In this post, we’ll explain the importance of optimising eCommerce images for SEO. As an eCommerce business owner, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of how to improve SEO for your online store in order to increase search engine rankings and traffic.
Poorly optimised images can have a negative impact on your visibility, traffic, and ultimately your sales. In this post, we will share some essential tips and tricks that you can implement to boost your eCommerce store’s SEO and increase your online sales. Whether you’re new to eCommerce or have been in the game for a while, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn how image SEO can enhance rankings, traffic, and sales.
What is Image Optimisation?
Optimising SEO for eCommerce images is crucial for creating a visually appealing and high-performing online store. It involves reducing the file size of images without compromising their quality, thereby improving website load times and the overall user experience. There are several compelling reasons why image optimisation should be a priority for any eCommerce business:
- Faster Page Load Times: In the fast-paced digital world, users have little patience for slow-loading websites. Optimising images helps reduce the file size, allowing web pages to load quickly. Studies have shown that even a one-second delay in page load time can significantly impact conversion rates and customer satisfaction. By optimising images, you can provide a smoother and more seamless browsing experience for your potential customers.
- Improved Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Image optimisation plays a vital role in search engine rankings. Search engines consider page load times as a ranking factor, and faster-loading websites are more likely to rank higher in search results. Additionally, optimising images by adding descriptive alt tags and relevant file names can enhance your website’s visibility in image search results, driving additional organic traffic to your online store.
- Enhanced Mobile Experience: With the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping, it is essential to optimise images for mobile platforms. Mobile users often have limited bandwidth and slower internet connections, making image optimisation even more critical. By reducing image file sizes, you can ensure that your eCommerce website performs well on mobile devices, providing a positive user experience and increasing the likelihood of conversions.
- Cost Savings: Optimising images can lead to significant cost savings for your eCommerce business. Smaller image file sizes mean reduced bandwidth usage and lower hosting costs. Moreover, if you use a content delivery network (CDN) to serve your website’s images, smaller file sizes will result in reduced data transfer and storage costs.
- Increased Conversion Rates: High-quality images are essential for attracting and engaging potential customers. By optimising product images, you can strike a balance between visual appeal and fast loading times. This improves the overall user experience and can lead to higher conversion rates, as customers are more likely to stay on your website, explore your products, and make purchases.
How to Optimise Images for SEO
Compress Large Images to Improve Load Speed
Image compression is a technique used to reduce the file size of images without significantly affecting the image’s quality. This can be highly beneficial for eCommerce websites as it facilitates faster loading times and can aid in SEO by decreasing the overall size of pages featuring multiple product images. This holds particular significance for eCommerce websites, as large images can lead to slower page loading times, adversely impacting user experience, and consequently, SEO.
Furthermore, image compression can exert a substantial influence on the speed at which your pages operate. Given that user experience is paramount, especially within the fast-paced realm of eCommerce, this becomes a pivotal aspect for the success of your eCommerce store.
Types of Image Compression
- Lossless compression employs algorithms that reduce an image’s file size without sacrificing any original data. This implies that the image’s quality remains unaffected, although the reduction in file size isn’t as substantial as what lossy compression achieves. Lossless compression is advised for images to be employed in professional settings like product photography or illustrations.
- Conversely, lossy compression utilises algorithms that discard a portion of the original data to achieve a more significant reduction in file size. As a result, the image quality is diminished, but the file size becomes smaller. Lossy compression is commonly employed for images intended for web display, where the reduced quality is less perceptible on screens than in printed form.
It’s noteworthy that while lossless compression suits images destined for professional contexts, it may not always be the optimal choice for online eCommerce due to resulting larger file sizes. These larger sizes can lead to prolonged loading times, ultimately hampering the user experience.
It is now more convenient than ever to reduce the size of an image or file, you can easily find various free options by searching for “free image compression” on search engines, such as TinyPNG.
Keep Image Sizes and Dimensions Consistent
Maintaining consistent image dimensions across your website holds significance for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Uniform image dimensions contribute to a polished, professional appearance for your eCommerce store, thereby enhancing the user experience and driving higher conversion rates. Moreover, upholding consistent image dimensions carries particular weight in terms of mobile usability, given that a substantial portion of consumers employ their mobile devices for online purchases. As indicated by statistics, “60.1% of consumers use mobiles for online shopping.“
The Best Image Size for SEO
In today’s digital age, finding the best image size for SEO is vital. Ideally, aim for image dimensions that balance quality and loading speed. Images should be large enough to display well on high-resolution screens but not so large that they slow down your website’s performance. A common recommendation is to keep images under 100KB in file size while maintaining suitable dimensions for your website layout.
