Searching, “how to optimize image size for website“? When we talk about how to improve our SEO ranking on Google, we tend to focus our efforts on keywords, page load speed, the user interface, meta descriptions, and more. Much of our attention is therefore fixated on words – or, to put it more broadly, content. But there is an idea that is just as important as the content.

The size of the website images can affect your SEO ranking.

Yet, content is far more than the words on the pages – it’s the images too. Take the simple fact that blog posts with images experience a 94% higher view-through rate. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words.

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But it also loads like a thousand words: a fact that too many search engine optimization (SEO) experts fail to appreciate. When image files are too big, they can slow your site down to a snail’s pace, dragging your SEO with it. Moreover, images present another avenue to attract people to your site. After all, over 20% of all US web searches occur on Google images, according to Jumpshot’s 2018 data.

We’re answering all the relevant questions and aspects of image SEO:

  • How to optimize image size for a website
  • What size should images be for a website?
  • How to compress the image file
  • Making your images mobile friendly
  • How to get your images found on Google

Let’s get started and learn about how the size of website images can affect SEO ranking.

How To Optimize Image Size for Website

Using images is a must for engaging content – few, but the most focused of us, can sit through a solid wall of text. Images spice things up!

Choose your images carefully – whether it’s a photo, illustration, or chart, think about how it fits into the flow of the page. Nor should you overdo it. A handful of images adds flavor; too many are overpowering.

Once you’ve got your chosen images, you’ll need to name them. Your image’s filename should be common sense. If it’s a picture of a man on a bridge, don’t call it DSC8945.jpg; go with the eminently more memorable man-on-bridge.jpg.

After naming, it’s time to select a file size: there is no right answer. Here are some general rules to follow:

  • JPEGs are classic for a reason. For larger photos and illustrations, they provide good color and clarity for relatively small file sizes.
  • PNG files are necessary to preserve a transparent background to an image.
  • WebP is a suitable alternative to JPEG and PNG files. Use tools like Squoosh to convert images into WebP.
  • SVG is the best option for logos and icons – CSS or JavaScript can help resize SVG formats without loss of quality.

What size should images be for a website?

Perhaps the biggest question is what size images should be for a website. The problem is it’s a lot like the question “how long is a piece of string”: it depends!

As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid truly massive images (e.g., on the scale of 2500 x 1500 pixels). Such images are likely to slow your load time down substantially.

Remember, for a load time of 4 seconds, 25% of people will click off before the page appears. It’s a harsh truth – but it is the truth.

Where images are unwieldy, reduce the size – especially if it’s a huge image that you display as really small. The best option is to consider the size of the image relative to the size it takes up on the page. Your image file size should be approximately equivalent to the size it appears. Too small and it’ll lose its resolution; too big and it’s a waste of load time.

How to compress your image file

There is one trick to get the best of both worlds: compression—this sneaky secret reduces your file to the smallest size possible without reducing image quality. With the increasing popularity of UHD monitors and retina displays, you’ll want the highest-quality image you can get away with without sacrificing load time.

According to HTTP Archive, images comprise an average of 21% of a website’s total weight. That’s why compression isn’t optional; it’s a necessity.

You’re spoilt for choice when reducing the file size. One option is to remove the EXIF data – use tools like ImageOptim or sites like Squoosh or JPEGmini.

After optimizing your images, test out your page’s load speed using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Pingdom.

Making your images mobile-friendly

Mobile is increasingly the primary way people surf the web. That means you can spend hours, even days, optimizing your images for your desktop, only to find they struggle to load on a smartphone.

You’ll want to ensure your images are “responsive.” It’s a fancy term for images that scale with the size of the site – be it mobile or desktop. Check out Google or Mozilla’s guide for more advice on how to create responsive images.

How to get your images found on Google

Last, you’ll want to ensure that Google can find and index your images – meaning they’ll appear in Google Images. This solution is simple: add your images to your sitemap.

You can get a professional SEO company to do this for you. Or, if you’re using Yoast for WordPress, special sitemap plugins can help.

How to Optimize Image Size for Website – Summary

Ignore your image file sizes at your peril. Sure, that colossal image may look crisp and high resolution, but it’s weighing your site down like a bag of stones. Far better to compress the image or reduce the resolution to ensure your site loads like a dream.

Oh, and don’t forget to add your images to your sitemap, so they appear in Google Images; it’s another way for customers to reach your site.

Need help learning how to optimize image size for website? Contact our experienced team of SEO experts; we’ll evaluate your site, from your images to your content, devising a bespoke SEO plan to increase your reach and boost your sales. Schedule your free consultation today!