• 4 min

6 Essential Image Optimization tips

  • Author
  • Ian Bower
  • Published
  • Nov 9, 2021
4 min

6 Essential Image Optimization tips

How to Optimize Images for the Web

Great web design and SEO require well-optimized images. Here's how to optimize images for the web and not lose any of the quality.

The online marketplace is incredibly lucrative, with the number of digital shoppers now surpassing 2 billion as of 2021. In the US alone, an impressive 230 million people now shop online.

Sensing the opportunity to make profits online, the number of eCommerce stores has soared in recent years. Globally, there are between 12-24 million online stores at the moment. Yet less than one million of these stores make more than $1,000 per year.

Many things separate the truly successful online stores from the struggling ones. One of them is knowing how to optimize images for the web. The fact is people are naturally drawn to graphics. Blog articles that have images draw 94 percent more views than those without.

But how can you optimize your images to make sure they achieve the intended effect? Read on for our top six image optimization tips every online store owner needs to master.

1. Reduce Image Sizes

People are naturally impatient, so you need to ensure that your page loads as fast as possible. 53 percent of users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Uploading giant images is one of the ways to slow down your website, encouraging high bounce rates. Such a site will inevitably rank lower on search engines, and your traffic will plummet.

The solution is to compress images. Start by reducing the file dimensions. If the space available for an image on your site is 400px by 400px, uploading an image that’s 1500px by 1500px will only bog down the site and lead to slow load times.

You can also try to reduce the file size. Uploading a 15 MB image is never a good idea unless you’re selling images on your site.

2. Use Plain and Descriptive Language to Name Your Photos

Search engines need to understand your content, including images, to connect you with your target audience. The easier you can make it for the search engine to do so, the better for your business.

Note that images on your site can’t be seen by search engine robots. That’s why you need to name every image using language that’s plain and descriptive. Change the default file names assigned to the images by your camera to something easily readable.

When it comes to SEO and graphic design, you need to assign relevant keywords to the images. Note that search engines don’t just crawl the text on a webpage but also the names on your file images.

Be sure to use your target keyword in one or more file names, provided the keyword fits naturally.

3. Optimize Alt Attributes Keenly

Alt attributes refer to the text alternatives to your images when the browser fails to render them properly. These attributes aid in web accessibility. Even if the browser renders the image, you’ll still be able to see the alt attribute by hovering over it.

Alt attributes add SEO value to your site. Where the image alt tag includes the appropriate keywords, search engines can rank your page higher. Indeed, the proper use of alt attributes is arguably the surest way to have your eCommerce products appear in web search and Google images.

4. Choose Product Angles Wisely

Most online stores display more than one angle of a single product. Doing so helps the consumer to get a more comprehensive view of the product they’re thinking of purchasing.

For instance, if you’re selling a car, you don’t want to display just a single shot of the vehicle. Potential customers will most likely want to see sots of the car’s front, interior, engine, rims, and rear.  

Capitalize on the additional photos by properly filling out your alt attributes. Ensure that you have alt attributes for every product shot.

5. Optimize Your Thumbnails

Some eCommerce websites use thumbnail images, particularly on their category pages. You can opt to do so when you want to showcase your products while taking as little website real estate as possible.

Just be careful with your thumbnail use. They can slow down your page load speeds and make you lose potential customers.

That’s why optimizing thumbnails is essential. There are several ways to do so.

For instance, you can try to make your thumbnail file size smaller, even if that means ending up with lower quality. After all, the cumulative impact your thumbnails have will ultimately have a massive impact on page load times.

Another way to optimize your thumbnails is to ensure that the alt attribute text you use for them isn’t the same as you’d use for a larger version of the image. Doing so can make search engines index the thumbnail instead of the bigger image. Vary the alt text for the thumbnail wildly, or consider leaving it out entirely.

6. Use Image Sitemaps

Sitemaps help Google to notice your images. Web crawlers typically can’t crawl an image that’s not been called out in the source code of the web page. Thus, if you want crawlers to notice an unidentified image, you need to list its location in a sitemap.

To show your sitemap path, simply insert sitemap: http://example.com/sitemap_location.xml in your robots.txt file. An alternative is to use the Search Console to submit your sitemap to Google.

Now You Know How to Optimize Images for the Web

Images are a significant part of your digital marketing content, but you need to make sure that they don’t inhibit your sales instead of boosting them. Learning how to optimize images for the web is the best way to do so. It ensures that your images don’t slow down your website but instead enhance your conversion rates.

Are you interested in powering your business through professional graphic design? Please, contact us today and learn how we can help.

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  • Ian Bower
  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

    He values generosity and attention to detail and strives to make sure these values are apparent in the services he provides and the businesses he owns.

    When Ian isn't working, you can find him outside hiking, camping and spending time with his wife and children

  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

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