Running an online business or a blog without knowing how to optimize your images is a huge step to failure.
People simply love photos because they indirectly send a clear message but sometimes they can seriously slow down your website's load time.
Here are some tips to help you optimize your images and enjoy great performance of your blog.
1. Always Use Alt Tags
Alt tags are text alternatives to your images that are displayed in case a browser can't display them.
If the image is properly displayed you can still see its alt tag when you hover your mouse pointer over it – and this small text is crucial to your SEO.
Associating the right keywords with images will help your website to get better rankings. Make sure you always fill the alt tag of every single image on your blog.
2. Describe File Names Properly
Have in mind that search engine crawlers look for relevant keywords not only in the text on your website, but also within your file names.
That's why it's way better to name your images properly in plain English than settle for generic names.
3. Choose Your Quality
When creating your pictures in a photo editor, you can always choose to save a file in different quality formats. The higher the quality, the heavier the image gets and the slower your page loads– saving the highest quality possible is not always the best thing to do.
Large images used as backgrounds that don't really need high definition can be easily saved with an above-average quality that will be perfect to reduce file size and improve your blog's load time.
4. Use The Right File Types
Generally, there are three basic image file types that are used commonly on the Internet – jpg, gif and png. Jpg is the standard web format since they're very easy to compress and retain good quality.
Gifs have lower quality than jpgs and are usually used for icons or decorative images. Also , there is png, which is gaining popularity as an alternative to jpg, I think this is because they don’t degrade by re-saves like jpgs.
PNG file sizes are sometimes still too large, but they're great for photos too.
5. Reduce File Size Of Your Images
After choosing your file type, the next thing to do is to make sure you everything you can to reduce its size. Don't play with your website's load time, it's not a joking matter.
More than 3 seconds of waiting for a page to load is enough for most of your visitors to abandon a page.
If you can increase your pageload speed and considerably reduce the weight of your images, you'll be doing a lot of good to your blog.
A good method I recommend is to choose 'Save for Web' in Adobe Photoshop – it will adjust the image to the lowest size acceptable for retaining its quality.
If you don't use Photoshop, try free online tools like Pixlr, PicMonkey or GIMP.
6. Use Titles And Descriptions
When you're uploading an image to your website, you can also add some information about the picture – its title and a short description.
This will act as the meta information which search engines read about your images to make sense of your website. Using smart image texts will significantly help you to improve your SEO ranking.
If you're using WordPress, go to your media library > select an image > enter title and description.
Balance your image descriptions – use keywords relevant to your website.
With this I think you should be able to optimize your blog images and get better SEO rankings.