If you already have an ecommerce site or online store, then you know the importance of image optimization for better engagement and SEO ranking. Your product photo is the only think that your customers see when visiting your site and decide whether to buy or not that specific product.
Often times, when it comes SEO ranking, brands spend a lot on keywords, content and backlinks forgetting image optimization one of the most important and powerful way to optimize their store. Underestimating the power of a visually enhanced and appealing product or other images that you are using or want to can cause you a great loss as more visually appealing and high quality images with fast loading speed often result in higher conversion rates and boost engagement.
Though product image optimization is one of the most overlooked areas, brands todays, try to generate more visually appealing and stunning product photos to drive more sales. Product image optimization lets you not only to enhance your stores targeting options but it also great for your SEO ranking.
What is image optimization?
Image optimization is simply changing your image file size as much as possible maintain high quality of images. This is generally a set of rules of making your images more beautiful and productive for your store’s SEO and profit.
For example, using large image sometimes not good for mobile device as it takes too much time to load. So you can optimize image file size without hampering image quality to get the best result.
Image optimization is entirely different when it comes sales and conversion rather than SEO. Since, image optimization for SEO is about targeting the right keywords, making sure the elements on your page ensure SEO goal, conversion boosting image optimization is about to enrich your target options, boosting brand’s image and trust, and boosting your sales. So image optimization is all about making your product and decorative images ready for fulfilling your both SEO and non-SEO goals.
Why do you need to optimize your product images?
While image is the most integral element of ecommerce store, image optimization is absolutely the basic part of getting the best out of those images you are using on your site. It undoubtedly brings a new source of traffic from image search. As image optimization ensure faster loading of your images, it also improves click-through rates ensuring faster loading of each images.
You should consider image optimization, because it-
So, now you know why brands consider image optimization for their ecommerce sites. If you want to improve your store’s SEO performance with boosted sales, target options, and customer engagement, it is time to decide where to start.
Tips for optimizing product images
There are several strategies to optimize your product images. Some may require hi-technical knowledge, some may require extra dollars to cost, or some may not be suitable for your store. What to do? Here I gathered some of best ecommerce image optimization tips and tricks and by following them you can eventually improves your store’s both SEO and non-SEO factors.
Using original and high quality product images is must if you want more engagement and sales. This is also the basic requirement of image optimization. If you use stock photos which are already optimized, you may optimize those images further but the result may not bring you what you expected.
When you are using original photos either for decorate your store or to showcase your products, you will be able to do whatever you want your photos to be. You can easily resize them, enhanced their quality, apply different enhancing options.
Again, stock images are not SEO friendly as they are available to download and to use. For example, when consumers search for your product on search engine, and if you are using stock images then it might be appeared on second or third page as search engines target all similar images.
You must name your images, each and every one that you use on your store. Why? Your photographic camera generates image file names in a numeric way such as “DCMIMAGE15.jpg” and using that name may confuse customers as these generic names don’t tell customers what exactly your product is.
You can use generic name for this image but that would be more confusing to your customer to understand your product. Let’s say you use “DCMIM16702.jpg” for this particular image. But this name doesn’t say what your product is or why it is special and for what your customer would spend money. It is also not good for SEO as google only show results for products that have specific keywords.
Instead, you can name this image “leather shoe.jpg”. The best way to name product image is like “Dark Brown Leather Shoe for Men.jpg” as it says all in few words.
You can also use variations to name image files, but the best way to name your images by analyzing how customers search your products on internet. Generally, customers like to search specifically entering products names or products features such as “brown men leather shoes” or “leather shoes for men”. And if your file name matches with what customers entered, search engines will show your product at the top of list!
Optimizing product image name is best way to improve SEO ranking. Try to use creative, descriptive and keyword-rich file names for each and every product and decorative images for your store.
If you are using large file images, then surely you are losing potential customers as these large images make your site slow to be loaded. The faster your site loads the more you may have customers.
Why do you need to optimize image loading speed? Because, it directly linked with your site’s performance- traffic generating to sales, every part is dependent on how long your site takes to load. Images whether you take on your camera or smart phone generally tend to be larger and larger images slow down page loading speed. Slow loading speed can directly impact on sales- can cause 1% decrease in sales. And in terms of SEO, the faster your site load, the top rank google will place your site on.
Customers prefer faster loading images which will open within a moment. According to a study, while mobile customers wait about 5 second before they leave the website, desktop users are even less patient, waiting 3 second on average. So the larger your image file size the longer it will take for the page to load.
