As websites jostle for a coveted slice of the online pie in the highly competitive search engine rankings, search engines marketers are exploring all possible tactics – including Image Optimization, which according to recent analysis is found to not only earn the website a higher ranking in Search Engines, but also make site visitors happy since they it also helps reduce page loading time.
I hope this isn’t making you nervous. Just relax, image optimization isn’t a complex phenomenon. You can either request your professional web designer to do it for you, or do it yourself in just a few minutes.
WHY IS IMAGE OPTIMIZATION ESSENTIAL
Images are always like a breather in websites and play a great role in attracting and retaining visitors to the site. However, now they are portraying more sophisticated roles courtesy implementation of innovative search engine optimization (SEO) techniques – Image optimization (the other being keyword optimization).
Recent studies have thrown light on an emerging trend in Google search results that reveals that there has been a considerable increase in the number of internet users who have been image search on search engines like Google, to find content or information they are searching.
This interesting trend is soon leading to a paradigm shift on how search results are optimized, with more and more website owners focusing on optimizing the images. This has led to instances where top Google image results now show up in the first few positions of a normal search many a times. So, it is imperative that you understand the significance of image optimization for your website and provide the appropriate image befitting the search results.
Google Universal Search Results has revealed that images appear on 22 percent of the search results, while Google images are said to be able to garner one-fourth more traffic for a website with the right image optimization.
Moreover, Google offers optimized mobile images within the web results – as preview thumbnails of indexed images. So, in case a user wishes to view the image in a higher resolution, he/she needs to go to the website on which the image is embedded – thus improving traffic and subsequently conversions.
How To Do Image Optimization?
1. File naming
This is one of the most basic, yet overlooked aspect of image optimization. Avoid using default or generic names such as DSC784.jpg or abcd123.jpg. While naming a file, pay particular attention to keywords or phrases. Use words which accurately describe the image.
2. Alt tags
The alt tag provides valuable place for keywords that will generate traffic for your website. It is best to avoid stuffing tags with keywords or phrases and keep one descriptive phrase per tag.
Search engines still depend heavily on page text surrounding the image to find out details of image. It is imperative to write descriptive content about the image as this text in the source code is the signal that search engine use to identify content of the image
4. Image share sites
You can upload, systematically categorize, tag, and eventually share photos and images on the web. This method allows you to upload site images and tag with keywords.
5. Optimization of pages containing images
In addition to optimizing the image itself (with file naming and alt tag). Ensure that page containing images is optimized for a phrase that’s an accurate classification for the images.
6. Image File Size for Faster Load Times
It is important to use images that are optimized for web. Images with large file size are often culprit in slow processing time or load time.
7. Limit number of images per page
Ensure that all images on same page are related in content and don’t overdo the use of images.
EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR IMAGE OPTIMIZATION
There are actually an array of image compression tools that can automatically optimize images for you. Let me share a few tools here:
Considered to be the best for GIF images, this tool uses optimization techniques specific to image format that helps it to remove unnecessary bytes from image files. However, it is recommended that you do not use the GIF format unless the image is animated.
Undoubtedly, one of the best tools for PNG images that uses smart compression techniques (by selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image) thus requiring a fewer bytes to store the data – effectively reducing the size of your PNG files.
Considered to be the best for JPEG images, this free website optimization tool affectedly helps reduce the file size of your images without any loss of quality.
Have you considered image optimization for your website?