Why Image Optimization Is Key To Your Website's Success
Ever been so exasperated waiting on a website to load that you thought you might pull out your hair?
We’ve all been there.
Patience is a virtue, but not one we want to exercise when it comes to web browsing, right?
And with the modern, high-speed technology available today, we expect low, really low, wait times.
One of my least favorite things in life is waiting for something to load — whether it’s text, a photo, a website, or anything else I want to see. Waiting more than 0.5 seconds for my online shopping apps to load is wayyyy too much time ticking away.
In my opinion, at that point, I might as well have just sashayed myself all the way to the brick-and-mortar store.
Today’s high-speed, digital technology enables loading all kinds of content in milliseconds.
If that’s true, then where does image optimization come into play? And do you even need to worry about it?
Spoiler alert. Yep, you do.
What Is Image Optimization?
Image optimization reduces an image’s file size without lowering the quality of the image. Reducing your image’s file size enables faster loading speeds on your website without wrecking the quality of your picture.
Image optimization allows you to shop online without that horrendous 0.5-second wait. Also, you can actually see the items you’d like to buy instead of squinting at your screen and playing the guessing game of “Is this a cute brown dress, or will it look like I’m wearing a paper bag?”
What Are The Benefits Of Image Optimization?
While it’s obvious why image optimization is essential for online shopping sites, why should you consider it for your website?
There are 3 reasons to incorporate image optimization in your website:
- Improves your page load speed.
- Boosts your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) ranking.
- Decreases your website bounce rate and improves your user’s experience.
What does that even mean? Let’s do a deeper dive into each one.
Improving Page Load Speed
According to Google’s research, if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, visitors are likely to become uninterested and scroll past.
At first, I thought this statistic was absolutely ridiculous. There’s no way it only takes 3 seconds to lose interest in what we were interested in just 3 seconds before, right?
Then I tried to look at a cute dress on a website, and after what felt like forever (in reality, it was about 2 seconds), I got fed up and left.
Ok, maybe Google knows a thing or 2 about web users.
The faster your page loads, the more traction your site gains, and you’ll have users stay longer on your website.
64% of websites are made up of images and other graphic design elements. If your website has lots of images, it’s vital to optimize your images, so you’ve got faster loading times while keeping your aesthetically pleasing photos.
Boosts Websites SEO Ranking
SEO ranking is your website’s “search engine optimization” ranking.
When you type in a topic into the Google search bar, Google displays a list of sites with content it thinks best suits your search topic. Google displays this list in the order it has ranked the results based on a number of factors.
Your SEO ranking is where your site is showing up in the search results. Your rank is directly related to the amount of traffic your site gets from browsers searching for products or services related to what your website offers.
Sites that show up on Page 1 of Google’s search enjoy a whopping 95% of all search traffic.
As an example, you can see that when you type “cute dresses” into the Google Search bar, Shein, Princess Polly, and Bloom Chic have clinched the top 3 SEO rankings.
Google likes fast-loading websites and rewards them with a higher search rank than slower-loading sites. So if you use image optimization to reduce your photo’s file size and boost your page load speed, Google will take a liking to your page and bump you up the list!
Decrease your website bounce rate and improve your users’ experience
How many of us like waiting for websites to load? Or when they do load, the pictures are all pixelated and hard to make out?
Not me, definitely not me.
When visiting a website, you expect it to load fast and be aesthetically pleasing.
This radiates professionalism.
When your website feels professional and put together, you decrease your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the number of people who leave, or bounce, from your website.
With clear pictures and fast loading times, you improve your site’s user experience, and people are less likely to leave it.
“If our sites go slow, our sales will drop, which is why we monitor our performance 24/7” – Website Engineer Gopal Brugalette.
How to Optimize Your Images
The key to optimizing your images is to find the balance between reducing file sizes while keeping good quality images.
There are 2 common types of compression — Lossy and Lossless Compression. The differences are:
1. Lossy Compression — eliminates some of the data which can degrade your image, so be careful with this method. However, the file sizes can be reduced by a significant amount with lossy compression.
2. Lossless Compression — does not decrease the quality of the photo at all. Although, with this method, there’s no significant file downsize.
After deciding which compression route to take, you must also choose what file type is the best for you.
- PNG — higher quality with larger file sizes.
- JPEG — uses both lossy and lossless methods. You can compress the file size while conserving image quality.
- GIF — Only uses lossless compression.
Choosing an Image Optimization Program
There are several programs for image optimization. One of our favorite website-building programs is Elementor. As a complement to Elementor, we recommend an image optimization tool called Optimole, which is fully compatible with Elementor.
Optimole has a lot of other great features in addition to Elementor compatibility. Optimole operates within the cloud, so it doesn’t alter images. It allows for optimizing GIFS, watermarking your images, and much more.
Click here to visit Elementor’s article on how to use Optimole!
There are also lots of other programs that you can use. Here are a few:
By now, you’ve grasped the importance of image optimization and all the benefits it can give your website.
Image optimization for websites is crucial for improving your website’s user experience and increasing traffic flow to your site. Satisfied website visitors keep coming back plus, they encourage others to drop by your site.
Even though you have all of this information I can understand how this can be a bit overwhelming. Knowing where to start isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
That’s where CEO of Barefoot Design Collective, Jackie Barker, comes into play. You can book a free consultation with her here to chat about image optimization for your website!
However, if zoom calls just aren’t your thing but you still need a bit of guidance, head over here to check out some of our WordPress care packages.
Now that you have all the tools you could possibly need, what are you waiting for? Get to optimizing!
“ It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic. – Jeff Eisenberg