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EP6: Speed Up Your Website With Image Optimization

 Site speed is an important ranking factor in SEO these days. But there are only so many ways that most people are able to speed up their own sites.

Welcome to The Visibility Boost. My name is Glenneth Reed, and I'll be your host. Today I am sharing how to speed up your website with image optimization.

Speed Up Your Website With Image Optimization

Well, site speed is a critical ranking factor.

Most of us are not CSS developers. We don't write scripts. We don't mess with the JavaScript on our website. One of the things we probably do have control over is the images that are on our website and how many images are on our website. And that can play a factor in how fast your site loads. You want images on your website to be under 150 kilobytes.

That should be the norm. Now, you may have a hero image or a banner image on your website. Those can be 500 kilobytes and under. You don't necessarily want separate ones on every page or multiple hero images on every page. You want to be very strict and strategic with the photos on your website with both how many there are and making sure you are optimizing them for SEO and optimizing them for site speed.

If you take a gorgeous photo on your iPhone and upload it directly to your website, it most likely is going to be two or three megabytes. That is just far too large size-wise for your website because it will take time to load.

People will say to me, well, my site loads really quickly.

Yes. It will load quickly for you because it is cached. But again, let's remember, we are focusing on the people that don't know you yet. We want to get that free organic traffic. People do not have patience these days. They expect sites to load quickly, which is why Google expects sites to load quickly.

The easiest way to optimize a photo is to use a tool that Google gave us called Squoosh.app. If Google wants something from people for SEO purposes, they are going to give us tools. Like they gave us Analytics, they gave us Google Search Console. They gave us Page Speed Insights, in which they told us that our images were too big and that images even needed to be optimized.

And then they gave us the tool to do it Squoosh.app. And all you need to do is upload your photo and then change some settings and they will even show you what percentage decrease you've made and the size of your file.

One thing to think about when doing this is pixel size is often 4,000 by 3,000 for stock photos, camera photos, etc. Typically they don't need to be that big on your website. Smaller photos that you have scattered throughout your website, often 1000×1000 pixels, are large enough. Maybe you want to crop the photo and just use a certain part of it. So first, figure out what part of the photo you want to use and the area it's going to be shown in. There are page ruler extensions in Chrome that you can get to measure the area so that you're sizing that image correctly and then resizing it, which again you can do in the Squoosh.app to make the file size smaller. Your site will load significantly faster with photos under 150 kilobytes.

Then, if you have 20 to 30 or even 100 photos that are a megabyte or more, I have seen websites come to me where they have hundreds of photos over 900 kilobytes or even a megabyte (and up).

That's what's slowing their site down.

Unfortunately, if you do have an older website, you typically will have these large photos.

We just didn't know back then. I will say I've been guilty of this. I used to run a blog, and I would take photos with my phone and stick them right up on the website. Boom.

And it worked back then because Google didn't have the concentration and priority of site speed like they do now. But it's also one of the things that you do control as you do a new page or a new blog. If you get into the routine of thinking about how to optimize this photo for SEO and optimize it for site speed.

I know it's going to take a few extra minutes. Again, I am guilty of going one or two photos won't hurt. The problem with that is, let's say you publish a blog every month with three photos. And each time you say, oh, one or two won't hurt. Well, three times 12 is 36. Now you've got 36 larger images on your site at the end of the year. If you do more than that, or you put up lots of service pages, you could be slowing your site down without keeping an eye on it because it does all add up. And I'm not saying that if you have 100 large images, you need to change them all. I am saying that if you have any that are over a megabyte, those need to be acted on immediately.

You could see a significant site speed improvement, which will help your organic rankings and, therefore, get you more traffic. I cover all of this in my Image Optimization 101 Workshop.

So, as you were planning any new web page, if you were redoing your website, whatever you were doing on your website that has photos, stop and think about it before you upload them to your site and make sure that they are not going to hurt your site speed.

About Me

Welcome! My name is Glenneth and I live in beautiful East Tennessee. I wear many hats: CEO of The Visibility Method, SEO & Google Ads Expert, content creator, and more. I love technology, social media, and weight lifting. My favorite place to hang out is the hammock in my backyard. My favorite colors are pink and orange. My favorite team is the Vols. And I LOVE to get email so please drop me a note and say hi!


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