Hiring an agency or using an online website builder to create your website is a common business practice, however the behind the scenes process is more involved than just adding content and images before publishing. It can be easy to forget about the important (and oftentimes little known) details that can elevate a website!
Your website acts as a vehicle that can help market and generate business. With the many factors that go into having a fully functional website – standout copy, quality designs and an effective user experience – there is one essential and often overlooked function that you should prioritize… image optimization.
In today’s blog, we’ll cover exactly what image optimization is, why it’s important and how to do it.
What is Image Optimization?
Image optimization involves the process of providing high-resolution images that are in their correct format, size, resolution and dimension all while having the smallest size image possible.
Best Image Optimization Practices
Choose the Correct File
When preparing to use an image, it is important to select the appropriate file type. Those types typically fall under three categories.
- A JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is an image saved in a compressed graphic format. JPEG files are best used for photos.
- A PNG (Portable Network Graphic) file stores graphics on websites. This file is best used for digital art/flat images including logos and icons.
- GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) files hold multiple pictures at once, creating an animation style image.
Don’t Forget Alt-Text
If an image doesn’t load onto your screen, in its place is where you’ll find a short description of the image – that is alt-text. This description not only tells users what the image is, but also allows search engines to crawl and rank your website, which helps with SEO.
Resize and Use Images Strategically
Images that are too small for a specific place on your website will appear distorted, while images that are too big can take up storage and slow down your site’s loading time. When uploading images, make sure you have a file size that works with your site’s content. You can resize images with Photoshop, Lightroom or your photo editing software. It is important to note that once you make an image smaller, you can experience a loss of PPI/overall image quality if you then choose to make the image bigger again.
A mistake that businesses make is using too many images on its website. Not only does it have the potential to slow down your website, there is the potential of using images that don’t serve a true purpose. Be sure each image supports the overall narrative of your website.
Why is it Important to Optimize Images?
Delivers Strong Website Performance
Optimized images that are high-quality and feature the correct formatting, size and resolution leads to an increase in quality user experience.
A website that loads quickly provides your business with a number of benefits. According to Shopify, a highly responsive website leads to higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates and an increase in customer loyalty (aka repeat business).
Improves SEO Rankings
When you accurately label images, this allows search engines to find and understand the content on each page of your website. About 20.7% of Google’s search engine result pages come directly from photos. With optimized images, your website has the potential of higher rankings on search engines, which can lead to more site visitors.
Blufish believes in the power of building a striking website that will help build your brand. If your business is in need of a new website or other design services – contact us today! We’d love to help.