“A picture is worth a thousand words,” as they say, and this is undeniably true. Rather than words, we prefer to interact with visuals. Images have become increasingly important on ecommerce, travel, and media websites throughout time. Images make up about 64% of the total weight of a webpage so if we can reduce the size of these photos without sacrificing image quality, it will directly and positively affect page load times and user experience on your website.

Websites that load in less than two seconds are favored by half of all users. However, if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, nearly 40% of visitors will abandon the website, raising the bounce rate. The only way to solve this issue is to optimize the images on the website.

WHAT IS IMAGE OPTIMIZATION?

Image optimization is the process of presenting images with the best possible quality while keeping the file size to a minimum. Image optimization techniques produce photos in the format, dimensions, resolution, and quality that can fit into the smallest size, which is no easy task. The goal is to maintain as much quality as possible; thus, you can use this technique to cut an image in half without sacrificing its quality noticeably.

IMPORTANCE OF OPTIMIZING IMAGES

It has been proven that visuals are crucial in connecting users to your products. People are more likely to abandon your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, which will drastically increase your bounce rate and subsequently influence your conversions.

So why is image optimization so important for your website?

The answers are as follows: Image optimization improves page load speed, improves SEO rankings, and enhances user experience.

Improves Page Load Speed

The time it takes for a web page to load fully is referred to as page load speed. It depends on a number of things, including your internet host and the layout and design of your website. The websites that load in less than 2 seconds are the most popular among users. As a result, if you optimize 64% of your website’s weight, which is images, you will improve the speed of your website.

This provides a quicker experience for your website visitors, resulting in more consumers interacting with your products and services. Many tools, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights, can be helpful for analyzing your page load speed.

Improves SEO Ranking

Images that have been optimized are an important component of your on-page SEO and can help supplement your other SEO efforts.

Great images may improve the look and feel of your page while also increasing the amount of time people spend on it.

Well-optimized images have a better possibility of appearing in search engine image carousels. Image SEO considers the format, title, title text, alt text, and other factors to give your pictures the best chance of ranking in search.

They can also help to integrate your on-page SEO efforts together and reinforce the content of a particular page.

Not only does this help users and search engines understand what’s on the website, but also it also makes it more appealing to visitors.

A page with well-written content, outstanding photos, and optimized images is more likely to receive social shares and even backlinks from other websites. All of this helps to drive people back to your website while also establishing your brand’s authority.

Boosts Conversions

As a result, if your search ranking rises, you’ll be able to attract more users and maybe convert them. The speed with which a page loads has a direct impact on SEO rankings and conversions.

The association between conversions and page load speed has been studied extensively. In fact, 79% of users who are dissatisfied with the speed or performance of a website will not shop there again. Yikes!

Enhances the User Experience

Optimizing your images also provides you with another way to improve the user experience, something you should always be thinking about.

Optimized photos are more useful and relevant to your website users, in addition to providing a speedier experience.

The title and alt text of optimized photos are used by both search engines and screen readers to understand what the image is all about.

Although properly organized and descriptive alt text on your photos isn’t visible on the page, it makes a huge impact on website users who use screen readers and have visual impairments.

This not only improves accessibility and provides a better user experience for those visitors, but it also helps your on-page SEO.

HOW NEW TARGET HELPS

Here are some great techniques that our web development team uses to optimize images the most effectively for our clients’ beautiful websites!

1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE AND FORMAT

Using a variety of formats on your website can help it load faster by keeping the weight of the website low. Because of their modest size and ability to work with simple designs in a limited number of colors, vector images are ideal for logos and icons.

PNG is designed for high-resolution images with a transparent background. It is, however, the largest type, so proceed with caution. JPG is the most preferred image format because it provides for a high level of detail and color while remaining lightweight.

The general rule is to keep JPG photos under 100 KB and 1920px in size. GIFs are limited to only 256 colors, so they are best used for short animations with little detail.

2. USING A CDN

Because it retrieves photos on demand from the closest server to the user’s location, this can dramatically reduce loading times. This can help to ease the image optimization process by utilizing:

  • Cache Controls
  • Automated Compression
  • Progressive Loading
3. USING LAZY LOADING

The lazy loading technique optimizes a website’s or web app’s online content. This strategy avoids loading the entire web page at once, instead of loading only the sections that the user needs and delaying the rest until later. This requires correctly indexing the pictures using image sitemaps in order to benefit from the improved page speed.

4. OPTIMIZING THUMBNAILS

On category pages, many websites, including ecommerce, libraries, and hobby sites, employ thumbnail images. They don’t appear to take up much room; however, thumbnails can increase page load times by lurking on the sides. Making your thumbnail files as compact as possible can help to lessen the overall impact of thumbnails on page load time.

In today’s digital world, every aspect of your website’s performance matters. And users’ expectations are only going to rise over time.

The advantages of image optimization cannot be overlooked. These advantages aren’t limited to page load speed and SEO ranking. Image optimization also has the potential to increase your conversion rate and provide an overall better user experience.

Contact us today if you need help designing and developing a website with beautifully optimized images!

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.