If you are an online store owner, then you would know that product images are the lifeblood of your business. Your store’s images play a major role in determining the sales of your eCommerce business.
In fact, studies show that 75% of shoppers rely on product images for making purchase decisions!
Moreover, 39% of global eCommerce traffic originates from Google searches. And if you want to rank on Google, image optimization is a must.
In this article, you’ll learn about why image optimization on your online store is important, and how you can do it effectively.
What is Image Optimization?
Image optimization is the process of altering your images by reducing the size of your image while not compromising their quality. It also involves optimizing your images in such a way that they help with SEO and also provide the best possible experience to your users.
Why should you Optimize the Images on your Online Store?
Here are a few reasons why image optimization is essential for your online store:
1. Increases Page Load Speed
Well-optimized product images lead to a vast difference in your page load speeds. This is because images tend to be of larger sizes. Hence without optimization, they are likely to slow down your web pages.
And, did you know that 53% of visitors will abandon your store if it takes more than 3 seconds to load?! Shoppers are impatient and they will leave your site if it takes more time to load.
2. Improves User Experience
Of course, fast-loading product pages contribute to positive user experiences. However, there’s more. Optimized product images are not compromised on quality.
Moreover, image optimization also helps with your online store’s web accessibility through the addition of descriptive alt texts. Hence, your online store’s user experience is vastly improved through image optimization.
3. Helps with Google Rankings
Google considers website loading speeds as one of the top-ranking factors. Google also considers the keywords used in image alt tags while indexing your website for ranking.
Hence, through image optimization, your store will rank higher on Google when people search for your target keywords. This will lead to increased organic traffic to your eCommerce website.
4. Improves your eCommerce Sales and Revenue
Improved user experience and higher Google rankings will ultimately lead to increased visitors to your online store. Hence, by optimizing your online store images, you are bound to see a significant increase in your eCommerce sales and revenue.
How can you Effectively Optimize the Images on your Online Store?
1. Choose the Right Image File Type
You can usually find product images in 3 formats – JPEG, PNG, or GIF. ECommerce stores must have low image file sizes in order to increase the page load speed. And the format that best works with low image sizes is JPEG.
JPEG files do not lose the quality even when compressed to very small file sizes. Hence, it is best to upload all your product images in JPEG format. JPEG formats are also SEO-friendly.
2. Reduce Image Sizes
Research by Amazon found that a 1-second increase in their page load speed could lead to a loss of $1.6 billion in a year!! Imagine the number of sales and revenue you can make just by increasing the fraction of a second in up page load time.
And, like it was mentioned before, images tend to be the largest files on any web page and this contributes the most to the slowness of the page. You can reduce image sizes by using free online tools such as TinyJPG. You can upload your images to this tool, and it will reduce the file sizes by around 60 to 70% without compromising the quality of your images.
3. Focus on Web Accessibility
Did you know that around 20% of Americans suffer from some kind of disability? Because of this, it might be difficult for them to view and understand your images’ context like any other normal person would do.
It is super-important to optimize your online store’s images for web accessibility. This includes adding apt alt texts, images descriptions, etc.
If you have an online store with numerous product pages, it might be difficult for you to ensure that all your images are optimized for website accessibility.
Hence, accessiBe’s OCR technology can scan your website and automatically provides accurate and elaborate alt text to all images that lack one, by learning the objects that comprise the image using IRIS.
4. A/B Test Images
There can be a huge difference between what you think works best for your product images Vs what your visitors actually like. A/B testing your product images can help you better understand the choice of your users.
You can A/B test various aspects of your product images such as product angles, thumbnails, descriptions, number of images tagged to a product, etc. While A/B testing, it is important to vary only one aspect of your images at a time.
5. Optimize Thumbnails
Product thumbnails can be quite beneficial for urging your users to buy upsells. When users browse your website, they will look for related products. It is important to load attractive thumbnails for these related products so that your visitors click on these products and browse more.
You can optimize your product thumbnails by keeping the file size below 70 KB, keeping the format JPEG, and giving appropriate names to these images.
Wrapping it Up
To conclude, we can say that if you want to run a successful online store, it is important for you to master image optimization techniques. Image optimization is especially important for eCommerce websites because the number of images would be significantly more than other business websites.
Through image optimization, you can improve your online store’s Google rankings, increase traffic, improve user experience, and ultimately increase your ROI. So, over to you now!
About The Author –
Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing. He likes sharing his knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from eCommerce, startups, marketing to human capital management and much more. His work is featured in several authoritative business publications. Connect with Twitter at @belanigaurav.