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Tips & Tricks: Take your Website to The Top with Image Optimization

Ever visited a site where you felt like it took an eternity for the images on the page to load? What did you do next? Most likely, you left the site or your frustration started to fester over. Many of us, including myself, are quite impatient when it comes to waiting on an image to load. 

But what if I told you that your frustration is valid and that not Google would even agree with you. When images are not optimized, it doesn't just bog down a site’s aesthetic and user experience, but also bogs down a site's speed and ranking. Optimizing website images is an important step you need to take if you want to take your site to the next level.  

Together, we will walk through the tips and tricks you need to take your image optimization to the top

Tip #1: Optimizing your Image(s) 

While image optimization is both an art and science. It is an art in the sense that there is no absolute answer for how best to compress an individual image, and it is a science since there are many established techniques that greatly reduce the size of an image. Searching for the optimal settings that fit what your image requires careful analysis along various dimensions: format capabilities, content of encoded data, quality, pixel dimensions, and more. 

For our first tip, we will look into how you can optimize your images for site speed and SEO rankings

Optimizing your images for site speed means you will need to use images responsibly, automate the process of image compression, and serve images in the next-gen formats. As for SEO purposes, you will want to ensure you do not rely on third party image hosting sites when using images on your website. You will also want to separate your thumbnails from the main pictures. 

Naming your images is not just important for keeping track of them, but for optimization purposes, too. Your image should be named to include your business name and page name, such as neoreef-blog-imageoptimization-1.jpg or neoreef-image-opitmization.jpg. 

You will also want to use alternative text or “alt text” in your images. Using alt text is especially important for a business wanting to gain attention for search queries that includes its business and their services. By adding a keyword and local modifier to the alt text of an image this can help the search engine under the image’s relevance. But don’t over-optimize since this can hamper your search rankings and user experience, especially for those who use screen readers. 

In general, your alt text should explain what's pictured in your image. 

Read:Here’s what you need to know about image optimization for SEO” 

Trick: Stray away from these image optimization techniques 

Optimizing your images for SEO purposes is great, but going overboard with image optimization can cause your SEO ranking to sink. For instance, you will want to stray away from using visual artifacts that require larger palettes on an image. 

There are some things you will want to avoid when automating the optimization of your images:

  • Bloating your images by stripping out the metadata
  • Recompressing your images with lossy codecs 
  • Any Photoshop or Illustrator effects if you can 

Keep in mind these are just a few of the many image optimization techniques you should stray away when trying to boost your website’s performance and ranking. 

Read:Image Optimization” to see what Google is looking for when it comes to your website’s images 


Tip #2: Optimizing your Image(s) for Local SEO 

Want more local website traffic? Well you got to optimize your images first so you can rank higher in your local search queries. The first step you want to take in optimizing your image for local SEO is to select the right images. You will want to choose quality images that support your brand, or that are relevant to your content. If you want your images to appear in the local Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), you'll need to account for file size, image file name, and geotagging. 

Read:How to Use Images for Local SEO” 

Trick: Get nitty gritty with your Images 

As a rule, you do not want Google to hate your website. So let’s get nitty gritty with your images, and make sure your images to look aesthetically pleasing on your website -- weighing the balance between the lowest file size and acceptable quality.

The two things you want to keep at the forefront of your mind are the file format (PNG, JPEG, GIF)  and the type of compression you use. 

Worrying about tackling compression and formatting by hand? There are many image plugins you can use to save you time and the quality of your images: 

Read:Optimizing Images for Web: A Practical Guide ”


Tip #3: Optimizing your images for Better Design 

Whether you run a regular website, online store, or even a blog that you want to look wonderful, it pays to optimize each and every image you upload. 

There are three things you want to consider when optimizing your images for the web, first think about: 

  1. Do my images look good? If not, then definitely make them shimmer by the end of this post. If you answered yes, then gold star for you. 
  2. Do my images load quickly? Answered no then fix it, no one likes waiting around for anything to load these days. And if you answered yes, well then you are on your way to a picture perfect site. 
  3. Do my images make it easy for search engines to index? If you answered no, Google will likely be ranking you lower than your competitors. And if you said Yes, this is definitely helping you gain more visibility in Google rankings. 

There are many other things you want to consider when optimizing your images for, not only a better website design, but for SEO purposes, too.

You will first want to start with high-quality images, use the right file type (JPEG or PNG), and resize images in order to boost your page speed and appearance.

You will also want to make the images the same size and style. Additionally, you will want to name the image file correctly to help with  SEO , and make sure you have captions and alternative text. Lastly, you will want to put an image near relevant text

A good rule of thumb to keep you on track to getting your image optimization to the top is creating a checklist. A checklist will help keep you on track and visually see what you need to do next when it comes to your website’s image optimization. Optimizing your images may take you some time to do, but at the end of the day, it is well worth it. 

Read:How To Optimize Website Images For Better Design” 


The Top Takeaways 

These tips and tricks are the foundation to build your image optimization up. Do not forget to walk through this like you would a checklist, remember to check off these items as you optimize your images: 

  • Site speed 
  • SEO 
  • Site design 

While there are many tips and tricks out there when it comes to  image optimization for your website, you will want to focus on these if you want to take your website to the top. 

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