As a blogger or content marketer, you should use images more often as it is a great marketing tool. Actually, research has it that people are more wired to respond faster to images than to words. However, if you are not keen one single image can occupy almost a half of your total web page or even more. The average size of a webpage currently stands at 2 MBs, but this size is bound to increase with years to come.
The reason behind this is because you can use several images more often on the site pages and the images are not properly optimized as well as sized. This is to say that they are not saved or compiled together in a manner that is friendly and as such, they tend to bloat your website pages.
Images need to be optimized to improve the look of a web page. Unfortunately, most bloggers give image optimization an afterthought and rather go for the fun stuff such as coming up with a sizzling blog post or connecting with other bloggers within the same niche.
One thing with page bloat is that it adversely affects the loading speed of your page. Google dislikes pages that load slowly and this can ultimately affect your SEO in a negative way. So, if you thought image optimization was not a huge deal, think again.
Reasons to Optimize Images
After hours of working, coming up with great content and doing some serious promotion, the last thing you would want is for visitors to quit your site due to slow loading speed. Studies have it that potential visitors will only wait for about three seconds to access a site and if it fails they will click on the back button. This can negatively impact the value of your business. As most internet users are on mobile phone platforms, you will most certainly have to pull down the size of your page.
Large images which are unnecessary use up most of you’re the space in your hosting account. Although some people may be hosted with unlimited storage space, most hosting providers will only limit users to up to 10 GB of storage or lower tier tariff plans. Google Page Speed Insights can help you gauge the speed of your website. In the event unoptimized images, crop up as one of the problems, there are a few things that you should be aware of;
- File type
- Image size
We usually use file format PNG or JPEG or GIF to save images on the website. It is technically good to use any other formats to save images on the web, however for high quality and optimization, it is advised that you use the following:
- JPEG– this is preferred when it comes to photographs and designs that include people, places or things featured.
- PNG– this is best suited for graphics, designs that are text- heavy, screenshots, logos and when you require images with transparent backgrounds.
- GIF– this is also preferred when you need animation.
PNG is a traditional method of saving logos and graphics as it maintains the original quality of an image. Saving a photo on PNG will look great, but the file size will not be great. You should use JPEG format for saving photos. Some data of the image are usually discarded to create a smaller file size, but as photos, entail a huge variety of colors and other natural variations the loss of quality often goes unnoticed.
If you fail to resize and optimize your images, your page could take forever to load. For the web, usually what happens is that it scales an image from its original dimensions for the purposes of having it fit nicely in place on a web page. While some web publishing avenues automatically create several variations of your image in multiple sizes, you should make sure to resize your image in an image editor before posting.
Serving Your Images
How you serve your clients can have a great impact on the load time of your page. Hosting images on a Content Distributor Network (CDN) can really help you in the event you are looking to save every performance on your site. A CDN entails web servers that have been strategically located in data centers worldwide. The server host duplicates copies of your images, so that, when a client’s browser request for an image from your site, automatically CDN directs the browser to a server that is geographically the closest to them.
There are also some desktop and other online tools which can help you crunch down your images;
- ImageAlpha/ ImageOptim– These are free desktop tools for Mac users. You only drag and drop an image at a time.
- JPEGmini-it permits you to optimize a maximum of 20 images and is available for Mac and Windows users. It will cost you $19.99 to get rid of the limit.
- TinyPNG-with this you can drag and drop up to 205MB to your browser and optimize them all at a go. It offers 500 free image optimizations each month, after which it charges between $0.002 to $0.009 per image.
- Kraken-this is a mainly paid tool, although they have the option to upload images to their website freely, with limits.
- EWWW Image Optimizer-if you are looking to keep your money, then you should check out this tool. As it is free and it can automatically optimize your uploaded images.
To wind it all up, just have it in mind that not all your clients have high – speed connections and a page bloat and slow load speed might chase them away. So the time to optimize images is now. Check their dimensions and resize where possible and use the right format to save your images. As we have seen already, image optimization will also help you scoop high ranks.