According to the insights from HTTP Archive, images make up approx. 65% of average web pages when considering load size. Images are such an important component of news, e-commerce, fashion, and blogs that understanding best image optimization techniques can make a big difference to your digital content and its optimal online visibility.
Using a well-optimized image will help you to deliver a fast and engaging visual experience without hogging extra KBs of data. Whether you are using images from photoshop or any other source, image optimization can many times be a critical consideration in attracting traffic to your digital posts.
Image optimization techniques
Image optimization is a necessary skill for multiple reasons.
- Help your audience to instantly view and understand what your digital content is about.
- Optimized images will reduce the respective web page’s load time.
- Image optimization improves SEO
- And much more.
Image optimization techniques can vary from website to website. However, the core techniques involve some common practices which are important to note. These techniques range from image file name to image compression.
The following are some of the basic image optimization techniques you need to know, and that are also used by Verti Group International a.k.a. SEO Seattle® (VGISEO), a top Seattle SEO agency.
One element in any image optimization that should always be a consideration is the file name.Google for example, “uses the URL path as well as the file name to help it understand your images”.
Important considerations when creating the Image file name.
Generally, optimization of image file name is one of the most overlooked optimization techniques and one that you will want to consider in all image optimization task.
- Always try and align an image file name with the surrounding content and its topic. Preferably use keywords in your URL path as well as file name that will support the digital content found on the respective webpage. Your images can then rank in the best possible way.
- Use hyphens instead of underscores in your file names, for example, hearts-and-laserbeams.jpeg. It is preferable because at times underscores can be read by a Google bot as a single linked keyword which may also greatly affect the correct understanding by the bot.
Image file namesshouldbe the very first thing to consider when it comes to image optimization.
Understand character limitations for different image elements
When you are optimizing images, then it is important to stay within character limitations for each image element.
Have a look at the character limitations for various image elements as prescribed by VGISEO
- File Name: The maximum length is 255 characters.
- ALT Tag: 125 characters
- Title: 55 characters
*Note that we found using less characters generally performs better.
Optimize your alt attributes.
Alt attributes also known as alt text is another simple and effective element in your best image optimization practices. A good understanding of image alt text is essential to build page relevancy as well as provide optimal user experience. However, unlike file names it is important to keep image alt text grammatically concise.Google Search Central says, “Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.” And, VGISEO strongly advises not to try and include keywords which will not support the optimal use of this element.
- It isn’t necessary to stuff your alt attributed with keywords but you can include some sparingly. However, in case of ecommerce or product images, it is always good to add model numbers as image alt text to create more relevancy.
With the help of alt tag, we describe images for those visually impaired. If a target keyword is necessary to describe an image, then it can be included. But please note, rather than using a client or person’s name in an alt tag it is better to describe the scene instead of name brands and individuals. For example, Man kneeling on top of a roof during a new roof installation.
- VGISEO avoids using capital letters in alt tags. Even though many are using capitals, it is the preferred choice of VGISEO not to.
Image compression is important too
Even after choosing the right alt attributes, file name and best image format and dimensions, you still should always reduce the image size via compression if possible.
- One of the safest ways to optimize images via compression is by removing unnecessary metadata linked with the image. This can let you reduce the size of an image without affecting its quality. Image metadata can be discarded when displaying an image. (This is only one of the reasons we shared earlier in this article, “lesser characters to fair better “).
- Other compression technique to compress the file size will reduce the quality of image slightly which is generally undetectable to the human eye.
There are plenty of free and paid image compression tools available that you can consider using.
Understand the preferred format
Generally, there exist multiple image formats. However, png and jpeg are the most common ones to be used out there. In case of photographs and natural scenes jpeg is a preferred image format when considering file size.
Simply, jpeg is going to be a lot lighter when compared to the PNG format and look almost exactly the same when delivered digitally via the Internet.
- VGISEO prefers to use jpeg first. Because jpeg format is lighter than png.
- However, the second choice of VGISO in images formats is png, when needed.
Use of correct image format is important because it impacts on the bandwidth consumption by your images. As Google has already shared, UX (User Experience) is increasing in support of search rankings and “rendering speed” is an element worth the stretch.
Image optimization is a combination of different techniques. Whether your images are sourced from photographers or stock image sites, image optimization is critical. Because Google is getting better at recognizing your images every day. Therefore, it clearly makes sense to optimize your images and it is all attributed for better user experience and support of the optimal use of SEO.
We hope that you found this article, “Image Optimization Techniques Shared By A+ Seattle SEO Agency” and our share of expert image optimization techniques to be enlightening.