Google’s algorithm is an ever-changing entity that determines the success or failure of your website. So naturally, all of us are constantly trying to crack the code for how to show up first on Google’s result page. However, Google doesn’t release much in terms of information about its algorithm, so we’re all clinging to the few major points that we know matter most when it comes to image optimization. There is one point that has been consistent since the beginning of Google and that is Page speed.
Page speed is critical to online SEO. Google knows that our attention spans are short and that users are likely to get frustrated and jump off of the page if the page takes too long to load. So they make it a major factor in how well you rank! And that’s why your site should always be optimized for the fastest possible load time.
Why Does Your Page Need to Be So Fast
When users type questions into Google, they’re looking for instant answers. No one wants to wait for a page to load. Google knows this. In fact, they looked at studies that showed that people feel similar emotions while waiting for a page to load as they do during a horror movie. So page speed matters if you want to keep your customers happy.
There are real-world ramifications to having a slow page. Conversion rates drop, customers get frustrated, and people ditch their carts full of merchandise. Poor user experience means that the perception an online customer has of your brand comes from a place of frustration and impatience, which is the last thing you want!
The bottom line is that if your website is slow, your business will feel the consequences. Your potential for success increases dramatically when your site performs at optimal speed.
Where to Start Optimization
When you’re trying to speed up your website, an excellent place to start is with your images. Images can cause a page to slow for up to 10 or more seconds, which is well above the amount of time are willing to wait for a page to load. Particularly since images are such an easy thing to optimize, simply taking the time to do that can really kickstart your efforts, running a test to speed up your site
There are 2 main reasons why images tend to cause problems with your site speed:
- Images are not optimized for web delivery, meaning the files are too large and the images take too long to load.
- Too many images are working to be loaded simultaneously, causing the same problem.
Visuals are an excellent way to enhance your website for user aesthetic, but if the images cause problems with the user experience, that completely undermines their effect. A site that is fully optimized and contains media assets will be an incredible way for your business to reach its full potential.
Wondering how to boost your images for maximum SEO? Keep in mind, you need the perfect mix between SEO, delight your users, and make your website Google easy to read.
10 points to quit talking and start optimizing your images and website:
- Incorporate CDN delivery
- Optimize the TTFB
- Use more than one image to show your products and take care of your product angles.
- Upload images at high-quality and serve them at fast speed
- Make sure your images are responsive
- Correctly resize images (We recommend this tool https://resizeimages.com/)
- Use the right image format
- Optimize alt image attributes
- Caption the pictures clearly and make UX accessibility
- Lazy-load non-critical images
About Image Search
Image recognition and new image search features have come into the frame and recently, have become a priority for many different industries. Google has now released a “shoppable ads on image search” service which means that it’s that much easier for companies to convert searchers from the search engine results page.
This is a major new avenue for e-commerce, and it also benefits the most from specialized image optimizations including:
- Adding product schema mark-ups including carefully sourced images
- Adding a product markup page where schema “product” labels include price, availability, and reviews within the image search.
This is just more evidence that prioritizing image optimization is vital to overall online performance.
The overall message here is that visuals matter, but only if they get seen by users. Users will only really see them if they don’t slow down the page to the point where users leave. The combination of visuals and high performance all work in tandem to drive traffic, which in turn, drives revenue.
Google’s algorithm might be constantly changing, but by applying the basic principles that we know are cornerstones of overall performance, you’ll have the best chance at seeing success online. We might not know everything, but we do know that site-speed needs to come first to see the best traffic numbers. The higher the traffic, the higher conversion will be, and the higher the conversion is, the more revenue you’ll see come through your doors. Start with a fast website and see where it takes you. Every second count. If you can invest a little of your time by optimizing your images you have already win to your competitors.