You have only a few seconds to capture your visitor’s attention and turn that lead into a profitable sale, consistently and profitably;
But There’s a Problem
Here they are.
The first is that Images convey an image (cliché but true), and if you don’t convey the “buy” perspective, your visitor just may buy elsewhere. It could cost you money (big problem).
Second, you can help but wonder…
Do Image Optimization Techniques Work?
And if you’re asking yourself that question right now, it means you’re smart.
And I’ll tell you something most “marketing people” won’t”
Image Optimization is a little-known “secret” to the e-Commerce industry that (all) insanely profitable e-commerce stores know and utilize on every product!
Let’s dive into 17 techniques you can put into practice immediately and effortlessly.
1. Choose the Right File Name
The name of every image file is most important because when you want to rank up on the Google or search engine, you can’t just upload your image. Instead, you must use “keywords” to get your picture to acceptable standards otherwise, it’s neglected.
Call It What It Is!
While naming image files, constantly keep in mind that your image file should be accurate to the picture you include in store.
Cameras and other devices automatically name images what they want- Example. Take a photo of a Golden Ring through your mobile device and the pic is automatically named: (DCIM640LAMB0). Booooo
When uploading the image to the www- simply rename to reflect What-It-Is and rename from (DCIM640LAMB0) to “golden-ring.jpeg”.
But Wait – There’s More!
Did you see what I did just there? Not only did we change the name of the picture, we-added-a-hyphen and the reason is to tell the www. Not only is it golden and not only is the image a ring, but it’s a “golden-ring.jpg”
When labeling images, it’s best practice to call it what it is. It’s not just a Ring, It’s a “14k-mens-square-golden-ring.jpg.” It’s Not Just an Image- It’s an Image That Communicates to the WWW.
Think About Others, First!
Your customers’ are searching for products specifically and naming the images collectively is not the best option. If the visitor is searching for cars, the images must be labeled this way:
2. Set up the Alt Attribute/Tag
Adding images to your content will encourage people to read them. But, it is essential to provide a good ALT Tags to the image. The Alt Tags describes the image and its function on the page.
It is also known as (Alternative text, Alt description, Alt attributes, Alt tags) and used by an HTML code to express the form and function of the image. Also, it should include the targeted keywords, calling it what it is.
With No Additional Effort, you can begin immediately being conscious about using keywords in your images and being creative.
3. Monitor Page Load Time
Stuffing your e-commerce site with thousands of images will affect its loading process. The page loading time is significant for SEO because the waiting time for visitors is very limited.
According to KISSmetrics, it is estimated that a 1-second delay in loading a page can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Use the Google “PageSpeed Insights” to monitor page load times.
Make sure your page load time should be between 3 and 5 seconds.
As part of SEO practices, it is not recommended to use larger images. But, it is essential to maintain a crystal clear image. You can try different sizes that will work best for your website.
4. Choose the Right Image File Type
To make your site SEO-friendly, you should choose the right type of image file. You can choose either a GIF, or a JPEG, or a PNG file. Let’s discuss how each type of image file works.
- JPEG (or) .jpg images:
The JPEG is the commonly used image file type because it can be compressed without affecting the quality of the image. You can post small sizes of JPEG image file while maintaining its good quality.
- GIF (or) .gif images:
As compared to the JPEG file, the GIF image file has lower quality. It is usually used for decorative images and icons. It is not recommended to use GIF, especially for larger images because they can’t be compressed. It’s not your best option.
- PNG (or) .png images:
The PNG image file is the best alternative to GIF. But, the size of PNG images is larger than JPEG files. Thus, it affects the downloading speed of the page.
And can have an effect when attempting fast download speeds.
Final Conclusion – If you will use images on your eCommerce website, the best option is the JPEG image file. The quality of the image does not alter in spite of many re-saves. Likewise, larger images can be compressed into a small JPEG image file. You wouldn’t want to use GIFs for large product images and PNGs can be a good option to both .jpg and .gif image types. If using PNG format, try going PNG-8 over PNG-24.
5. Use Image Sitemaps
Increase the chances of your images being found on Google search by providing Image Sitemaps. The Image Sitemaps will provide information to the search engine about the images on your website. Through the Image Sitemaps, Google can find images that can’t be finding through crawling.