To achieve this balance, you can use free online tools like Adobe’s free image resizer, which allows you to adjust image dimensions while preserving quality. Additionally, consider using modern image formats like WebP, which offer excellent compression without compromising quality, further enhancing your website’s SEO performance.
Keep Image Colours and Styles Consistent
In the realm of eCommerce Image SEO, it’s crucial to remember that incorporating vibrant backgrounds into your product images can yield adverse effects on both loading times and product visibility.
The use of lively colours in the background increases the image’s file size, leading to slower page loading times and an unsatisfactory user experience. This can also detrimentally influence your SEO, as sluggish loading times are deemed detrimental to user experience, potentially impacting your rankings. Furthermore, a colourful background can divert attention from the product itself, impeding customers’ ability to discern the product.
Opting for a simple white background often proves to be the superior choice, enabling the product to stand out and be easily discernible by customers. This is particularly advantageous for customers browsing your site via mobile devices.
Keep Image Thumbnails Small
Adequately sized thumbnails wield a substantial influence over the user experience on an eCommerce website.
Should the thumbnails be excessively large, they can demand an undue amount of space on the page, impeding users’ ability to view other products and generating a cluttered appearance. This can complicate the process of locating desired products and undermine the user experience.
Conversely, if the thumbnails are overly small, they might prove challenging to perceive, obstructing users’ comprehension of the product and hindering informed decision-making regarding potential purchases. This, too, can contribute to an unsatisfactory user experience and exert a negative impact on the conversion rate.
Appropriately sized thumbnails facilitate simple, fast viewing of products, enabling users to swiftly pinpoint their desired items. Simultaneously, they furnish sufficient information for informed decision-making. This convergence aids in enhancing the user experience, augmenting conversions, and elevating the overall performance of the website.
Which is the Best File Format for eCommerce Images?
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) stands as a lossy image compression format that finds common application in photographs and images abundant in colours. It delivers commendable quality while yielding compact file sizes, rendering it an ideal selection for the majority of eCommerce product images.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a lossless image compression format best suited for uncomplicated images like graphics and animations. Its support for a limited colour spectrum results in lower quality compared to JPEG.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics), a lossless image compression format, extends a more expansive colour range than GIF, albeit with larger file sizes that can impact load speed.
When addressing eCommerce product images, JPEG generally emerges as the optimal choice, balancing quality against file size. PNGs, on the other hand, should be reserved for images necessitating a diverse colour spectrum.
Optimise Image Alt Attributes for SEO
Alt attributes, also referred to as “alt text” or “alt tags,” serve as textual descriptions of images that cater to web browsers and assistive technologies like screen readers. These attributes assume a pivotal role in enhancing web accessibility by enabling individuals with visual impairments to comprehend the image content displayed on a web page.
In the context of eCommerce image optimisation, alt attributes play an additional role in aiding search engines to grasp the image content, consequently amplifying the visibility of your web page. Here are some recommended practices for crafting alt attributes:
- Be Descriptive: Construct alt attributes that offer a concise and precise depiction of the image’s content. Focus on conveying the essence of the image in a clear and meaningful manner.
- Be Informative: Ensure that the alt text imparts valuable information about the image. This includes highlighting key elements, such as product features, attributes, or any essential details depicted in the image.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Although it’s beneficial for SEO, refrain from cramming alt attributes with excessive keywords. The primary goal is to aid accessibility and comprehension.
- Keep It Short: Strive for brevity while sustaining relevance. Aim for a succinct alt text that encapsulates the image’s purpose without overwhelming users.
- Context Matters: Consider the image’s context within the web page. Tailor the alt attribute to align with the surrounding content and its relevance to the overall page theme.
- Avoid Repetition: If multiple images convey similar information, create distinct alt attributes for each to prevent redundancy.
- Decorative Images: For purely decorative images that don’t carry content significance, utilise an empty alt attribute (alt=””) or an appropriate label like “Decorative image.”
- Test with Screen Readers: Validate the effectiveness of your alt attributes by testing them with screen readers. This ensures that the text accurately conveys the intended information.
Optimise Image Filenames to Increase Rankings
When focusing on optimising SEO for eCommerce images, one aspect often underestimated is the significance of image names. Image names, also referred to as file names or filenames, wield considerable influence over search engine optimisation (SEO) and can play a pivotal role in driving increased traffic to your website.
Let’s delve into why optimising image names holds paramount importance for SEO:
- Descriptive and Relevant: Search engines heavily rely on textual cues to decipher image content, as they lack the ability to directly interpret images. By assigning descriptive and pertinent names to your images, you furnish search engines with invaluable insights into the image’s subject matter. This enables accurate indexing of your images, subsequently showcasing them in pertinent search results. This has the potential to attract a larger volume of visitors to your site.
