An e-commerce site that sells high-end, quality products are facing a high bounce rate of late. An intense, website audit finds out the reason behind this downfall. The fault was in images. For different images it was different. Some were blurred, some took too long to load and some didn’t zoom properly besides more. These reasons were too much for the visitors. For them, the best option henceforth was to move on to another site. By committing an extra time and following best practices, you can optimize SEO Images for search.
Also Visit: Best E-commerce SEO Practices 2018
Here are a few questions that arise out of the above.
- Is this important?
- What should they do?
- How should they overcome the problem?
Let’s start by answering these questions one by one.
Yes, it is important. For an e-commerce site that sells its products online, it is important to have a clear, concise image in the correct dimension and proportion and should load quickly.
Everyone should know it irrespective of the job – a marketer or the designer.
So, here is what one is required to do:
Images are responsible for more bytes than any other part in an e-commerce site. The size and other features can either help gain or lose. This is responsible for e-commerce conversions and retention of the customers. Therefore, one of the best means to make your website work better is by improving its SERP ranking with image optimization.
Below are the areas the e-commerce site should work on…
1.The Image Quality
Use high-quality images. This doesn’t mean you have to use smaller, blurry images just to fit into the KBs required. Use the SEO image tools to reduce the size, but maintain the quality. These remove Exif(Exchangeable image file format )data/meta and similar things but still keep the image as clear as it should be.
Furthermore, internet connections are getting better day by day. This implies that downloading a larger file isn’t as difficult as it has been so far. But you need larger images to be able to zoom the product images, an important feature for the e-commerce sites.
2.The Image – File Type and Format
Large screens, high resolution, are becoming an order of the day. But does that mean we don’t need to optimize the images? Well, we need to still. Though cameras today are much more sophisticated (thanks to the advancement in technology) and the end result is high-end photographs with great images. But large images can pose huge hassle for an e-commerce website by increasing the load time. This may annoy a visitor who can be a potential customer and drive him away. For him/her, the important factor is load time. Alternatively, it affects the Google rankings. The size of the image affects the load time which can be the reason behind the high bounce rate. Hence, reduce the image size.
Here is how to do it…
The difference between the three lies in the quality of the image.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of the developer)
This format is best for complex images and photos. It supports a minimum of 16 images. The best part of this format is its small size and good quality. The file size can be adjusted. The JPEG lets you compress images as lossless and lossy. Smaller loss implies a larger file size.
Use it on: All product images, photographic images, and multicolor images.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
This kind of format is required to save a large number of colors and also the transparency. It utilizes compression to store any amount of colors. It is further of two types: PNG-8 and PNG-24
- PNG-8 is best for images with simple colors like a logo or the buttons. It supports transparency.
- PNG-24 supports a large no. of colors. It can be used for photos and complex images like JPEG. It supports transparency.
Use it on: file size is secondary, image quality is important.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format – format for sharing images)
This format is utilized for logos, icons, buttons, symbols, simple graphics and animation. This kind of format is great for photos or color backgrounds. This is helpful as there would be no border between the images. It shouldn’t be used for photos because of its limited amount of colors, just 256. Before the PNG came into effect, GIF was commonly used.
Use it on: small images (icons and thumbnails), all animation, and an image such as a logo with a few colors.
What is your best bet for SEO image optimization?
- For a product image – JPEG with the image quality of 50-80 units
- For images with large planes, don’t use JPEG. It is infamous for developing image distortion. PNG is better in this regard.
The image size implies the dimensions of the image such as 852 x 852. To elaborate on this, the file size is the amount of space required by an image to store on a server.
Understand this; a larger file size takes more time to load. But, an image can have a large size and can be still 2MB or less. So, keep the image size to 1-2 MB. Smaller images imply the site loads quickly, has low bounce rate and gains repeat customers.
What to do?
How to resize image size…
If there is no Photoshop, use Pixlr to resize an image size.
- Open pixlr.com
- Click “Open Pixlr editor (Advanced)”
- Click ‘Open Image from computer” and browse towards the photo needed to edit.
Go to the black navigation, click ‘Image’ > ‘Image Size’. A pop up will come up to tell you the size of the photo.
- Enter the width you want (say 800 pixels). The height will adjust automatically when you select the width.
- Click “Ok”
It is easy to use which can help you get the right image size. Just play with the right image size to get a quality image. Try different sizes before going for the smallest file size. It should look good.
The product image sizes should be below 70kb for the optimum search for SEO.
