The importance of having images on websites has been increasing over time. Regarded as one of the most essential elements of a website, images provide visitors with a clearer vision of what a website is about. On an average, around 64 percent of a website’s weight is comprised of images, according to HTTP Archive. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), websites with images generate more traffic than websites containing pure text. In fact, they work even better if images are optimized correctly. Reducing the size of images without reducing the image quality can have a direct and positive impact on page load speed and user experience. Optimized websites and images are critical for maintaining user engagement and improving site performance. By implementing a few changes to the current image process, a website can gain more traffic and leads, resulting in more sales. An organic SEO company can help businesses optimize their images and improve website traffic and user engagement.
The basic goal of image optimization is to reduce the file size of an image without sacrificing quality. Optimized images consume fewer resources, load faster, and positively impact SEO. On the other hand, non-optimized images can consume storage space and lower a site’s loading speed. In fact, roughly 39 percent of visitors will likely leave a website due to a slow image loading time. Image optimization is the key to improve a website’s overall performance and provide a better experience for visitors.
What is Image Optimization?
In simple terms, image optimization is the process of adjusting high-quality web images to use the appropriate format, dimension, and resolution while keeping files as small as possible. The process involves delivering high-quality images in the right format, dimension, size, and resolution while maintaining the smallest possible size. Optimizing and adjusting images improves a website’s speed and overall performance, including its SEO rankings and user experience.
Importance and Benefits of Image Optimization
The importance of images in connecting users to a websites products and services has been proven. It is estimated that half of the users love websites which load in less than 2 seconds. Almost 40 percent of visitors tend to leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Increased bounce rate will eventually conversion rate and sales.
Image optimization is one of the most significant on-page SEO techniques. Implemented correctly, it can significantly improve a site’s ranking, page speed and user experience. When images ranks well in the image search section of Google, it can increase traffic contribution from organic search.
Discussed below are some important benefits of optimizing web images –
- Improves Page Load Speed – Page load speed is the amount of time taken by a web page to load completely. It depends on many factors, ranging from website host to website layout and design. Most users prefer websites with a load speed of less than 2 seconds load speed. Therefore, if you optimize 64 percent of a website’s weight – that is, images – it will improve your site’s load speed and enhance the user experience, and leading to more people interacting with your product and services. There are many tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Web Page Test, and ImageKit’s Website Analyzer to analyze page load speed and provide complete insight about the page.
- Improved SEO Rankings – Google also considers page load speed as an essential element in determining the rankings of the pages. For many websites, this is a hassle they need to navigate around. Implementing image optimization techniques can ensure page load speed is as good as possible. It is imperative that image optimization is performed to its full potential before or after launching a website so that the search engine rankings are intact. With high SEO rankings, a website does not just have a better chance of being clicked on but also has a chance to make a positive impact on users by offering a holistic user experience.
- Enhances user engagement – Optimized images have proper title and alt text, which are used by both search engines and screen readers in order to understand the context of the image. Page load speed is directly related to SEO ranking and conversions. For instance, a study found that 79 percent of visitors who are not satisfied with the page load speed were not willing to engage with the same website again. This shows the importance of image optimization for a web page. Optimized website images improve page load speed and provide a better user experience. A properly optimized website with good quality content, including images, will attract more visitors. If they share the link to your site with their contacts who are interested in the same thing, this will brings more visitors to your site.
- Better Use of Resources – When your resources are limited, it is extremely important find a way to get the most of the limited disk space. Large images take up more storage space and require more bandwidth for the files to be transferred successfully to users’ web browsers. Image optimization makes it possible for small website owners to significantly reduce the amount of bandwidth and disk space necessary to display and store their images. Website visitors will also benefit as optimized images will reduce the page load time. In addition, it will take significantly less time to backup a small website.
- Saves Server Memory – Image optimization plays a crucial role in saving server memory and reduces extra server load. For example, if a website has two same images, one image size is 900kb and another image size is 340kb, using the second image will put low weight on the server, thereby saving bandwidth.
- Supports Other SEO Efforts – Image optimization supports other SEO efforts. A well-optimized image can improve page engagement and increase the chances of an image showing up in the image carousels on search engines. Incorporating the right combination of format, title, title text, alt and text can enable images to perform well in search results. At the same time, a page with relevant content and images that are optimized can earn a higher number of social shares and even backlinks from other sites.
In this rapidly changing digital world, every single factor related to a website performance needs serious consideration. User expectations are only going to increase in the coming years. Image optimization in SEO is an important aspect that cannot be ignored. Its benefits are not restricted only to the page load speed and SEO ranking. Image optimization can boost conversion rates, sales and revenue. Partnering with a professional search engine optimization company can help you post suitable and attractive images and optimize them in the right way to improve your search ranking.
In our next blog, we will discuss image optimization strategies to improve website load speed.
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