Product image optimization is an important factor in running an eCommerce business or rendering services online. It is not only done for aesthetic purposes, but it is a required task that has a direct effect on website loading speed, usability, search engine rankings, and most especially customer satisfaction.
Image optimization involves knowing the images that you use for your site, its dimensions, file sizes, and file types. It also requires you to correctly name and categorize your images to increase usability and help the search engine to identify them.
There seem to be a lot of tasks to do when optimizing your images but these will greatly help your business in the long run. On that note, here are important tips to help you with your product image optimization.
6 Product Image Optimization Tips
1. Check the Speed of Your Website First
Before you optimize your images, it is important to know your website’s loading speed first. This will help you diagnose and know the areas that need improvement or maintenance. There are many factors aside from unoptimized images that affect your loading speed. So it is best to address and solve them as well.
Your website’s loading speed is very important that you need to take care of and maintain it. You need to remember that the main goal of providing services online is to provide solutions to your visitors and customers. However, if visitors can see that you do not have the integrity to solve your own problems regarding your website, then it’s considered as if your services do not exist in the first place.
Check your website with tools like Page Speed Insights, GTMetrix, or Pingdom Page Speed to diagnose and learn the areas where your website needs improvement and maintenance with regards to loading speed.
2. Optimize Image File Sizes
Image file sizes differ from image sizes. File sizes are measured according to the amount of storage it consumes in KB, MB, or GB while image sizes speak of dimensions. The smaller the space an image consumes, the better.
You need to be aware of the image sizes that you will use for your website. As a website owner, you would want to use the best images possible to satisfy aesthetics and attract visitors. But as you use high-resolution images, it is expected that it will directly affect the download speed so it is better to sometimes hold yourself back and do what’s best for both your website and visitors.
3. Save your images in the correct format
The images you use on your website directly affects its loading time. Knowing the correct file or image type will help reduce the space it consumes and still get the best quality to satisfy your visitors.
The three most common formats are PNG(Portable Network Graphics), Joint Photographic Experts Group(JPG or JPEG), and GIF(Graphic Interface Format)
PNGs are the best in quality and have more colors, making them larger in file size. You can use these for eCommerce product photos that display finer details for your customers to view. JPEGs are best for thumbnails and other smaller photos. If you need certain animations to explain a process or simply show a meme, you can use GIFs.
4. Save Your Image for the Web
Saving your images for the web ensures quality, as most photos come in their best quality and therefore have a large file size. Most photo editing software has the “Save for Web” option that adjusts the size of images. Certain programs like Photoshop allow you to view the original image and the edited photo side-by-side. You may want to lower the quality for faster loading time, but you don’t want heavily pixelated photos either. It’s always wise to check and review the photos you’ve worked on.
5. Run the Image Through a Compressor
Image compressors are tools that remove that extra information on photos, like dates, camera details, metadata, etc. This lowers the file size, without so much as affecting the image’s quality. Image compression can either be lossy or lossless. Lossy compression is for natural photographs and such, lossless can recreate an image perfectly from compressed data. Most people prefer lossless compression.
6. Remove or Go with Simple Background
Backgrounds make up the bulk of the photo, where the actual product is a quarter of the entire image. eCommerce photo editing is important in order to make sure that it catches the attention of your visitors and prospective customers.
Although some photos are meant to be aesthetic with their entire compositions, eCommerce product photos don’t need the extra backgrounds. In fact, some backgrounds may even be a distraction from the actual product and may add to the loading time as the background adds to the data file.
Free background removal tools are efficient tools to use if you want fast results. Most of these tools use Artificial Intelligence to effectively remove the background from your images without the awkward cut-out look. Not only is it highly advanced, but it’s also free.
.All of those tips are great for the function of your website, but if you want to improve your SEO, here are 4 more tips to help you and your business.
1. Correctly Name your Files
The names of your images affect your discoverability as it can help web crawlers. Web crawlers, or web spiders, are programs that scan search engines so they can update their data. If you change the names of your images to a more descriptive one, this helps web crawlers pick up your images and prioritize them in search engines, thereby boosting your visibility.
2. Create Good Product Descriptions
Images are good at boosting sales, but product descriptions are a great way of presenting your products. If you’ve ever been to a jewelry store, then you know how jewelers talk about their products, with great detail and finesse. Know your products, talk about the colors, the size, etc. If your product has a special function, mention that. The best way to capture the attention of your customers is to talk about how your products can help make their lives easier and how fun it will be using them.
3. Add Alt Tags
While product descriptions help your products sell and help customers understand them. Alt Tags describe the images in your site’s codes to make it easier for Web Crawlers to read them properly. Alt Tags also help if your images don’t load properly as it tells your browser that an image is supposed to be on that empty space on the page. Most importantly, it helps visually impaired people with their screen reading software to describe what their mouse is hovering over.
4. Use Sitemaps
Attention to detail is the key factor in optimizing your images. It doesn’t take too long to read through these tips, it’s not exactly rocket science. However, disregard one tip, and it all falls down like a house of cards on a windy day. To sum it all up, know the speed of your website, know and use the correct image formats, use the right image size, save your image for the web, use background removers, and don’t forget to name your files properly, create good product descriptions, add alt tags, and use site maps.
Following these simple tips will definitely help bring your business forward and establish you as the top result when customers search for your services.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.
- Product Image Optimization Tips for Effective eCommerce - January 21, 2021