So, how can you solve this? Simply, resize your images and reduce file size. There are hundreds of online image resizing tools available for ecommerce with which you can easily resize your image files without losing quality.
There are two ways to make your image faster loading-
You can resize your images either by cropping where you can crop the image to focus on the product, or by decreasing normal image size to a smaller version without over stretching and distortion.
Image compression is the another way of image size optimization where you simply reduce file size without compromising the quality. Image compression is a handy way to deal with hundreds of images at a time and perfect for you if you have hundreds or even thousands of images on your site.
There are many handy tools available online to compress your images at a time. You can also download or install free image compression software, apps or plugins and can compress your images for faster loading.
Website’s performance also depends on the types of images that you use. There are generally three types of image files, such as-
Which types is best suited for your store? Definitely JPEG format. Why? Let’s find out.
JPEG image file types offers a low file size with a good image quality for your products and it is the oldest image format which is actually an all-time hero for ecommerce stores.
.PNG image is typically more plain and simple and generally is used for logos, plain and simple images. This PNG file is actually used when editing or downloading images from Adobe Photoshop. Like JPEGs, PNG last longer over time with re-saves and these images have more color options than GIFs. PNG can be saved as PNG-8 or a PNG-24 file type where PNG-24 has more color option than PNG-8’s limited 256 color options.
GIF or (.gif) image file is a lower quality bitmap image format which are generally used for animation, simplistic images, logos and other page element. But this type of image file is not good option for product images as they have 256 color options like PNG-8.
So, when deciding which type of image file you want to use, I suggest JPEG as it is the best suited for product images.
Make sure your images tell something valuable to customers.
Images worth million when spreading your brand’s message and resonate your aim with your goal. Meaningless images might harm your store’s performance- can drive away potential customers making them disappointed.
A stunning meaning full image help customers to understand your products and also create loyalty among customers. These types of images also create emotional attachments between your brand and customers.
You can simply upload your products images with a nice background, that’s pretty okay. But using images with an inner meaning could be best way to attract and convert customers. You also can use your customer generated images which are absolutely great to let new customers know how exactly other people feel about your products.
Keep in mind that, stretching up or exaggerating of an image is not good to tell story rather sometimes simple images tells thousand words on behalf of you.
These are pretty basic image optimization ways to make your photos more enhanced and converting. Following these optimization tips can help you to upgrade your images even as much as other tricky and technical strategies. Let’s have a look-
Image background is the most crucial part of your whole image as on it your image’s presence depends on. If you use highly-décor background, it may underestimate your product’s presence and if you use dull background that may too create a bad experience for your products. It is better to use white or plain colored background which makes your product’s image more bright and beautiful in photos.
Keep balance when using decorative elements with your products in photo shooting. Excessive or un matched decors can reduce your product’s presence on image and using too many decorative elements on products photos is bad for your product’s quality.
Same goes with decorative images that you use on your website. Using of any non-product image is regarded as decorative images which actually is used to decorate your website. But having too many of them can hurt your products’ images as they sometimes impair your store’s ability of converting random traffic into customers.
Image angles are one of important factors that affect the efficiency of your images. Showing products from different angles help customers to shape out your products and also show important information to the customers. For example, when you are selling men shoes, instead of showing only from side or front, you can show different angles of shoes like front, side, hill, interior part and sole in different images.
Your image should not be blurry or eye-hurting. Try to use a decent warm light when shooting photos and you can even adjust lights with editing tools. Image resolution is another important thing that you need to optimize as it largely affects the size factor.
Alt text or alternative text attribute is alternative information to image when a browser can’t show them. These attributes are also used to show text to the users even when images are rendered.
The alt text attribute adds SEO value to your site and adding them appropriately include relevant keywords to the images can help you rank better Google or Bing or even on other search engines.
Here is an example of source code of an image-
<image scr= “Dark-Brown-Leather shoe- men.jpeg” alt= “Dark-Brown-Leather shoe- men”
Why an alt text is important for ecommerce?
Basically alt text attributes are for visually impaired users to guide them to the right place on website. But adding alt text helps you to describe your content of the image and also let you to add more value in every image.
These are pretty basic tips for ecommerce image optimization. You can optimize your image sitemap, copyright, or thumbnails. Just remember if an image tells thousand words, a beautiful image tells millions.