3. Image optimisation

Images play a crucial role in improving the user experience of visitors on your site. Chances are you spend a lot of time selecting the right images to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other important pages on your site.

But do you spend an equal amount of time optimizing the images on your site? When used the right way, images can contribute to your site’s overall SEO and boost organic traffic. Below are four things you can do to optimize your images.

Choose the Best File Format

Site speed is an important ranking signal, and images are often the largest contributor to overall page size. As a result, you need to optimize images for speed in order to improve the overall performance of your site. The first step involved in optimizing images is picking the best file format, so let’s look at JPEG vs. PNG. vs. WebP.

The most commonly used image formats on the web are JPEG and PNG. Both of these formats use different compression techniques, which is why the file sizes between these two can be dramatically different.

Goat PNG – Great for cutouts and images that require transparent backgrounds.

Goat JPG – Great banners, backgrounds and soild images.

Looking at the difference in file sizes above, it would be easy to declare JPEG as the clear winner. But it would be a mistake to use JPEG as the de facto image format for your site.

WebP is another option, which Google breaks down here. They state, “WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.

  • WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs.
  • WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.”

Learn more about how to use WebP in this Google guide.

Compress Your Images

The larger your image file size, the longer it takes the web page to load, which is why it is imperative that you compress your images before uploading them on your site.

Luckily, there are several free tools out there that can help you compress your images.

  • TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
  • ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression needs. ImageOption is a

tool recommended by Google as well. It’s by far the best tool for compressing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For compressing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.

  • ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install this plugin to compress your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to compress 100 images per month,

Provide Alt Text for Images

Despite advances in Google’s abilities to understand images, adding alt text to images is still a necessary step. Adding alt text to images improves web accessibility and helps browsers better understand the images on your site.

Here is what Google says about writing alt text:

“When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.

Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.

Lazy-Load Your Images

Lazy loading is a technique that defers the loading of non-critical resources (images, videos, etc.) at page load time. Instead, images and videos are loaded only when users need them.

Here is how Google explains the link between lazy loading and site performance:

“When we lazy load images and video, we reduce initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which have positive impacts on performance.”

Learn more in Google’s resource guide for lazy-loading images and videos.

To lazy load your images and videos on WordPress, you can use the free a3 Lazy Load plugin.

3. Image optimisation

Images play a crucial role in improving the user experience of visitors on your site. Chances are you spend a lot of time selecting the right images to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other important pages on your site.

But do you spend an equal amount of time optimizing the images on your site? When used the right way, images can contribute to your site’s overall SEO and boost organic traffic. Below are four things you can do to optimize your images.

Choose the Best File Format

Site speed is an important ranking signal, and images are often the largest contributor to overall page size. As a result, you need to optimize images for speed in order to improve the overall performance of your site. The first step involved in optimizing images is picking the best file format, so let’s look at JPEG vs. PNG. vs. WebP.

The most commonly used image formats on the web are JPEG and PNG. Both of these formats use different compression techniques, which is why the file sizes between these two can be dramatically different.

Goat PNG – Great for cutouts and images that require transparent backgrounds.

Goat JPG – Great banners, backgrounds and soild images.

Looking at the difference in file sizes above, it would be easy to declare JPEG as the clear winner. But it would be a mistake to use JPEG as the de facto image format for your site.

WebP is another option, which Google breaks down here. They state, “WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.

  • WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs.
  • WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.”

Learn more about how to use WebP in this Google guide.

Compress Your Images

The larger your image file size, the longer it takes the web page to load, which is why it is imperative that you compress your images before uploading them on your site.

Luckily, there are several free tools out there that can help you compress your images.

  • TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
  • ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression needs. ImageOption is a tool recommended by Google as well. It’s by far the best tool for compressing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For compressing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.
    • ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install this plugin to compress your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to compress 100 images per month,

    Provide Alt Text for Images

    Despite advances in Google’s abilities to understand images, adding alt text to images is still a necessary step. Adding alt text to images improves web accessibility and helps browsers better understand the images on your site.

    Here is what Google says about writing alt text:

    “When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.

    Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

    When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.

    Lazy-Load Your Images

    Lazy loading is a technique that defers the loading of non-critical resources (images, videos, etc.) at page load time. Instead, images and videos are loaded only when users need them.

    Here is how Google explains the link between lazy loading and site performance:

    “When we lazy load images and video, we reduce initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which have positive impacts on performance.”

    Learn more in Google’s resource guide for lazy-loading images and videos.

    To lazy load your images and videos on WordPress, you can use the free a3 Lazy Load plugin.