In this post I will present to you several tips for image optimization. This is very important for better SEO and better ranking. That is why you should take into serious consideration how and when you will optimize the images on your website. The tips that I am going to share with you are both for WordPress websites and any other websites as well.
So, let’s not waste any more precious time and begin with the tips on how to optimize your images!
Tip #1 – Choose carefully your file format
As you know images come in the shape of files and each file has a unique format. The most commonly used formats that are also considered to be SEO friendly are:
- JPEG – suitable for pictures and other images that contain millions of colors. Provides you with high-quality compression which results in smaller file size. However the compression is “lossy” and this will result in information loss (the main reason for the smaller file size). JPEG file types are not suitable for images that contain mainly text, solid colors or graphics;
- PNG – suitable for almost any image types except pictures as some older devices might not display them correctly. This file format was created as a substitute for GIF and the quality of its compression is superior to the GIF itself. The PNG file also supports transparency which makes it ideal for background purposes as well;
- GIF – suitable for images with small, fixed number of colors. It is reduced to no more than 256 unique colors. The GIF file format provides great compression which is not that complex as the one that the JPEG file is equipped with. However this format is not suitable for pictures and other images with gradient colors due to the small number of supported colors. On the other hand the file size of a GIF file might be quite small and handy. Also the animated GIF types are gaining more and more popularity (especially for tutorial purposes) and you may consider using them in your posts;
Tip #2 – Choose a suitable resolution and DPI for your images
Now that you know which file formats you may use without any problems, you need to consider where the images will be placed and what will be their purpose. The different locations on your website might require an image with bigger or smaller resolution and DPI.
Most of you will be using either Photoshop or GIMP to create a suitable image. So here are some tips for these two softwares:
- In Photoshop you’d like to use a DPI with about 72 pixels. Always consider using the “Save for web” command (quite useful for PNG images) or as an alternative the regular “Save as” command with settings for medium quality (suitable for JPEG images);
- For GIMP – please read the official documentation on how to prepare your images for the Web;
In case you decide to use an online image editing solution or other offline software – you can take into consideration the tips for DPI that I have provided for Photoshop.
Tip #3 – Image file name
The file name should contain suitable keywords or phrases for your content. So you need to take into consideration using them as this may also improve your SEO.
Tip #4 – Image file size
By now you should have created an image with a suitable file format, resolution and DPI and file name. However this file might still be bigger than it is needed for SEO purposes. So let’s see how we can compress it a little more. You may be asking “Why is this needed?”. And the answer is – for optimal speed! The smaller the file size, the faster it will load on any device.
So here is how you can add additional compression for your images:
- You can use two command-line programs for Windows and Linux in order to compress JPEG and PNG files. These solutions are called Jpegtran (for JPEG’s) and Optipng (for PNG’s);
- You may also use various online solutions like Compressor.io or TinyPNG;
Tip #5 – If possible upload the images to another server or use a CDN provider
This will reduce the burden to your hosting even more and will result in a better speed and performance.
Tip #6 – Add alternate text, captions (if applicable) and image descriptions
So the time has finally come to use the image on your website. Before you insert it to your content, please consider using the above texts as they are extremely important for SEO purposes. You need to use unique variants for each of them and you should pay special attention to the alternate text. Use suitable keywords and phrases that may connect the image to the text content of the current page of your website. This will ensure that you get traffic from image searches as well and your content will also rank better.
Tip #7 – WordPress users might also want to use the following solutions for better image optimization:
- Jetpack – there is a free CDN service included in this suite;
- YoastSEO – this plugin will ease the creation and adding of the texts in Tip #6;
- WP Smush or ShortPixel – for additional compression when uploading image files to the WordPress media library;
- Simple Image Sizes – for in-WordPress resizing and custom WordPress image sizes;
- Regenerate Thumbnails – for regenerating your WordPress thumbnails;
This concludes the tips on how to optimize your images. I hope that you can find them useful for your websites. If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comment form below. Don’t forget to share this post in social media in order to help users like you to find out how to optimize their website images for better SEO.
Thank you friends and see you soon!
*Image source – Pexels.com