OPTIMIZING IMAGES FOR WEBSITES AND BLOGS
Everyone wants images on their website and/or blog. The right image can do visual wonders and be a powerful means to communicate your message. The right image, done the wrong way will have a negative impact on your website, slowing down loading times and causing visual overload for the visitor.
Making an image web friendly means choosing the right file format, size, resolution and more. Read on for some great image tips and best practices.
The predominant file formats for web use are .jpg (JPEG), .gif and .png. All three have different benefits and negatives. Any image in a different format, will need to be converted to one of these three prior to uploading. Most people with choose JPEG for photos and then PNG or GIF for simple illustrations or logos. Photoshop and other image editing programs offer a 'Save for Web' option where you can easily choose the file format and preview the image and estimated file size.
.jpg (JPEG) is a great image format. JPGs let you resize and adjust quality settings to balance the quality with the file size. JPEG compression causes loss of data which also reduces image quality.
.gif (GIF) is great for logos or simple illustrations and is a lossless compression type, meaning no data is lost.
.pgn (PNG) also works great for logos or illustrations but is also good for smaller images. Like GIF, PNG is a lossless compression type.
Are there too many images on your website? Image overload doesn't look great and will slow down the page loading. Use a critical eye when adding images. Too many will slow down your website and visually overwhelm the visitor.
Image file size is about how much space an image takes up on your hard drive. Smaller files load more quickly, making them better options for web graphics. Be careful though, decreasing the file size will also decrease the image quality. Find the sweet spot between size and quality and you are golden!
TEXT as an IMAGE
Is your text rendered as an image? Using web fonts instead of jpg will make your text much faster to display and are searchable and can be scaled up or down.
When you have a bunch of images to work through and resize, consider batch processing. With batch processing you can apply the same edits, such as resizing, changing the file format and ever renaming as a group, saving a lot of time over doing all the edits and changes to all the images one at a time.
IMAGE NAMES & DESCRIPTIONS
Don't forget to add image descriptions and image names. Simple, concise image names will have a positive impact on word searches. Most online searches are done with simple words. Google crawls images and image file names and ranks them for appropriate words.
Image descriptions are important for search engines and social image optimization. Searchable images with a high shareability factor will help you attract new visitors across multiple social platforms and searches.
It is also a great idea to revisit your website from different devices so you can see how it loads, is it slow to load, do the images convey the message you intended, are there too many images? And then take a closer look, did you include image names and descriptions and are do your image file names add to the searchability of your images? What can you improve? What needs to change? Are your images attracting and involving the visitor or frustrating them?
Improve the visitor experience, improve searchability and optimization with will places and well prepared images.