If you own a blogging website, one question you have probably been asking yourself is whether you should add images to your blogs. The answer is yes! Images play a crucial role when it comes to website`s overall appeal. Did you know that Images also play a crucial role when it comes to SEO?
Therefore, as you decide on the images that you need to add on your blog, then it is important to make sure that you avoid bloated images. Instead, you need to ensure that the image you use is SEO friendly. These SEO friendly images increase the overall Ranking of your webpage. For this reason, your web designer needs to mind about the image optimization for SEO. So what is the process for image optimization? What techniques should you apply to web pages? Continue reading to find out.
Web Pages and Image Content
Slow web pages are as a result of page content and size of the page. As people continue to familiarize themselves with the internet, the web page sizes continue to grow at astonishing speed. Between 2010 and 2016, the webpage size has increased by around 243%. But why does the webpage size increase?
Consider that the websites that are appealing to the eyes of the viewer contain images. Most of the images that are used on the webpage are large in size. Basically, these images account for the highest percentage of the total size of the page. Statistics show that as from the year 2016, the images account for 64.3% of the web content.
Procedure for Optimization of Website Images for Search Engines
By now, you must have seen that according to the above facts, a major portion of the content on web pages is made of images. Most of these images are not optimized for the web. If these images are optimized for web use, the image based search engines can generate additional traffic to the website. Recent findings show that 39% of people browsing the internet will close the page if the images load slowly. This shows that web designers should optimize images to make sure they load faster on the webpage.
Another factor to consider is that high page speeds are a must for web pages to rank higher on search engines. The bandwidth doesn’t have a significant impact1 in fact, studies show that increasing bandwidth by 300% will only yield about 24.6 increase in web page speed. Therefore, as a web designer, you should consider the impact that images have on your web pages.
The Importance of Webpage Optimization is also shown by Recent Case Studies
According to a case study by Ancestory.com, there was up to 7% positive rise in conversion. The increase in conversions was because of reduction in the render time of the web pages by 68%, page bloat by 465 and load time by 64%.
Another study by AliExpress that involved a reduction of load time by 36%, saw an increase of orders by up to 10.5%. As a result of lower webpage load time, the conversion rates on their website increased by 27%.
Image Types and Formats
Raster and Vector are the primary kinds of images files. On the web, the Raster images are more common compared to vector. The Raster images are created with pixel based software. Alternatively, you can use a camera and a scanner to create the images. On the other side, the Vector graphics are done using the vector software and are commonly used for illustrations, drawings, and images. Vector tend to be smaller in size than raster, but you cannot go vector with everything!
Image File Formats for Specific Imaging Needs
There are different image file formats used for specific needs. These include the following:
.jpg- This is the best file type used by photographers. The images in this file format scale well but not vice versa. After compression, the image quality is well retained.
.png- this is the format used for large dimension images that have fewer colors. This format is used widely for chats and diagrams. Most important, it is known for scaling down well whenever it is used.
.gif- This format is known for not scaling well. Most commonly, it is used for small images like icons and buttons.
.svg- This is a vector file format and has very less image size and scales very well when used.
.BMP- This file format is huge in size and is usually pixelated.
Definition of Image Optimization
Web image Optimization refers to the use of most compressed and visually acceptable images. The procedure for image optimization is easy. In addition, it is a significant requirement when it comes to improvement of website performance.
Why Should Images be optimized?
We already know that through image optimization, we achieve faster web page loading. Through image optimization, the following website characteristics improve:
The Speed of Web pages: The time taken to transfer optimized images from the server is significantly reduced.
Bandwidth Usage: It’s true that the cost of internet bandwidth is high. Bloated images will lead to high bandwidth usage hence it becomes more expensive.
Page SEO: When it comes to page level keyword agnostic features, the page load speed is ranked as number four.
How do we Measure the Load Time of Web pages?
Users like a webpage that loads faster. Generally, a faster loading website is important for a positive user experience. You can use different available tools for measuring and analyzing the load time of web pages. Examples of tools that can be used to measure the performance of a page include PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom Website Speed Test,and slow. Through the use of these tools, we can determine the load time of a webpage and offer suggestions for improvements.
Optimizing Images for SEO
To get a high search engine ranking, you not only need to select keywords to use in your content. Another factor is the images. You need to label images appropriately so that the search engine spiders can detect them.
SEO Friendly Images
To optimize images, you can use several techniques. Through optimization, the aim is to make them more SEO friendly. When considering image optimization for web, you need to consider properties like Size, Title, and the Alt Tags.
Techniques for Image Optimization
Image optimization includes other factors beyond reducing the size. You should also ensure the image is not pixelated or blurry. An image to be used for a web page should look professional and have a balanced file size and quality. We have very many well-developed algorithms and techniques that can be used to create optimized images. It is important that the web designers carefully analyze image attributes and the optimal settings to be used.
Manual Methods for Image Optimization
One of the most common and easiest approaches when it comes to manual image optimization is manual resizing and compressing images. To do so, you can use editing softwares like Photoshop and Gimp.
Photoshop- This offers several options needed for compressing the size of an image while also retaining the quality. If you use Photoshop, you will have the “Save for Web ^ Devices” dialog box which compares original image with the other compression choices. This software also offers you plugins like “JPEG XR”, “NVIDIA Texture Tools” and also “PNG Exported”. These are good for extending capabilities of Photoshop. Users who are well versed can try to overcome the limitations of this software.
