Websites that do not have images optimized for performance and SEO is one of the biggest and more common mistakes we see as a website development and SEO company. It is one thing to make your images look nice, but it’s another to optimize them for user experience and for search engines.
*Disclaimer (maybe a bit of a rant)* A part of web design that is often missed is optimization for search engines. When you optimize your website for search engines, it makes it more likely that you will rank higher and therefore get more traffic to your site. As web designers, it’s our job to provide a website that is functional, pleasing to the eye, but also effective for the client.
If you do not take the time to learn how to optimize sites for search engines as a web developer, you are not providing the best product for your clients. Don’t worry though, we will make sure you are caught up with the right techniques to keep your clients website optimized for search engines.
Today we go over step one and next week will tackle step two!
The Three Step Process To Optimize Images
Step 1- Using Images That Make Users Happy
Use the right images.
Using the right amount of images, and the right quality of images is extremely important. So let us take it step by step.
You can use any photos that you took yourself or someone has given you the rights. If you are using another person’s photo(s) you have to be careful. There are several different designations for images. The only images that you can use are ones labeled for commercial use. Any other photo designation puts you at risk of using the image illegally.
Find the right balance of quality to resolution.
If you just to upload hi-resolution, high-quality pictures, your sites speed will slow. The more resolution in your photos have the more bandwidth will be needed by your users. Using compressors helps lower the size of files.
One photo is not going to slow down user loading times too much. If you have a bunch of high-resolution photos, it definitely will. Ensure you are uploading quality photos but try to keep the resolution and sizes as minimal as possible.
Faster load times means a better user experience. Recent trends show search engines are focusing heavily on user experience. In a recent survey done by MOZ, they found if a page takes any longer than six seconds to load, users are 94% more likely to move on to another page. That is too much traffic to lose with slow load times.
Make your users happy is to actually use images!
According to a study, most online users (79%) say they will leave a page if it looks too wordy or the images do not catch their attention.
This is a double whammy for your website. Not only will you lose the traffic you have fought hard to get. You will also be hurt your rankings because search engines measure a thing called bounce rate. They look at how long a user stays on a site. If people are coming and then leaving immediately, then you will lose rankings.
To sum up the first step: 1. Make sure you are using photos that are yours or marked for commercial use. 2. Make sure your images are of good quality but not too big. 3. Make sure you use lots of quality images throughout your posts and webpage.
Next, we will go over steps 2 and 3 for you to wrap up our series on images before moving on to the next module!