On any eCommerce site, product images occupy more space in source than other parts of the website. Hence, the performance of any eCommerce site is largely dependent on the size and complexity of the images, as it is essential to display the images of each product on an eCommerce site. With image optimization.
- The product images displayed on your website shows up whenever these products are searched on Google.
- The product images on the landing page do not reduce the loading speed for the customers.
- The conversion rate and the customer retention rate increases due to a website’s improved performance (it is possible to increase profits by 95% with a 5% increase in customer retention rate).
Therefore, product image optimization is essential for all eCommerce sites.
And you use your pictures everywhere:
- On your product pages.
- On your category pages.
- On your homepage.
- In your abandoned cart messages.
- On your blog.
- On your social accounts.
- For your Facebook Advertising.
- For your Google Shopping stream.
What is image SEO?
Image SEO is the process of optimizing your images to rank them better in search engines. It involves reducing image size while retaining acceptable quality (to increase page speed), as well as adding additional markup to increase your image visibility in search engines.
Have the following questions ever left you scratching your head?
- Why is it that when I do a Google image search, my product photos never show up?
- Do I need to add alt attributes to my images?
- What’s the difference between JPEG, GIF and PNG? When should I use one over another?
Today you’ll finally have answers because we’re diving deep into these questions and more.
Here’s how to optimize images for the web
- Include Text in Your Product Images
It’s generally a bad idea to use an image to represent text, as far as SEO is concerned. The reason why is simple: Google can read text, it takes more resources to read images, and we shouldn’t assume Google is properly interpreting anything it sees in images, no matter how advanced it has become.
Consider it in the context of the types of image searches it will show up in, and in the ways that this particular image will not just stand out, but draw the user onto the page, as opposed to merely looking at the image and finding it pleasant.
- Always Add Alt Text
You should always add alt text to your images. There are three reasons why you should add alt text to your images:
- Alt text provides additional context for the search engine bots
- Alt text is another way assistive technologies interpret the photos found online.
- Alt text also displays when an image can’t load properly and tells the browser what’s supposed to be there.
As such, you should use alt text to provide more detail about the image. It’s another opportunity to include a product keyword which can help that product image to show up in the image results page and lead to an increase in organic traffic.
- Make Use of Product Thumbnails
Make use of product thumbnails. Thumbnails usually appear as related product images and are a great way to increase the average order amount and sell more of your products.
Those product thumbnails are often displayed at the bottom of individual product pages and Woo Commerce gives you great control over which products you want to display as up-sells or cross-sells.
- Name Images Descriptively
Your images should be named descriptively, instead of using the default name assigned by your camera. The easiest way to achieve this is to describe the product as is.
Not only will this help search engines understand better what your image is about, it will also help shoppers who are using assistive technologies to understand what the image is showing.
- Keyword Choice Tips
When choosing keywords for images, you need to think a bit differently about what you’re trying to accomplish.
The most common mistake people make with keywords for product images is focusing too heavily on branded keywords. Of course, the brand and product name should be included in the filename, alt tag, and so on. However, if this is the only keyword you are using, you won’t capture any demand from searchers who search for products like yours but who aren’t searching for your brand name.
Make sure to include these more “generic” keywords. That isn’t to say overly broad, unspecific keywords, but keywords that describe the product rather than the brand.
- Use Unique Images Wherever Possible
Most marketplace e-commerce sites use images provided by the product manufacturer on their product pages. There are obvious reasons for this, particularly when there is a large product catalog available.
The problem with this is that Google rarely displays duplicate images in the search results. It will often index them, but it generally will not display them, since no user needs more than one copy of the same image.
The only way around this problem is, of course, to include unique product images on your product pages.
- Use Appropriate Image Dimensions
Another important tip when it comes to image optimization is to use appropriate image dimensions. Your final image dimensions, the width and height, should be determined by your theme requirements.
This will help ensure that your product image displays as it should instead of being cut off at a weird angle by your theme. It will also help reduce the final file size of the image.
You can easily resize your product images to appropriate dimensions using Photoshop. Alternatively, consider using a free program like Gimp or Picmonkey.
So, there you have it! I told you image optimization wasn’t hard. By just taking a few extra seconds and showing your images a little extra love, you can reap the benefits for a long time to come. Keep these tips in mind the next time you upload a new product image or better yet, go in and optimize your existing images. You’ll quickly transform your images from just pretty pictures of your products to valuable tools for boosting your SEO and site performance.
If you have any questions about optimizing images, leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you.