We all know the saying ‘A picture is worth more than a thousand words.’ While that isn’t necessarily true as long as web posts are concerned (imagine uploading a picture in place of a 1,000 words article), images are useful in terms of making your posts more enjoyable and compelling.
To get a fast loading time on your page one of the things you need to do is to optimize the images shown on it.
So it isn’t enough for you to take any picture off the net and insert it into your article.
But, what does it mean to optimize photos? Optimizing photos or images is the process to get the maximum quality of a picture with the less file size as possible.
For example, when you take a picture with a digital camera, that picture can have a file size of several megabytes (MB), usually 4, 5 or even 10 MB or more.
If you upload that picture directly to your website, basically you are forcing your users to download that file size with their internet connection. Not only that, if you add the weight of all the images that the user can see at the same time on a website, the total megabytes to be downloaded by the user will be much higher, making it take a long time to load the site, especially on a mobile connection.
As a general rule, we can establish that an image should weigh a maximum of 100 Kb, although this figure is merely indicative and will depend on the context (an image that accompanies a text is not the same as an infographic with a high resolution).
What we should get used to is to always reduce the resolution of the source image, for example, the camera of an iPhone XS takes photos with a resolution of 12 Megapixel, which is equivalent to a picture with a resolution of 4200×2800 px.
This size is excessive for a website, so if we reduce this resolution to the minimum necessary with a photo retouching program (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.) we will save a lot of space and optimize the loading of the website.
Always use jpg image format when no transparency is needed or use png when you need it.
Another essential thing to remember relative to improve your SEO is that you need to add alt and titles to the picture, including keywords describing the image.
These image attributes will not only help to SEO but also to visually impaired persons.
Newer formats are: WebP, JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR
Why Is It Important?
Everyone will prefer to read an article spiced up with colorful pictures rather than one without pictures. The latter might be more informative, but the images in the former would make it more enjoyable and draw in more traffic.
Using alt tags would make search engines, people who are visually impaired and those who are unable to load the images (possibly from a poor connection or they turned off image viewing on their browser) know what the image is all about and how it relates to the article. Titles also do virtually the same function of describing the picture to people who find it hard to interpret it. These would make your images to be understood by all and sundry.
Slow loading could significantly chase your visitors away. Reducing the weight and size of your images would enable them to be loaded much faster. This would improve the user's experience with your website and help you draw in more traffic.
Did you know? There are many online image converter on the internet to turn any image format to another. Also, if you have a large number of images they can batch process all the pictures together, saving you time.
Expert’s suggestion: “images bring an article to life and can also contribute to your website’s SEO.” – Michiel Heijmans (https://yoast.com/image-seo/)