Best Practices to Optimize Image For SEO

Website Speed is a significant factor for SEO because nobody likes a slow website. From my experience, I usually look after for another resource, if I found a website that needs more time to load. However, according to the Google blog, it is a crucial fact for Page rank too.

How to measure your Page Speed:

Before optimizing images for the website, let’s check the page speed score from Google page speed Insight or Gtmetrix.com If you see that your landing page speed in under 85%, you may need to optimize your website content as it suggested by Google Page speed tools.

You may see that the tool indicates your website images for optimizing, and how much you can get speed after optimizing them.

What is Image optimization?

Optimizing images is an SEO trick to use the exact image dimension to reduce page loading time and also a significant factor for SEO. Find out here, why the small is big a factor for image optimization. You can merely optimize your images in several ways.

There are a lot of tutorials and guidelines are available to optimize images for the website. However, it is very time-consuming to find a useful method and implement it on a website successfully. So, here I am going to share some helpful techniques that I use to speed up my website:

  • Before adding any image to your website make sure that, it is the exact size that meets a theme’s requirements. That means, don’t use a bigger image while you can present it by a small one.
  • Consider using .png images instead of.JPG for the limited colored image because you can quickly get benefit from your host or Apache server that is support Google page speed modules. (E.g. Godaddy, Siteground, etc.)
  • If you have already added many images that are impossible to optimize manually, you can consider using an image optimizing plugin. Image optimizing plugins are merely reducing the image size without losing the quality and ensure a faster loading time. What they do is, create some image variations for a different purpose and then use them according to the exact dimensions. Here is my recommended Image optimization plugin that you can try:

Ewww Image optimizer: It automatically transforms your image while you are uploading them to your website. It also optimized the image that you already uploaded to your website, but you may have done this process manually.

  • Gzip compression: You can use the Gzip compression method for images to optimize your website’s image without any plugin. If you are currently using an apache hosting service, that supports the Google Page Speed module, you can only enable it from the .htaccess file. Add the following PageSpeed module rule in your .htaccess file.
<IfModule pagespeed_module>

ModPagespeed on

ModPagespeedEnableFilters rewrite_images

</IfModule>

This filter is equivalent to the some specific Google PageSpeed rules, ( e.g.,  inline_images, recompress_images, convert_png_to_jpeg, and resize_images.) Check out the image optimization filter and guideline from Google developer documentation for details. Note that: Before practicing any rules, you must read the details carefully. Google PageSpeed modules are currently in beta version, so some rules maybe not work all the time.

  • Specify image dimensions: Define the exact image dimension for each image element using your stylesheet.css file.
  • Use the image sprite method: Use the CSS method instead of the HTML method. This way, your image compressed with CSS and not require extra loading time for HTTP requests.
  • Using a Content Delivery Network: Using a content delivery network is a huge time saver for the images, but they require some cost to host your image. This option is handy for the website that uses a lot of images and large image files.
  • Using Alt tags: Make sure to use alt tags for every image. You can do this either plugin, but the best practice is manually adding them. Make sure to avoid underscores (_) and (+) in the image name before uploading it.
  • Using Descriptive image name: Descriptive image URL and alt tags is a good practice for SEO. In this way, Search engines can able to categorize your website image in the exact search result, and you can gain targeted audiences.
  • Using a Title tag: Using a title tag for an image is also very important to notify Google about the rich content. Make sure to add relevant title tags that describe your website image as an HTML element.

Here are some best practices to optimize images for SEO and a huge time saver for the website’s page loading. You can practice these methods to make your website super-fast as per the SEO factors given by Google.