There are more tools discussed at the bottom of the article. Read them, if you are interested in knowing more about the tools.
4.Keep Image Sitemap in Mind
How will Google know you have images on your website? Tell Google about it. Add all the images to the sitemap. It is a map of the content of the website. For the purpose, you must add some image-specific tags. A sitemap assists in optimizing the images for the Google’s algorithms. It helps Google bots to crawl the site properly.
For an image, add location, description, title, caption, and license.
- WordPress hosted site – use Yoast SEO. It adds the content of the images instantly. If you don’t have Yoast SEO, then install it. Make sure the ‘enable’ button is on and then save the changes.
It is important to give the right names to the files. This is a big deal for the search engine crawlers. It is unfortunate but a lot of marketers do not bother much about this. They do not change the name of the picture. It is usually the code or number assigned by the phone or computer.
To set things right for the search bots, name the image in a to-the-point manner so that understanding it isn’t difficult. For SEO, a keyword rich image is highly beneficial. Manually edit the HTML of the image for every upload. Keep the file name short; keyword-rich, and correct describing what is represented in the image.
For example, if you are selling white ballerinas, white ballerinas should be present in the image name.
It is the description assigned to the image and it appears in the website’s code. This implies that if the image is not visible or displayed for any reason, there will be a text description shown to the visitor and he will get an idea what the image is all about. Add keywords to the alt attribute. This helps one rank better in the Google SERPs.
It serves three functions, primarily:
1.SEO crawlers can read it which means better SEO.
2.It is a code that tells a browser what should be displayed when the image doesn’t load properly. This can be useful when the site has some loading issues.
3.It is a boon for the visually impaired people. They will know it by using the screen readers due to the alt attribute. When a cursor is held over the image, the screen reader can read the alt attribute description to them.
Here is how to do it:
- Use plain language
- Products with serial numbers or model numbers should be used.
- Do not use too many keywords. Stuffing may fire back.
Keep checking the website. Make sure alt tags are filled appropriately.
How to do it in WordPress?
- There is an option of adding both a title and an alt tag in WordPress.
You were about to confirm the purchase when you found a dainty purse at the bottom and it read “our recommendations”. You could not resist adding it to the cart.
Apparently, it was a thumbnail image which upsold you. This is a marketing gimmick used by a lot of e-commerce websites these days including Amazon. It is a great way to sell other similar products to customers. Some websites display it while the customer is confirming his/her order or while the customer is still browsing through the products. This is called upsell.
It is an add-on, additional product or an upgrade which is introduced by a seller after the purchase is made. Sometimes there are many images shown at the bottom.
But, what if the images do not upload properly?
The tiny image sizes (which are less than 70 KB) are great for your businesses.
JPEG or GIF files are the best. You can use Pixlr to resize the files. Do remember to name them. Correct names and alt attributes are equally important.
Optimize the thumbnails, improve your SEO and increase the profits.
TOOLS for SEO image optimization
Luckily, there are some tools which can help you optimize SEO images.
You will need these while carrying out your SEO work:
For Image Size and Quality
- Pixlr – it is a free tool to edit the images and decrease or increase JPEG quality or file size. One can edit, trim, select the format, adjust sharpness, choose an editor, and select the format. It seems complicated but is by far the most comprehensive of all the other tools.
- GIMP – it is best suited for Mac, Linux, and Windows. It provides everything needed for the product images – color correction, painting, retouching and tools for masks and layers. It supports all the file formats for images.
- Kraken – it is a quick working tool. Upload as many images as you want, compress them and then download them as a zip file. This will save a lot of time.
- ImageOptim – Decrease the file size by compressing the images without losing the quality with the tool.
- Yoast SEO – you can optimize the image SEO and accessibility to the site by assigning an alt attribute automatically.
- EWWW Image Optimizer – Optimizes the images automatically when they are uploaded to the site.
- ShortPixel – Optimizes the image size within the WordPress.
For an e-commerce site selling real products, it is extremely important to optimize the seo images. This is the sole factor that can turn your visitor into a customer. Henceforth,
Use good, high-quality images with an option to zoom. The image should be of an appropriate size in right image format. The image should be embedded in the sitemap with descriptive file names and alt tags. Don’t forget to optimize the thumbnails and if needed, use image optimization tools.
Remember these points for optimizing the product images for SERPs. These upgrade your profile with the search engines by making the web crawlers understand the website better. Hope this article helps you in making all the necessary changes to your website and gain success.
Related Article: Ways to Improve SEO For Your Ecommerce Store