Thursday, 9 February 2017

9 Best Ways to Optimize Your Images For an SEO Boost

Do you run an online store? If yes, then image optimization is an art that you want to master. Right from attracting target audience to perusing Google images for minimizing website load time, image optimization makes for a crucial part of developing a successful eCommerce website.

Many times, you must have noticed that your product pictures never show up while doing a Google image search. Have you been wondering if adding "Alt Tags" to images will do good for your website?
JPEG, GIF and PNG - What difference does it make?

Here, you will get to know about the 9 best ways to optimize your images to boost SEO:

1. Name Your Images

Make sure you do it descriptively. Also use simple plain English while doing so. Do not get into the habit of keeping the default file name given by your camera. Use of acceptable keywords will help your webpage rank well on search engines. Effective image optimization demands highly descriptive, keyword-rich file names. Search engines will crawl the text on your webpage. They will also search for keywords within image file names.

2. Optimize Alt Tags Wisely

Alt tags are a great text alternative to images, especially when a browser is unable to render them. In cases, where image is rendered, hovering over it with mouse pointer will let you see the alt tag text developed for that image. This depends on your browser settings. The alt attribute adds SEO value to the website. Better rankings for a website can be achieved by adding appropriate alt tags to the images and associating keywords with images. Use of alt tags is the best way for eCommerce products show up in Google image and web search. For image optimization, fill out each alt tag for each product image on your website.

Make sure you follow simple rules for alt tags:

- Describe images in plain English.
- Selling products with model number or serial numbers? Use these in your alt tag too.
- Strictly avoid keyword stuffing in your alt tags.
- Do not use alt tags for decorative images. You may be penalized by search engines for over-optimization.

Carry out a sanity check on your website on a regular basis. You must take a close look at the source of your web pages. Assess properly to see if your alt tags are filled out.

3. Create a Strategy for Image Dimensions and Product Angles

Displaying multiple angles of a product is a trend that has caught up really well these days. The best way you can capitalize on these pictures is to fill out alt tags. Simply create unique alt tags for each product shot. Add descriptions to base alt tag. This will help potential searchers land on your website. Google will reward you with searchers.

Avoid placing the largest image on your webpage as it lengthens the page load time owing to the larger file size related to the large image. The idea is to shrink the dimensions using source code. Give an option to view larger image in a pop-up or let it displayed on a separate webpage.

4. Reduce the Image File Size

Making your target audience wait for 3 seconds for a website load is ok. 5 seconds is too much! It is a sin! As per a research report published by Amazon, the company lost around $1.6 billion in a year if their pages slow down by 1 second. It is important to understand that Google uses page load time as a crucial factor in their ranking algorithm. So if your images take a lot of time to load, you are actually bidding adieu to your customers.

The best thing to do here is to decrease the image file size on your webpage. "Save for Web" command in Adobe Photoshop is a good way to do that. Ecommerce images should be kept under 70kb. Adjust the image to the lowest file size acceptable when using the command.

Use some of the other online tools if you do not have Photoshop. image editing. Some of the best image editing tools include PicMonkey, Pixlr, and FotoFlexer.

5. The Best Image File Type to Use

Three most common file types used to post images include:


JPEG (or .jpg) images are the old file type. These have turned into standard image of the World Wide Web. These images can be compressed significantly, resulting in high quality images with small file sizes.

GIFs (.gif) are lower quality images. These are used for more simple images. For instance, webmasters use these as icons and decorative images. The format supports animation and using these for plain and simple images on a webpage is a great option. However, for complex images and pictures, GIFs do not make for an attractive option.

PNG images are gaining popularity faster as an alternative to GIFs. The format supports a wide range of colors as compared to GIFs. The best part is that these do not degrade over time with re-saves. The file sizes may be larger as compared to JPEG images.

Be cautious while using PNG-24 image which is over three times larger in file size than the PNG-8 version.

Here are some tips to follow when choosing file formats:

- JPEGs make for the best option for most ecommerce sites. These are high on quality and the smaller file size.
- Strictly avoid using GIFs for large product images. The size is very large and cannot be reduced. Use of GIFs for thumbnails and decorative images is good.
- PNGs are a good alternative for both JPEGs and GIFS. PNG-8 is better than PNG-24 when using pictures for a product. PNGs are great as simple decorative images owing to their extremely small file size.

Use of an image editing software will let you save images to any of the file types discussed above.

6. Learn To Handle Thumbnails

Most ecommerce sites use thumbnail images. These provide an excellent way to scan category pages fast sans taking up too much space. Although thumbnails are great, you need to be careful. These can affect page loading times negatively. You may lose customers when they hold up category pages from loading. So you need to reduce the size of thumbnail file sizes as far as possible. Also vary the alt tag text. Duplicate text use bigger versions of the same image. Create the different alt text. Lastly, Allow thumbnail to be indexed instead of the large image.

7. Decorative Images – Beware!!

Most websites have an assortment of decorative images. These may include buttons, background images, and borders. An image that's irrelevant or unrelated to product / service is tagged as 'decorative'.

Decorative images tend to add aesthetic appeal to a webpage. However, these usually lead to huge combined file size. Also it slows down the load times. Hence, you need to take a closer look at decorative images to stop them from impairing your website's capacity  to convert visitors into customers.

The first thing to do is assess the file sizes of decorative images on web pages. Thereafter, you must make use of a template that reduces file sizes for website pages. Some of the best ways you can reduce file sizes of decorative images include:

- Convert borders or simple patterns into PNG-8 or GIFs.
- Use CSS for creating colored areas instead of using images.
- Large wallpaper-style background image should be reduced in size as far as possible sans ruining the quality of the image. Try cutting out the middle of the background image. Try converting it to a flat color or transparent. This is one of the best ways to reduce file size to a significant amount.

8. Be Cautious While Using Content Delivery Networks

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are now categorised as the most profitable place to host images and other media files. These help increase load times for your page and help fix bandwidth issues. The only drawback is backlinks. Backlinks are critical for SEO. The more you have, the better your website performs in the search engines.

Placing images on content delivery network will remove the images from your domain and placing it on a content delivery network domain. This means when someone links to your images, they link to the content delivery network website. In short, you must keep yourself from the temptation to follow anything just because it is "trendy". Assessors if it is the best move for your business before joining the bandwagon.

A CDN makes for a great choice if your website does a lot of business each month as it fixes bandwidth issues. For a website that gets "thousands" of visitors a day, simply continue with present hosting situation as it will easily handle the load.

Getting professional help will strategize your move in a way that's best for your business.

9. Test Images

The ultimate aim of image optimization is to help boost your bottom line. Once you have focussed on reducing size of files and getting search engines index these, it is time for testing images and see what precisely converts into more business.

You should test number of product images per page. Many non-hosted ecommerce sites face problems with loading time, the main thing to focus on is to reduce the number of images on a single page. This helps boost click-through rates and sales. However, in some cases, supplying a lot of images per page may actually boost user experience and result in more sales. The best way to find out what works is to test.

You can test angles preferred by your target audience. Providing views your clients wish to see will ultimately increase overall loyalty. Try surveying customers about their preferences while viewing product shots.

Also test the number of product listings you need to have on category pages. This will help you see what works best for your target audience and their shopping experience.


Thanks for sharing this informative blog. Optimising image is also an important factor which shouldn't be ignored as it is also responsible for ranking.