Gimp– this is a tool that is used to optimize images well with its “Export AS” Option. While using this Software, you can choose the format of the output file and also select the quality settings in addition to the ability to preview the file outcome.
Make sure your images are resized the fit the container. If you blog headers are 800 pixels wide, resize the image to exactly 800 pixels! this will save on unnecessary space, and also reduce the amount of word WordPress needs to do when the page loads!
Automated Large Scale Optimization
PHP comes with built-in packages. These are GD and GD2 which are used for Automated Image Optimization. They allow server0side image resizing and manipulation.
Optimizing Images in WordPress
For WordPress websites to look great, they often use the Full-bleed images. The full-bleed images have a large size, incorrect formats, and poor optimization. Mobile sites require being highly responsive right from the design. Therefore, it is important for WordPress web designers to ensure they develop a well-defined strategy to ensure optimized images are generated.
The General Techniques for Image Optimization
To optimize images for web, the web designers should consider the following factors and approaches.
Ensure they choose right file format because of incorrect format results to bloated images
Ensure they resize images so as to match display requirements. You can use the Image Editor which comes with WordPress to change the dimensions of an image.
To preserve clarity of the image and retain the prominent areas, they should use Cropping
Compress the image so as to Lower the quality
Use the Lazy Loading technique for images. This allows priority for the images at the top of the page and lower images are loaded only when scrolling page downwards.
Give priority to the Responsive Images that are created using WordPress and sized as Thumbnail, Medium, Full size, etc.
Provide images of Content Distribution Network. This stores the website on multiple servers. For direct website integration, you can use WordPress Plugins like JetPack and W3 Total Cache Plugin.
How to Optimize Images for SEO
When uploading images, WordPress provides image specific fields. These fields should be filled out and not left as default. Use image search keywords on these fields so as to enable SEO for the images.
The Image Title is displayed whenever the reader scrolls over the image. Ensure you format the title in Title Case and don’t use Hyphens
Ensure you add Image Caption below the image. However, this is an optional field.
To elaborate the title provide add a description
Add File name that includes short keywords and adds a hyphen for best optimization
Add Alt-Text so as to describe the image. This is used by search engines, and screen readers as a placeholder whenever an image fails to load.
Procedure for Adding ALT Tags/Text to Images in WordPress
The Alt-Text field has multiple uses. Therefore, it is a very important field. Single images use the primary keyword in the Alt-Text field attribute. When you have multiple images, consider the use of Latent Semantic Indexing keywords in the Alt Tag.
Pick the page that you want to edit
Pick the image that you want to add Alt-Text on
Click on the “Edit” option of the image
“image Details” Panel will open
Edit the “Alt Text” field so as to add Alternate text keywords
How to Add Alt Tags for New Images in WordPress
Step1. Click on “Add Media” option from the tab labeled “Add New Page” or “Edit Page”.
Step2. Select the image that needs to be added to the page
Step3. On the Right, You have “Attachment Details”
Step4. To add Alternative text keywords, edit the Alt Text
Step5. Click “Insert Into Page”.
SEO Optimized Images: Using WordPress Plugins
One advantage of WordPress is that it comes with a wide range of SEO friendly options. We have several plugins that you can use to provide SEO capabilities for image optimization. Further, when it comes to image optimization tools, we have several optimizer tools. These help in making it easier to optimize the images and also to maintain a high quality of the image. So which are some of the popular plugins and optimizer tools? Let`s evaluate some of them.
SEO Optimized Images
This plugin offers the dynamic addition of SEO friendly Alt-text and also the Title to images. The SEO Optimized Images plugin doesn’t modify the database. Therefore, you can safely deactivate it if you don’t need to use it.
The Features of the Premium Version
Supports Features Images
Supports the Woocommerce Product Images
Custom Post Type Images are Supported
Custom Rules Selectively Add Alt and Title Tags to images.
The SEO Image Optimizer
To replace Title and Alt tag images, use the SEO Image Optimizer plugin. You will be able to do all the changes even without having to modify any databases. Further, you can be able to resize and compress the images using the plugin. Some of the common features provided by the plugin include:
SEO Friendly Image Optimization]
Allows Dynamic Title and Alt tag for SEO friendly images
Allows image size compression so as to boost page loading speed
SEO Friendly Images
This plugin allows for automatic insertion or overrides of the ALT Text and title. The plugin feature allows users to increase Search Engine Rankings for all images
PB SEO Friendly Images
You can use this Plugin to automatically optimize all the Alt-Text and Title attributes of the images. It provides options for:
For all images
It’s SEO Proved
Alternative Tools for Optimizing Images in WordPress
Smush Image Compression and Optimization Plugin used for WordPress allows users to automatically resize, optimize and compress the images. For instance, you can be able to strip metadata from the JPEGs and optimize compression.
Template Toaster- this is a comprehensive tool used for WordPress and supports all plugins. You have plenty of theme options while using this tool. It is known to provide additional settings that enable SEO optimization for themes.
You can’t afford to underrate the significance of optimized images. This is a very important aspect that allows web pages to load faster. The optimized images also help ensure browsing experience is good. Further, when it comes to Image-based search, the Ranking is higher if images are optimized.
Web designers should ensure they create and use images that are optimized for good quality and are inappropriate size. While doing so, it is important to ensure you use a technique that fits the technical expertise. In addition, consider the overall functionality of the website.