Have you ever thought about why your product image doesn’t come up when you search Google for your product? Have you ever considered its effect on your new landing page? Maybe the image is too big and it might be causing loading speeds for your website visitor? How about the conversions, is your web conversion suffering because your images aren’t optimized? Unoptimized images could cause negative effects on your site performance as well to your conversions.
Also, did you know that when you boost customer retention by as much as 5% it could cause an increase in your profit by 95%? That is why ecommerce image optimization is important. For every marketer, image optimization should be a priority, especially if you are looking to convert customers into buyers. Image optimization must be a marketer priority.
Here are 8 great ways to optimize your images:
1. Make sure you know the several types:
If you don’t understand the different file types, you wouldn’t be able to make a decision, right? PNG, JPEG, Gifs are the types marketers use and Gifs are the favorite. But of course, marketers aren’t always design experts nor are they developers so it’s really critical for every marketer to be familiar with some of the basics. The goal here is to know which would give you more bang for your space, the lesser space the better. You would need to know which file types would work better for the image you put on your site. Here are some pros and cons:
- Joint photographic expert groups(JPG/JPEG)- it mixes red, blue and green light which allows the display of millions of colors, but it’s hard to find a nice balance of size and image quality. You can use it on your product images, images that have a lot of colors, and photography images.
- Graphic interchange format(GIF)-these tiny videos are a favorite of many people and used as an expression. These compressed videos are little, and they only allow 256 colors to show in the image. They aren’t a desirable choice when you need a variety of colors but they’re a good choice when you need animation in a small file size. You can use GIFs for animations, thumbnail or icons, images that are limited in color.
- Portable network graphic(PNG)- these are more modern than GIFs and JPGs. They are a bit larger in size compared to JPEGs but that’s because of its quality. There’s 2 types of PNG, 8 which is smaller and allows 256 colors that GIFs could do and 24 which allows millions of colors. You can use this whenever you need the quality more than the file size.
2. Increase the conversions by getting the right size
Image size and file size holds a huge difference. Image size means the dimension of the image such as 852 by 852 and file size refers to the size needed to save the image on the server. When the file is large, it takes longer for the image to load, while an image could have a large dimension but still be less than 2MB which would load quicker. The size of a file is a big deal, it could either make the performance of your website or break it. You need to make sure your images are not more than 2MB because the smaller it is, the faster your load time would be, the lower the bounce rate would be.
3. Improve SEO by naming the image
Your image name matters to the web crawlers of search engine’s.
A lot of marketers don’t change the random name of a picture but it’s important to put a relevant name which could describe the picture, so search bots would understand what kind of image it is. If you don’t say what image it is, then Google bots won’t know either. So, instead of leaving it as JPEG0254 if it’s a picture of a white Siberian husky puppy, name it Siberian husky puppy.
4. Use alt tabs to make your site accessible
Alt Tags are descriptions which are given to images that are in your website’s code. This means that the description of your image is written into the code of your website. There are 3 ways an alt tag could help:
- People who are visually impaired but are using screen readers would know what’s on the image because of the alt attribute. As they hold the cursor to the image, the screen reader would be able to read the description.
- If the image couldn’t load, it tells the browser what’s supposed to be there.
- SEO crawlers would read them and help in improving your SEO.
With Alt attributes, the main goal is to make sure they are descriptive, to the point and simple. It should be like a file name.
5. Get noticed by Google through sitemaps
Do you have galleries on your ecommerce store? How about popups which are like email sign ups and call to actions?
People love infographics, videos, memes. And those are very ideal to add on your sitemap too. If you’re wondering what a sitemap is, these are what allows you to optimize images and videos for the algorithms of Google. It’s basically a file that contains a map that has all the content of your site.
If you are dealing with videos it should have:
- A title
- A description
- A play page URL/ Location
- A Thumbnail URL
- A raw video file URL or the video player URL
- For video entries you should consist of:
- For image entries you should consist of:
- A location or the URL of where the image is located
- A caption of the image
- A description of the image
- The license of the image
- Location (Location, or the URL where the image is located is mandatory. All other bullets are optional but recommended)
You could create a separate sitemap for different content if you have a lot of images and videos. Essentially, sitemaps are important, and you should be adding videos, animations and stuff there. That’s if you want your content to be noticed by Bingbots, Googlebots, and other engine crawlers. Now, if you have your site hosted on WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO which would add your content to a sitemap automatically.
6. Drive upsells through optimizing
Do you remember that time when you bought a new phone case after upgrading? I bet you found that below the confirmation page as you go through your payment. That is how thumbnail images upsell, it’s an effective way to advertise other relevant products. An upsell is an add-on, additional relevant product, or an upgrade which is introduced after an initial purchase. Upselling should be one of your goals, you should be able to display products that are related on your purchase page. Now if you do have a thumbnail but it doesn’t load or it takes forever to load then you’re still missing out.
7. Make sure you capture both aesthetic and technical image aspects
It’s important that you know and understand the technical and aesthetic aspects on ecommerce sites.
- Technical images are images where you would want to focus on image size, resolution, etc.
- Aesthetic images are images where you should focus on the style of your product, the color of the background, etc.
8. Improve retention and conversions through A/B testing
Every marketer love A/B testing and images aren’t an exception. If you have a lot of images, your load time could be too slow, and having the wrong angles in your images could cost you customers.
Here are some tests you could do:
- Quantity: test between images per category, product, page.
- File size vs quality: you could test if high quality and loading time that gets slow affects your conversions.
- Image optimization tools: there are a lot of tools which you could use to accomplish your goals. There’s Pixlr which is free and could decrease or increase size and quality, Kraken which you could use to upload bulk images and compress them, as well as download it as a zip file, ImageOptim which allows you to decrease the file size,
This article clearly shows that there are a lot of image optimization tools and ways which could have a huge impact on your business. Not every marketer is a developer, a design specialist, or tech savvy but as a marketer these are some of the basics that are worth knowing because it’s useful and important. Images have a big impact on the website, and there are many ways to make it beneficial for your website so it would be a smart move to know at least the basics. Now that you’re at the end of this article about ecommerce image optimization I’m sure that you are more interested and motivated to try image optimization on your own.