The Sitemap must include relevant details such as the subject matter, the type of image, title, caption, license, and geographic location.
You can use Google image extensions for sitemaps to give more information about the images available on your pages.
6. Use High Quality Product Photos
If you will post photos of the products on your website, make sure that it is of high quality. This will give better chances for your site to rank higher on related searches. Otherwise, if you will use low-quality images, most likely you’ll lose customers.
Using low-quality images for e-commerce is almost a guarantee to lose customers.
Keep in mind that it is important to use good quality images on your website to obtain a good impression from your visitors. Otherwise, it would be impossible to encourage your visitors to come back again to your site.
In the same manner, the search engines such as Google will reward your site for using quality images.
7. Beware of Image Copyright
If you want your website to pass the SEO standard, you must know the importance of Image Copyright. Using images from other sites is not the best idea for an eCommerce store. It will do no good for optimization and worse you’ll be sued for copyright infringement.
It is a must for an eCommerce store to create the unique image that will convey the message of the website. You should also ensure that the image you’re using is license free.
If you don’t have time to create an image for your website, you can buy images from Stock Photography Sites or hire a professional graphic designer. Or, you can look for a “Free to Use or Share or Edit Commercially” image.
You can copy image but as much as possible you should edit the image to make it different from the original image. Make sure that the image can explain clearly what your website is all about.
Wrap it up –
- It’s best to use images that are unique to you (your own) but if necessary (and often necessary), ensure the image is either purchased (with receipt) or “Free to Use or Share or Edit Commercially”!
- Be Unique- if using drop-shipping images; get a photoshop editor and do something with it. Keep it simple, Keep it Clean, Keep it professional. We wouldn’t suggest anything fancy.
Talk to your customers via – your images! If selling knives, maybe you want the photoshop pro, to put your knife on a log in the wilderness. Something creative that speaks to your buyers! image by simply using image search.
8. Reduce the Image File Size
As mentioned earlier, the image file size is important for the optimization of your eCommerce website. The size of the image greatly affects the loading time of your website. Again, the visitors’ waiting span is very limited.
If you want your visitors to engage in your website make sure that it loads faster. Compressing the images is the best way to reduce the size. You can use either JPEG, PNG, or GIF.
*** Here are 8 Image Editors for your use:
- Sumo Paint – https://www.sumopaint.com
- Pixlr – https://pixlr.com/editor/
- Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/image-tricks-lite/id403735824?mt=12
- Seashore – http://seashore.sourceforge.net/The_Seashore_Project/About.html
- Gimp – https://www.gimp.org
- Fotor – https://www.fotor.com
- Photovisi – https://www.photovisi.com
- Pick Monkey – https://www.picmonkey.com
9. Add Small and Large Size of Each Picture
It is said that a large-sized image can slow down the loading time. But, SEO practices also allow adding small and large size of each picture into your website. It can help to get higher conversion rates and sales.
Most e-commerce owners shrink their uploaded image dimensions via the source code. Instead, you want to have 2 pictures:
- Small one for normal view and fast loading.
- Larger one the user clicks to enlarge in a pop-up window.
Usually most commerce sites use three sizes:
- Small: Thumbnails (100 x 100px or 200 x 200px)
- Medium: Product pages (512 x 512px or 800 x 800px)
- Large: Detail Views/Zoom (800 x 800px and 1000 x 1000px)
Various Platform Restrictions
Amazon recommends pixel dimensions of at least 1000 or larger in either height or width.
LightSpeed‘s Point of Sale application restricts maximum image size to 512 x 512. If you upload a large image 1200 x 1200, it will automatically reduce to 512 X 512.
Shopify‘s own recommendations are 2048 x 2048 px. And they support product images up to 5760 x 5760 px, or 20 megapixels
Magento recommends three different image sizes. 50 x 50, 470 x 470 and 1100 x 1100.
Wix has two formats, 200 x 200 and 400 x 400 they prefer an image ratio of 4:3.
*** Note: Make sure file names and alt-tags for both pictures are different.
10. Add a Variety of Images for Each Product with Different Dimensions & Angles
When adding images into your website, you should take it from different angles. An image that offers different viewing options can help your website to increase the conversion rates and sales.
