OS.
For Windows I highly recommend Paint.Net, this is free software with premium features. I recommend saving your new image as Jpeg as the file size will be significantly smaller than PNG.
3. Compress the image
4. Upload the image back to your website
Upload it to your website and enjoy your new and improved image!
Something that’s worth mentioning is that resizing your images may cause distortion. Make sure you check your image before you upload your image to make sure the quality is up to your standards.
Gif optimisation is pretty much the same process as a PNG or Jpeg, in most cases, Gif images don’t require to be resized. GIFS are often used on websites as patterns in the header or footer, in this case, they are already resized to smaller pixel size.
- Using your inspect element, find your Gif and download it.
- Use an online website to compress it, I recommend EzGif as it is simple and easy to use.
- Upload it to your website and enjoy your optimised gif!
You may be wondering how an image can use SEO? Website images, just like your website content are able to rank your website on search engines. Your image can be found using google images, or news, or even through searching in the shopping section.
The first step to image SEO is image quality, a blurry image is a real turn off so make sure your images are clear. The second step is using eye-catching or interesting images. Using eye-catching images will draw the user in, giving them more reasons to stay on your site and view your content.
The most common mistake when using images on a website is not renaming an image, it is important to have your images named correctly and relative to your content. Once you find the right image, make sure that you give it a descriptive name. The name of your file is more important for your website than you think. Ideally, it should be descriptive, helping search engines like Google understand exactly what the image is about in the URL path.
The use of Alternative text on images will give crawlers more information on what your image is about.
The last and best Image SEO tactic is to use your own images. There is nothing easier than using your own images, it builds authority and overall looks better.
Images might seem to be just a small aspect of your site, however, it plays a big part in user experience. Using correct size images will provide a good experience for bots and users. Optimising file size will make your website faster and keep more users on your site. When it comes to image optimisation, your images should be eye-catching that support your content. Use ALT text and descriptions where possible but overall, your website should provide your users with the best experience.