Monday, July 11, 2011

Image optimization: How important it is for your website

Our websites must impress visitors with a mesmerizing look. Remember any layout may not work for your online business as your website and its web pages have to be optimized. Optimization is needed as the websites have few seconds to get impresses the visitors. The images often create problems – not loading properly, the most valued images are not recognized by the search engines so do not come in image search. But the solution to image related issues is image optimization! Just following a few simple steps – using several image tags properly, reducing file size, compressing images – you can get rid of these issues.

While working as a freelance graphic designer various clients come to me with image related issues in their sites. I simply tell them these are no headache – only lack of experience! Now come let us see how I help them with image optimization.

  • Images have to be reduced in size: Many a time it is found that due to lack of experience, designers use larger images in the layouts. Consequently, the images take time to load and the visitors see blank pages. Just taking a little step of image optimization – using CSS image sprites (using small images in a single folder that reduce server requests also) you can get rid of this issue.

  • Use compressed images: Sometimes there may be situations when your website has so many images. And you may be using image sprites but the volume of the images is large. That may create issues in display of the web pages. But if you know image optimization, you can solve the issues with compressed image formats (.jpeg, .png, .gif). This ploy helps very much.

  • "Save for web & devices": For sheer inexperience many a time I find images in the web pages are saved simply – not in the "save for web & devices" format! It is nothing but lack of knowledge on image optimization. These just make the images unfit to be used in the web pages. It is the reason that images come larger even after compressed format. Sometimes working with these simply saved images create other issues too.

  • Use proper tags: Many a times it is found that images are not given proper image tags. And for this reason your images are not properly recognized by the search engines. For this your website (may be selling some products or services and uses huge number of images) do not get proper ranking or position in search engine results page. If you have the knowledge of image optimization, you would always use Alt tags (so that search engines read the images), Title tags (to name the images). These tags make the image recognized by the search engines and improved SERP of web pages.

  • Adding images to sitemap: Last but not the least is neglecting images to be added to sitemap. This is nothing but a lack of experience in image optimization. Excluding images from site map many times result in image going invisible in image search. People do search images to get idea on any product or services. So using this technique you even help visitors to find your images through site map (if your site deal with photographs).

Are not these techniques very easy to use or implement? But again I must say, for hurry or pressure of too much work designers forget to implement these simple image optimization tactics. So as a client you should choose a designer who knows these things. Just having a look into the graphic design portfolio of the designers you could check the status of the image optimization done by them. Hope you will take the right step in this regard.

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