But make sure that it comes with straightforward details so that you can attract customers to buy your product.
Example: If you’re selling a computer (laptop), it may be a good idea to show your potential buyers what the website looks like from a birds-eye view (clear, wide-angle view). The side view (showing how thick or thin) but it also shows if there are connections like USB and the like. How about a view facing the laptop as if it is being used by the viewer?
By displaying various size and angles of your products, it will give you more pictures to rank and increase your chances of getting the images ranking. Even if only 7 of the 100 images ranked, your viewer (sees) multiple angles of the product, and it’s getting ranked. It’s a win/win.
Here are a few examples:
Henceforth, take the time to optimize the file names and alt-tags for exact size & angles to take advantage of this opportunity.
11. View Products in all Available Colors
It’s 2018 and although we appreciate old films, images are best in vivid colors. Depending on what is being sold, you could get fancy, and do images in black/white with the product outlined in vivid colors.
Example – Dog Collars.
Using a black/white image of a dog owner and a dog on a leash in black and white, with the Collar being in vivid bright colors. It is important to highlight the product you are selling which is the dog collars.
Many internet users are using mobile phones. That’s why when posting images to your website make sure that it should open on different devices. As much as possible, you should use images that can load quickly on different mobile devices.
It’s important to format the images in such a way that the user can zoom it in the mobile device with just a single tap.
13. Use Thumbnails
Thumbnail images are great to use in search results, both inside your own eCommerce store and in Google search.
Have a look at Amazon how they use thumbnails:
14. Beware of Decorative Images
Decorative images are all kind of non-product images on your site such as backgrounds, borders and buttons. A decorative image doesn’t include information to the content of the page and for one purpose- Decorative. The primary intention is to enhance your design and improve users experience.
However, you need to be aware, the size is often neglected, can affect how fast your webpage loads. Furthermore, it’s good to keep decorative images to a minimum. Simplicity often works best.
To be sure that you’ll have fast-loading images, do the following:
- Instead of decorative images try to use CSS styling.
- If you are using background image then try to shrink them down as much as possible without burning the image quality. Or Cut out the middle of the background image.
- Try PNG-8 or GIFs for button images.
15. When Using CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)
Content delivery network or CDN is recognized as the backbone of the internet. CDN deliver contents to the users by distributing a group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of web content.
Daily, every one of us cooperates CDN on social media platforms, reading articles or watching YouTube videos or shopping online. They all tap into CDNs
What’s the importance of utilizing CDN for your site? It is not compulsory to use CDN for your eCommerce store, but it can be helpful if you have:
- A lot of Monthly Visitors
- International visitors
- Large Spikes in Visitors.
Contrary, the disadvantage of using CDNs is that you won’t be getting any backlinks to your site if your images are hosted on their servers….and this might hurt your ranking a bit.
But… you can avoid drawbacks.
Although there is a way to gain from CDN’s faster loading time and still get backlinks for your pictures, you need to connect your subdomain with the CDN by adding a CNAME record to your DNS.
16. Open Graph & Twitter Cards
Prior to your final image(s) being posted, it’s a good idea to use open graph/twitter cards.
It’s a HTML code set up which guarantee the image will appear on the social platforms each time your link is shared. In your page <head> section HTML like this :
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://example.com/link-to-image.jpg” />
17. Keep Track Your Image Performance
The best way to learn which ones works best for your site is to examine as some tips may give you better results than others because at the end of the day, results may differ depending on your niche, spectators, and products.
Here’s the secret- Keep Testing (researching) and Improving until you find your sweet spot that reduces waste and maximizes your eCommerce stores image (and) performance.
Key things you may want to test and analyze:
- Which images bring you more search traffic and why
- Which pictures on your site make higher CTR rates, conversions and sales (A/B- testing)
- Which angles of images work better: Both in terms of search traffic and conversions
- How many pictures to place on a product page
- Product image is important for an e-commerce store as it creates the impression on buyers. Here, you have already learned How to optimize product images for SEO. Today, it’s your turn to implement these methods for your eCommerce store.
Should you have any feedback or constructive criticism I will gladly take into consideration or if you have any questions, just reach out to me,
I’m here to assist.