When graphic designers and photographers output their final images, they're typically not optimized to reduce the file size. Image compression can drastically reduce the file size of an image – even 90% – without reducing quality to the naked eye. Reducing the file size of an image can have quite a few advantages:
- Faster Load Times – loading a page faster has been known to provide a superior experience for your users where they won't get frustrated and will engage longer with your site.
- Improved Organic Search Rankings – Google loves faster sites, so the more time you can squeeze off of your site load times, the better!
- Increased Conversion Rates – faster sites convert better!
- Better Inbox Placement – if you're feeding large images from your site into your email, it could push you to the junk folder instead of the inbox.
Regardless of the client, I always compress and optimize their images and see an improvement in their page speed, ranking, time on site, and conversion rates. It's truly one of the easiest ways to drive optimization and has a great return on investment.
How To Optimize Image Use
There are a number of ways to fully leverage images in your content.
- Select great images – too many people underestimate the impact of great imagery to get across a message… whether it's an infographic (like this article), diagram, tells a story, etc.
- Compress your images – they load will faster while maintaining their quality (we recommend Kraken and it has a great WordPress plugin)
- Optimize your image file names – use descriptive keywords relevant to the image and use dashes (not underscores) between words.
- Optimize your image titles – titles are overlaid in modern browsers and a great way to insert a call-to-action.
- Optimize your image alternative text (alt text) – alt text was developed for accessibility, but another great way to insert relevant keywords to the image.
- Link your images – I'm surprised by the number of people that work hard to insert images but leave out a link that can be used to drive additional people to a landing page or other call-to-action.
- Add text to your images – people often are drawn to an image, providing an opportunity to add relevant text or a call-to-action to drive better engagement.
- Include images in your sitemaps – we recommend Rank Math SEO if you're on WordPress.
- Utilize responsive images – vector-based images and utilizing srcset to display multiple, optimized image sizes, will load images faster based on each device based on screen resolution.
- Load your images from a content delivery network (CDN) – these sites are geographically located and will speed the delivery of your images to your visitors' browsers.
Website Image Optimization Guide
This comprehensive infographic from WebsiteBuilderExpert, Website Image Optimization Guide, walks through all of the benefits of image compression and optimization – why it's critical, image format characteristics, and a step-by-step on image optimization.
Kraken Image Compression Platform
If you want a quick bump in your site load times, look no further than Kraken, one of the best services on the net! We had tried free services in the past – but our large graphics were often too large a file size for their service – which sort of defeats the purpose!
Kraken has a full web interface, a robust API, and – thankfully – a WordPress Plugin! The plugin allows you to optimize automatically when you upload as well as bulk optimize other images that you had previously loaded. The results are quite amazing:
And, if you're an agency, Kraken's service offers multiple API keys so that you can connect a number of clients to the service
Just a note, we are using our Kraken affiliate link in this post! Hope you join and reap the benefits.