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Optimizing your images for SEO: a small job that can pay off big!

Photo-blog-Optimizing your images for SEO: a small job that can pay off big!

Wednesday 8 november 2023

The positive role of images on a site is indisputable, particularly on an e-commerce site. However, it is not enough to “stupidly” add images to your site. There are good practices to follow so that your images are not only attractive but also useful for your SEO.

Images on a website

There are several advantages to using images on a website:

On an e-commerce site, they are obviously essential to present the products nicely and effectively.
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Optimize your images for SEO (SEO = Search Engine Optimization)

Name your images

You've probably already noticed: when you do a search on Google, you often get results in images!

And yes, the images are also referenced and offer a gateway to your site!

For your images to have a chance of appearing in these searches, they will need to be well named. We therefore definitely forget the images called:

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Best practices for naming your images

What should we do if we have images with the same name?

The answer is: make a little effort! There is necessarily a difference between 2 images that you want to upload to your site, otherwise you will have to explain to us why you want to put 2 identical images.

Play on the difference in color, point of view (seen from above, in profile, from the front), comfort, material, or any other point of differentiation that will allow you to find 2 different names.

Example for a pair of sneakers:

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Add alt text

Alt text allows you to accurately describe an image using richer text than just the image name. This text does not appear on the site (but it is present in its code in the alt attribute).

Why is this important?

How to write alt text:

Accurately describe your image in context. And if you can, use a key word or phrase.

Unlike the name of your image, for alt text you will write normally with capital letters, spaces, etc.

Optimize the weight of your images

This is about not being penalized by Google. If you had 2 identical sites, one of which had lighter images, it is the latter that would be favored by Google.

Indeed, as Internet users tend to quickly leave a page that loads too slowly, Google tends to penalize sites that are too slow. Loading speed is an important factor for SEO.

However, current images are increasingly larger in size (pixels) and increasingly heavy in weight (MB). And a heavy image uses a lot of bandwidth and this impacts the loading speed of your pages and your site.

Images, due to their weight, are therefore a real obstacle to rapid loading. But we definitely agree: we can't do without it, especially on an e-commerce site. We will therefore have to optimize them!

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Optimize weight or dimensions?

It is essentially the weight of our images that we will seek to optimize by compressing them and deleting information from their file that is not necessary.

But rest assured, there are tools for this. They allow you to reduce the weight of your images as much as possible while maintaining excellent image quality.
Example: Photoshop, Tinypng or Compress Image

Note: If your site allows it, promote the optimization of your images directly on your site by installing an extension for this. On WordPress for example, you can use extensions like imagify or tinypng which will allow you to optimize the images you load but also those which are already on your site.

And the dimensions?

This is less important but obviously there is no point in uploading an image of 4000 pixels per side if it will only be displayed on a mobile phone or as a mini photo on your site.

So think about the size of your images based on the use that will be made of them on your site. A full-width banner image should be larger than a small mobile photo.

Go further with the WebP format

As we have seen, the “lighter” an image is, the less resources it consumes to be loaded on your site, the faster it will be loaded, the better it will be for your SEO!

If you have the choice, prefer the jpg format to the png (unless you need transparency).

In addition to the jpg and png formats, there is a more recent format: the WebP format which allows you to further improve the optimization of your images. We are talking about 30% still being eaten up on jpg and png files.

The same image in WebP format will therefore be lighter than its equivalent in jpg or png format. And this, even if you have already optimized them by compressing them! However, some people find that there is more loss of quality with the latter format. It's up to you to try and judge.

Some additional advice:

Good luck !


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