Optimizing images for the web
When it comes to optimizing your website’s performance, paying attention to images is a crucial yet often overlooked step. Mastering the art of displaying images is essential, as it attracts customers to your website. So, how should you showcase your images and in which format?
why optimize your images ? 🤔
Today, hundreds of millions of internet users utilize Google’s search engine to visually discover and explore web content. Images are, therefore, a significant source of traffic and crucial for your site’s SEO ranking. They cannot be ignored.
Why? Simply because search engines consider page loading speed in their ranking algorithm. Optimized images ensure faster page loading. This optimization subsequently influences the customer journey, as visitors are more likely to stay on a site that loads quickly. We know that the page loading time should be less than three seconds to connect users with products or services. Especially on mobile or in regions with limited connectivity, where bandwidth consumption is higher than usual. If the loading time exceeds three seconds, users will increase the bounce rate, ultimately affecting conversions. The longer the user stays on our site, the more satisfied they will be, contributing to achieving set goals.
An improvement in website loading speed of up to 50% is estimated with a 50% optimization in image weight. Not only will the loading time be faster, but storage will also be increased. This is a significant detail, especially when the storage space of your site’s host is well-defined. Optimizing images is not just a time saver; it also allows for financial savings.
What Is Image Optimization ? 📷
When retrieving a digital image from a camera or phone, several elements contribute to defining its quality and weight. The definition, resolution, and other information play a crucial role in determining the image’s load.
Various image formats can result in files of several megabytes. Generally, an image is considered heavy beyond 10 megabytes. The image’s definition, expressed in pixels, corresponds to its dimensions. Each pixel is the smallest component of the digital image, and by zooming in on the image, each pixel can be discerned distinctly. Logically, an image with a large number of pixels is more detailed but also heavier in terms of file weight.
Resolution, a numerical data accompanying the image file, is expressed in DPI (dots per inch). This value is particularly useful if printing the image is considered. The date and time of the shot are other data stored with the image, in addition to resolution.
Optimizing images means finding a compromise between definition (quality) and file weight. The goal is to achieve a light image without compromising its readability. Finding this balance is essential to ensure fast loading times on websites, avoiding frustrating visitors and contributing to optimal SEO.
How to Optimize Your Images ? 🛠️
The main goal of this process is to reduce the size of images without compromising their quality. A well-thought-out process revolves around several steps to achieve this balance.
First and foremost, it is imperative to create images in suitable formats and dimensions. This precaution prevents distortions and ensures a perfect fit for the intended use, improving the overall aesthetics of the site.
Then, image optimization begins with saving on a computer. This step preserves quality while reducing the file size, allowing a balance between performance and readability. Note that compression follows to minimize file sizes without sacrificing visual quality. Each platform requires specific formats and compression levels. Careful adjustments ensure an optimal user experience. Finally, various image formats exist, each with its specificities, advantages, and disadvantages. The choice of the appropriate format depends on the usage platform. A thoughtful selection ensures good SEO and fast loading times.
Additionally, search engines explore image file names. Therefore, it is crucial to choose names related to targeted keywords to improve site positioning. Alt tags, alternative image descriptions, strengthen SEO. Once again, place the defined keywords in these tags to gain visibility. These tags are also crucial for visually impaired users.
As mentioned earlier, page loading speed retains visitors. Therefore, intelligently compress images, keeping an optimal file size, aiming for a size below 70KB.
WebP Format: WebP, launched by Google in 2010, has gained popularity in 2021-2022. Its goal is to make images lighter, thus improving web page loading times. Compared to traditional JPEG, WebP can be up to five times lighter. Google encourages the adoption of this format for a faster and smoother user experience, whether on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Image optimization is an essential element for a high-performing website. Whether you use a WordPress site or a more advanced technology like Adobe Commerce, integrated tools and smart practices can greatly improve loading speed and the user experience. By adopting these techniques, you ensure your visitors a faster and more enjoyable navigation on your site, regardless of the device used.
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