Even if you’re not an expert at web design or SEO, you probably have some knowledge of both if you own and operate a business, because you simply can’t run a successful and competitive business these days without an online component. You might not be the first to know about changing algorithms or new social media platforms, but if the online arm of your business is important to you, there’s a good chance you make some effort to keep your website, social media, and online marketing efforts up-to-date.
As a result, you’ve almost certainly heard about mobile optimization, or creating a responsive web design that ensures site visitors can view your pages in a suitable format, whether they’re browsing by computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. What you might not have put much thought into, because it simply hasn’t had the same hype as optimizing for mobile, is image optimization. What is it and why is it crucial for your website?
What is Image Optimization?
Your website consists of a number of visible components, including text, images, buttons, and so on designed to attract and inform viewers and allow them to navigate your site. Because the internet is a visual medium, images not only help you to convey information quickly and enhance your textual content, but they also create a more engaging and compelling experience for visitors.
Of course, in order to perform as you expect, your images have to be optimized. You not only want to deliver quality photos and graphics, but they need to appear in the proper size, dimensions, format, and resolution so they look right when users visit your site. We’ve all seen examples of images that haven’t been optimized – they can appear distorted, fuzzy, or so large that you have to move the screen around to see the whole image, for example.
These optimization issues obviously aren’t ideal for creating a positive user experience, but the good news is there are image optimization tools that can compress, resize, and otherwise optimize images for your website. Why is this important?
Providing an Optimal User Experience
An oft-quoted statistic says you have a mere 7 seconds to make an impression on a website visitor, which means you have very little time to prove your value. You need to give viewers every reason to extend their visit, and this starts with ensuring that everything works as it should.
When images aren’t optimized, visitors to your website can experience lags in loading, and this could cause them to leave before they even get to your value proposition. Not surprisingly, load speeds play a role in overall conversions, so if you want to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions, it’s essential that you not unduly slow the process of delivering information. In other words, image optimization is a must for creating a positive and productive user experience.
Appeasing Search Engines
Don’t forget, consumers aren’t the only ones looking at your website. Google’s search bots are constantly indexing, and while ranking algorithms are complex, one of the factors in deciding which relevant sites get top billing for searches is load speeds. Image optimization can not only help you impress viewers that reach your site, but it could also help more consumers to find you in the first place.