How to Optimize Images for Better Web Design & SEO


If you are using Images for your online business or your blog, it’s crucial that you keep them as small as possible, simply because smaller size images will load faster on a browser. Pages that take more time to load are SEO killers! Potential customers are turned off resulting in hiked bounce rates, leaving you with a poor search ranking. I have seen people often not paying much attention to image optimization, even though so much can be achieved by making little adjustments. Let me share with you my cheat sheet on how you can optimize images for better web design & SEO.

Pick the most suitable Image for your website

Finding the right image is the first and probably the most challenging step, its best to make the following essential consideration before you finalize:

– The image is relevant to your content and fits in the context perfectly.
– Select a unique and original image.
– Make sure the image you choose is attractive and appealing.

We as human are neurologically more attracted to visuals. If you successfully connect a unique, relevant and eye-catching image to your content, you will definitely end up getting more shares and impressions from your users. If you are not up for producing your own images, what you can is to find online royalty free images. The most recommended and my personal favorite websites for free to use images are:

Negative Space
Free Range Stock
Fancy Crave

Take your time to choose the image you want to use, choosing irrelevant image will hurt your SEO badly.

Using Images that you own will make you a SEO hero

It’s a surprising fact that more than 30% percent of the content on the internet is duplicated, it means that quite a vast number of people are just reproducing content. How can you turn this situation in your favor? Well, the simplest way to take advantage of the situation is to use your own images. By doing this little trick, you will end up having a considerable edge over your competitors and rank much higher in search engines. You can do a photo session or simply use photoshop to produce an original image; in my personal experience, this is the best way to optimize images for web and SEO. If you are using stock images online, the best thing to do is to do minor editing and touch ups to make the image unique and personalized.

Use the right name for your Image file

Never thought of that before? Well, it’s very important to choose an appropriate name for your image file. The first time where you will use your keyword is the name of the image file; this is a simple but powerful technique to fill in your keywords. Name the image in a simple, descriptive and plain language, avoid using too many keywords or synonym.

Size is your enemy, the smaller the better

Usually, it is “the bigger, the better” but, to optimize images for SEO and web design it is totally the other way around. As I have mentioned in the introduction, smaller sized images will improve page load time and user experience, thus considerably improving the overall performance of your website. You should be very careful when reducing the size of your images because the goal is to cut down the size without losing the quality. There are many great compression websites online, which you can use to optimize your images but, the thing that matters the most is the format selection. I will discuss in the next section the details about how to select a format wisely to optimize your images for better SEO and web design.

A source from a leading SEO agency in the UK, GR Digital, suggested using tools such as GTMetrix to analyse your current on-site imagery and how well optimised you are currently, catching the potential size issues before they cause issues further down the line!

Find the file types that work best for image optimization

There is a golden rule: Search engines love high-resolution images + high-quality content.
The best file format is the one that doesn’t lower the quality of your image and significantly reduce the size. There is no fixed format that will always give you the best result, keep in mind that your choice of formatting should change according to the type of your image. For example, the two most popular file formats give the best results on different types of images.

• PNG: Is the best choice when it comes to storing images with graphs, lines, icons, and text. Basically, images with fewer colors and graphics.

• JPEG: Performs better when it comes to graphical and realistic images with more colors.

There are many more formats that you can explore online to find out which ones suit you best.

Learn how to use Alt text and captions properly

Around 26% percent of searches on search engines are conducted on Google images. Have you ever wondered how image searches work? Well, the alt text and a combination of complex algorithms are used by Google to extract the context of an image. Only use an appropriate proportion of keywords with a descriptive sentence in the alt text, stuffing a lot of keywords in the alt text will have a negative impact on image SEO. Let me give you an example of how to do it properly: (cat is my keyword here)

Image name= “cat” Alt text= ” white cat playing with toys”

Be careful when using CDNs for image SEO

If you don’t know about Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), think of them as boosters that improve the loading time of your website by geographically delivering content to the users. For example, imagine that your web server is somewhere in northern Europe and a user from Northern Europe visits your website without traveling much. However, if someone from Asia visits your website your content especially images will have to travel much. The geographic distance between servers will significantly decrease your website’s loading speed. You can solve this problem by using CDNs but, be careful because the images you will upload on CDNs will link to them rather than your website.

Recent developments

On August 6th 2019, Google announced its browser will have native support for lazy loading. This is an interesting development, let’s hope other browsers quickly catch on!

I am happy to share with you my cheat sheet for Optimizing Images for Better Web Design & SEO – I hope I was helpful, and you enjoyed reading it, thank you stay connected!