Images are great for a website. They can add to the overall look, appeal, and effectiveness of your site. Images may be necessary if you are selling a product. There are many reasons to use images on your website, but did you know that improperly used images can kill your site?
Large (those that have a high number of bytes) and misplaced images can end up costing you money. They require more bandwidth and storage space, which costs you more money. Most web hosts offer a set amount of storage space and a limited data transfer rate, so you will either waste valuable space with large images or you will exceed your bandwidth and end up paying extra for your hosting.
In addition to losing money this way, you also lose potential customers and visitors to your site. Large images take longer to load, and you can guarantee that if a page takes 10 seconds or more to load, the person is going to click away or hit the “back” button. Traffic = money, so it is important to keep the traffic flowing.
Optimizing Your Images for SEO
The solution to this problem is not to get rid of your images, but instead to optimize them for being viewed online. Large images can be optimized so that they take up less space on your webpage. The best formats for your images are either .gif or .jpg formats (for logos and navigation buttons, .gif works best, while photographs are best in .jpg.) Your aim is to reduce the amount of bytes in your graphic, while still retaining quality.
Online Optimization Tools
There are numerous image optimization tools available online that you can use for free to help reduce these problems and achieve maximum SEO impact on your site. How do these work? Basically, you upload your pictures, they process them, and then give you several smaller versions of your graphic to choose from. You will want to use the image that uses the fewest bytes, but still retains acceptable quality. It is possible to reduce your graphic size by as much as 70% and still retain quality, especially in the .jpg format.
You can do a search for online image optimization tools and when you find one that works for you, use it to optimize all the images you plan to use on your web pages. This will greatly improve your SEO.
Naming Your Images
Another way to improve your SEO is to name your images using keywords. For example, instead of using “image_1.jpg” as a name for your image, use a keyword to describe what the image is of, i.e. “image-optimization-tool.jpg.” Also be sure to use a hyphen (dash) instead of an underscore.