image optimisation blog tips

3 ways image optimisation can boost your website’s speed

Whilst they say ‘a picture tells a thousand words’, incorrect naming, file formats and missing out additional information such as alt-tags could actually lead to reduced revenue, antagonising users and destroying your Google search ranking. That’s where image optimisation comes in.

By adding the above effectively, you can become Google’s best friend and ultimately, that is the goal. A faster website, compressed images and appearing higher in Google search results will work wonders for your brand and hopefully your conversion rate.

Below are just a few tips when it comes to images on your website and are part of the work we put into every website we design and build. Being trusted Google Partners allows us to design and build websites to their best practices so you can rest assured that both the tips below and work carried out at Talk to Media can take your business to the next level.

1. Optimisation
As consumers of information get accustomed to faster information, available through mobile devices such as tablets, phones and watches, it becomes the norm to expect speed from everything we do. One of the most frustrating things about visiting a website is the speed at which it loads. Whilst this may not be the be all and end all, optimising images is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your information in front of consumers faster. Google say your site should load in under 1 second and you can check yours through Google’s official insights. To see the relationship between loading time and bottom line you can always check out this handy infographic.

Google also takes into account your page speed when determining your ranking – every wasted 1KB can be hurting your company. Simply running your images through free image reduction sites before uploading them can help you cut your sites load time considerably. Websites such as compressjpeg and optimizilla are free to use and a must for every businesses bookmark bar. Ideally, your image file size should be as small as possible but be careful, reducing too far can destroy the quality of your images and make your site look dated and ugly.

2. Saving images correctly
Ever noticed jagged edges and/or blurring on icons or images? Chances are they have been saved as the wrong image type. Whilst the extensions .jpg, .svg, .png etc can seem a little geeky and daunting, having a basic understanding of each type can give you sharper, faster images that work well across all devices. You can see the basics below but the full list of pros and cons is actually quite extensive.

Pros – Excellent choices for heavy amounts of optimisation and are perfect for photographic images or gradients.

Cons – Lacks the option for transparency in your images, that white background is there to stay.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
Pros – Perfect for vector icons and logos. They create small file sizes with fast load times and scale between screen sizes with no loss of quality.

Cons – You may run into rare cross-browser issues but rest assured, the day that all browsers display SVGs perfectly is within sight.

Pros – PNGs provide lossless compression, transparency and superb image quality especially when the image contains text or other hard-edged graphics.

Cons – Simply put, they can create larger file sizes thus taking longer to load.

3. Alt-tags
You may think that what you see on an image is everything, however, behind the scenes, Google is reading the data. To gain better SEO rankings, adding an alt-tag to your image is one of the easiest and most effective practices.

In a nutshell the alt-tag is a short description as to what is in the image. You should keep this descriptive, to the point and generally conveyed in less than six words. Any more and you’re in danger of overstuffing the tag and could do more harm than good.

What’s next
Whilst the above tips are just the beginning of image optimisation, hopefully they will allow you to speed up your site, leading to better cross device experiences for your customers and getting Google on your side.

They are just a few of the things we at Talk to Media implement in all our web design projects and being a Google Partner we can be sure to meet all best practices.

To find out how Talk to Media can help your website jump up the rankings, be easier to find, load faster and get to where you want to be, simply get in touch. We would be happy to help.

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