Best Practices for Image Optimization

- May 21, 2013

When it comes to website optimization, images are sometimes an afterthought. Copy, design, and coding all play important roles in an optimized website, but images can also increase your visibility in image based searches. Optimizing images is easy do if you follow these best practice guidelines:

Utilize image compression and file type: Maintaining fast load times is important for an optimized website. If your site is using lots of image data, you’ll need to compress the images to keep them from affecting your site’s performance. You should also consider which file extension your images use. For example, a .png file can show more colors than a .jpg file, but it’s larger and will take longer to load.

Create an image sitemap: To increase the chances that search engines will index the images on your website, create an image sitemap.

Don’t forget social sharing buttons: The advent of image sharing sites like Pinterest has only increased the importance of sharing buttons, especially for images. By adding social sharing buttons, you’ll increase the chance that web pages and images reach a wider audience.

Optimize image metadata: Most importantly, you should optimize the file name and alt tag. For both, use five to seven words to describe what the image is. If possible, use keywords that you’d like to target. If the image contains text, include this text in the alt data as well.

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