One Easy Step to Increase Your SEO Ranking with Image Optimization
One factor that Google looks at when ranking your website is how fast each of your pages load when a visitor lands on your site. There are many factors that can affect your website’s speed, some that are difficult to control or fix without professional maintenance help, but an easy way for you to help increase your page load feed is by optimizing the size of the images you’re adding to your site.
If you’re uploading images on your website in full resolution — I’m talking about those images that are 4000px wide and 5MB in size — then this is your call to action to focus on image optimization for future images you add to your website.
Images that you’re downloading from your phone or from free stock image sites like Unsplash and Pexels (my two favourite free stock image sites) are huge. Their dimensions and file size are meant for large print use… not for viewing on your phone.
So those images need to be resized and compressed so they load quickly on your website.
What image optimization size is optimal for my website?
The images you upload to your website should be, at the most, 500kb in size.
But how do you control this?
If you’ve downloaded files from a stock image site or from your phone, you’ll need to run those images through an online software like I Love IMG or Image Resizer to compress them into smaller file sizes.
These image compressors will reduce the file size of your image while trying to maintain its original quality. You can often indicate how much you want a file compressed. It’s often the case that the more an image is compressed, the more the reduction in quality.
In some instances, you’ll have to weigh the value of having super crispy and extremely large file sizes over the value of having a fast loading website!
Should I change the dimensions of my images as well?
Yes, this is also a big part of your page speed and file size. Images that are incredibly large dimension wise – think 2600 pixels wide or more – are not sized correctly for viewing on websites. These are dimensions used for print media and not for small mobile phones.
You can use Image Resizer to reduce the dimensions of your photos to better fit the space where it will be used on your website. Smaller dimensions also means smaller file size, so I recommend changing the image’s dimensions first, then compressing photos after, if needed!
Free WordPress Plugins to help with image optimization
If you’re a WordPress user, there are a lot of great free plugins out there that can help you with image optimization. I recommend downloading plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer or Smush.
These plugins will optimize existing images on your website as well as any new images you add after the plugin is installed.
Just remember to always create a backup of your website with a plugin like All-in-One Migration before installing new plugins! Safety first!
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