Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new concept. Google updates its ranking algorithms regularly, and SEO solutions are a good idea for your website to get noticed. Optimization benefits web portals since it can significantly increase their quality.
SEO itself includes a whole range of different practices. But many still believe that it relates to stuffing a text with keywords. However, image optimization can also significantly improve the SEO rank of a web resource. Regardless of the website’s focus, there will be images on the pages, even if it’s a regular blog. Plus, modern web design trends do show that people ignore text content and interact with images, instead. They help visitors consume information better.
There are several proven image optimization techniques that are simple and accessible to every website owner.
Implement image СDN
Content Delivery Network (СDN) is a network of scattered nodes that serve to optimize the content and place it closer to website visitors. It reduces the distance between the user and the server. Image CDN, in turn, takes over image optimization.
Image CDNs don’t just cache images on remote Points of Presence (POPs) in order to provide them to users faster. They make images a dynamic content. The system recognizes a device that the visitor uses to enter the site and adapts the image’s size, resolution, and quality to this device. It also helps to speed up the site’s loading individually for each user.
There are many platforms providing such services. If you have a large team of technical specialists, then you can customize the image CDN using open-source solutions like Thumbor. However, it is much easier and faster to use ready-made solutions. A good example would be Uploadcare. In addition to basic image optimization, it also offers a number of useful features. For example, it comes with a fast file uploader. Thanks to this tool, you can instantly and securely upload a large number of files to the site. The widget itself is very versatile and is offered in over 35 tech stacks so that every developer will find a convenient option for interaction.
Since Uploadcare has more than 250,000 acceleration nodes, it is able to reduce the image-delivery costs by 86%. In addition, business cases show that media delivery can be x8.9 faster, while page loading time can be reduced by 1.5.
Reduce the size of images
As you know, the site’s speed is one of the most important indicators affecting SEO ranking. And the size of images influences the speed of loading. Therefore, you should minimize the image size where it is possible. Of course, the reduced size doesn’t go unnoticed and, often, entails a decrease in the quality of images. Nobody wants pictures on their site to look bad, especially if it’s a platform that uses images as its main content. Therefore, while dealing with the size, it is necessary to maintain a balance.
There are two ways to reduce the size — lossy and lossless. Using the former technique (often with JPEG images) you can achieve a significant reduction in size but you will have to seriously sacrifice the quality. Lossless compression (most often with the PNG format) aims to preserve the original image quality as much as possible. Changes in quality won’t be visible to the naked eye of the average user. But, as you may understand, you will not be able to significantly reduce the image size with this method.
That’s why we highlighted the importance of balance. Analyze your audience, your content, and your images. Sacrifice quality only where it is appropriate. And do not upload huge images to the site, because most of your users will not be able to see them in full size, especially, if 90% of your site’s traffic comes from mobile devices.
There is one thing that Google and other search engines have in common — they all love unique content, just like your users do. Any content writer or SEO specialist will tell you that. Website owners often do not pay much attention to images. They use stock, free, or purchased images. All these methods prove useful in some cases. But in terms of SEO ranking, the best solution would be to create your own unique images.
Unique images will also add the element of branding to your content. Complementing pictures with a company logo or using corporate colors improves recognition of the brand.
Give your images correct names
To rank higher, it is important to name your images correctly. These names will also be taken into account by search engines when delivering results to users. Moreover, you can include keywords in these titles. In this case, it is better to place the main key at the beginning of the image name. Also, all words must be separated by hyphens. This way, search engines will perceive them as spaces.
Website optimization is a daily routine for SEO specialists, but it is, indeed, essential. There is nothing creative or super-interesting about these tasks, but their importance cannot be overestimated.
The above tips are just the basic techniques to start with when optimizing images if you haven’t done it yet. In addition to them, there is a large number of other methods, which we will definitely cover in a different blog post.
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