Nobody likes it when a website takes a long time to load. Be it you or your potential clients. It is also something that Google search engines dislike since it is possible that your site’s ranking in the search results will suffer, resulting in a decrease in its visibility.
Therefore, when it comes to optimizing your website content, it is important to note that image optimisation also comes into play. But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to define exactly what image optimisation is.
What is image optimisation?
Image optimisation entails reducing an image’s file size while preserving its original quality as much as possible. It is helpful for a number of reasons, including the fact that it will speed up your website, improve your SEO ranking, increase conversions, and so on.
Here is an example to illustrate this. Users who spend less time waiting for your website to load are more likely to remain. The longer users remain on your site, the more likely they will become interested in your content, and, in turn, the products or services your business offers.
Consequently, they will likely become paying customers in the long run. The number of visitors staying at your website will also eventually boost its ranking.
In other words, optimising your images helps to boost your content in various aspects.
How to optimise your image?
Now that we have illustrated just how important image optimisation is, here are some ways for you to get started:
Choose the right format
After you have chosen the perfect image for your content, it is essential to consider the file type of an image before uploading it onto your website. The format determines not only the size but also its quality. PNG, and JPEG are two popular formats for storing images.
|Stands for Portable Network Graphics||Stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group|
|Typically uses lossless compression||Typically uses lossy compression|
|Has higher quality but a larger file size||Has a smaller file size but quality may be lower|
Aside from PNG, and JPEG, here are some other image formats you can consider:
WebP provides superior lossless, and lossy compression for pictures uploaded to the internet. Using WebP, webmasters, and developers can create richer images but smaller in size, which speeds up the website.
AVIF, or AV1 Image File Format, is an image file format created by the Alliance for Open Media. You can use the “.avif” file extension to store still, and animated images, and the compression can either be lossless or lossy.
JPEG XL is a raster graphics file format that supports lossy, and lossless compression, and does not require any licencing fees. It is developed to outperform the currently available raster formats, with the end goal of becoming their universal replacement.
For websites such as landing pages or microsites, we generally recommend the JPEG format due to its compression flexibility, (you can compress to an ideal size, and quality) and its universal compatibility across devices.
Optimise for speed
You can also optimise images for speed through compression. This can prevent a website from bloating or loading slowly, discouraging users, and clients from visiting the website.
However, although a decrease in file size typically increases website speed, it is important to keep in mind that the end product may have a lower quality.
You might have noticed the terms “lossy”, and “lossless” mentioned in the previous section. Lossy, and lossless refer to the types of image compression you can use.
Lossy compression is a type of compression in which some of the original JPEG file data is lost. Thus, the degradation worsens the more you compress an image. JPEG, and GIF are two lossy image formats.
For example, WordPress uses a lossy compression rate of 90% when optimising JPEG images for preview images. Its key advantages are the resulting small file size, and the fact that many tools, and software support it. However, it is important to note that lossy compression is an irreversible process.
Lossless compression is a type of compression where the image is compressed without sacrificing quality. JPEG, and PNG files with unnecessary metadata are typically removed to accomplish this. Lossless image formats include RAW, BMP, GIF, and PNG.
Unlike lossy compression, lossless compression keeps most of the image’s quality; however, the resulting file size will be larger.
Add structured data
Another essential tip is to include your image’s structured data, also referred to as the metadata. You can protect the digital representations of your original artwork with the help of image metadata.
In addition, images with metadata can be located, and accessed on the internet more efficiently than images that do not have metadata.
To put it another way, metadata is information that describes other information. When you include metadata in a digital image, you can embed important information such as copyright notices, author details, dates, locations, and descriptions within the image itself.
If you do this, Google Images can display your images as rich results. These results provide users with relevant information about your page, and have the potential to drive more targeted traffic to your website. Product, video, recipe, and image metadata are some of the supported data types.
When it comes down to it, apart from focusing on image optimising, a perfectly crafted content is what seals the deal with a potential client.
This can include things such as using the correct keyword, coming up with an attention-grabbing caption, and producing a write-up that answers the questions your target audience may have. Image optimisation is merely one of the crucial puzzle pieces that can help tie your content marketing strategy together.
Terng Shing is the CEO, and Founder of PR, and content marketing technology startup SYNC. With over a decade of experience in public relations, and content marketing, Terng Shing is combining traditional PR, and content methods with automation technology to create a scalable agency.
Terng has experience in both agency, and in-house positions including Head of PR (APAC) for gaming brand Razer, healthcare startup MyDoc, and senior marketing roles in the region.
Terng Shing has also held senior positions in global, and regional PR, and content agencies, working with clients that include Grab, Visa, Paktor, HP, and other leading brands.
As the CEO of SYNC, Terng Shing oversees business strategy, and expansion, as the brand continues to grow in the region. He has led the company’s expansion into four markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India – as well as set up strong partnerships in Thailand, Vietnam, and The Philippines.
Terng is also the lead media, and messaging trainer for SYNC, having trained over 50 leading founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs in his career. He regularly conducts training sessions for startup founders through numerous startup accelerators, and venture funds.