- Keyword Optimisation: Embedding pertinent keywords into your image names can enhance the visibility of your eCommerce website in search engine rankings. Undertake thorough keyword research to identify terms and phrases relevant to your products or industry. Integrate these keywords naturally into your image names. However, exercise caution against excessive keyword usage, which could be perceived as spam and adversely affect your SEO endeavours.
- Enhanced Image Search Rankings: Optimised image names can also elevate your prominence in image search results. Numerous users specifically search for images when seeking products or inspiration. By enhancing your image names with relevant keywords, you heighten the likelihood of your images surfacing in image-based search queries. This could potentially channel additional organic traffic to your eCommerce website, as users may click on the images and explore your site for further information or purchases.
- Accessibility and User Experience: The optimisation of image names bears significance not only for search engines but also for website accessibility. Individuals with visual impairments rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies to navigate the web. Furnishing descriptive image names empowers these tools to accurately convey the image’s content to visually impaired users, thus enhancing their browsing experience. Search engines also regard accessibility as a ranking factor, rendering optimised image names indirectly beneficial for improved SEO outcomes.
- Image Sitemaps and Image SEO: Image names constitute a pivotal element of image sitemaps, which encompass XML files providing search engines with comprehensive insights into the images on your website. By optimising your image names, you augment the efficacy of image sitemaps, simplifying the task of search engines to crawl and index your images. This can positively influence your overarching SEO efforts, translating to heightened organic traffic.
Incorporating optimised image names into your SEO strategy can yield substantial advantages for your eCommerce website. By affording descriptive and keyword-rich image names, you amplify search engine visibility, enrich user experience, amplify the likelihood of featuring in image-based search results, and attract augmented organic traffic. It’s imperative to strike a harmonious balance between keyword optimisation and maintaining descriptive, natural-sounding image names to maximise advantages for both search engines and users.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Employing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can significantly enhance the SEO of product images for eCommerce. A CDN constitutes a network of servers distributed across diverse locations, utilised to facilitate the efficient delivery of content, including images, to users based on their geographical proximity to the server. This strategy is instrumental in reducing latency, improving page load times, and elevating the overall user experience.
When striving to optimise image SEO for eCommerce, a CDN can expedite the delivery of product images to your users, thereby ensuring rapid page loading times and fostering a seamless browsing experience. As swifter loading times engender enhanced user satisfaction and reduced bounce rates, the incorporation of a CDN into your eCommerce infrastructure holds the potential to fortify your SEO efforts and cultivate a loyal customer base.
With a CDN, your eCommerce website can withstand elevated volumes of traffic and seamlessly deliver product images to users, regardless of their geographical location. This enhances the overall user experience, fortifies your SEO endeavours, and augments your eCommerce business’s resilience and scalability.
Utilise Lazy Loading for Improved Load Speed
Lazy loading serves as an instrumental technique for enhancing the load speed of your eCommerce website. It defers the loading of non-critical resources, such as images positioned below the fold, until users scroll down to view them. This mitigates the initial load time and conserves bandwidth, rendering it an invaluable strategy for bolstering the performance of image-heavy web pages.
When users enter your eCommerce website, lazy loading prevents unnecessary bandwidth consumption and accelerates the display of critical content. Subsequently, as users progress down the page, additional images load progressively, thus facilitating a seamless and expedited browsing experience.
By implementing lazy loading for your eCommerce website, you foster accelerated page load times, minimise bounce rates, and invigorate user engagement. This cultivates a superlative user experience, propelling your website’s SEO performance and augmenting its position in search engine rankings.
Optimising images for SEO holds immense significance for the success of your eCommerce website. By implementing the strategies outlined in this post, including image compression, maintaining consistent image dimensions, using appropriate file formats, and optimising alt attributes and image names, you can significantly enhance your website’s performance, improve search engine visibility, and drive increased organic traffic and conversions. Leveraging content delivery networks and lazy loading further fortifies your SEO endeavours, fostering an enhanced user experience and bolstering your eCommerce business’s resilience and scalability.
By integrating these image optimisation techniques into your eCommerce SEO strategy, you can foster the growth and prosperity of your online store, amplifying its visibility and appeal to your target audience, and thereby realising its full potential in the competitive digital landscape.
We hope this post has equipped you with valuable insights into the pivotal role of image optimisation in eCommerce SEO. If you have any questions or require assistance in implementing these strategies, feel free to reach out to our team of SEO experts. We’re here to help you elevate your eCommerce website and drive sustainable growth and success.
Thank you for reading, and best of luck in your eCommerce journey!