How to optimise images for web performance without losing quality

images making website slow

A picture is worth a thousand words. But when we talk about your website, they are worth a lot more than just words. A well-optimised image file will load quickly which is required for good user experience (Google likes and rewards).  A large unoptimised image is generally the most common reason behind a website taking longer to load, as high-resolution images consume lots of bandwidth while loading. This wait time will jeopardise your rankings and result in lost customers and sales.

So how do you optimise your images for optimal web performance?

Because your images matter and probably more than you realise.

If you want your website to generate more sales and help more customers you need it to load quickly. If your website isn’t loading under 3 seconds then your potential customers will leave and possibly never return. It may sound fickle but it’s true!

That’s not to say you can’t use high-quality images on your website. You just need to know how.

If your competitor’s website is quicker to load, and customers can find their information faster there, then you can wave goodbye to their custom.

Generally, web images take up a fair chunk of a website’s storage – and depending on how large they are will affect the loading time of a website.

You don’t have to give up high-quality images – but what you can and should do is optimise your images for web performance. In doing so, it helps to increase your website’s Google ranking, create more visits, and have the opportunity to build relationships with customers.

Why is a website load time important?

Your website is your tool for finding, meeting, and helping your customers answer their questions and find out more about your business.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • A slow to load website can turn away customers with 80% not returning to your website ever again
  • Google found that 53% of mobile users leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
  • The time it takes your website to load will affect your ranking on Google search

And as Neil Patel very accurately points out,

“Speed is a huge factor in driving traffic and conversions, and producing general success.

And your site likely isn’t as speedy as it should be. In fact, according to Google, the majority of web sites don’t load fast enough.

This means that you are losing tons of conversions.

And the most likely reason is that 99% of your site design is images”.

Here are some extremely useful websites to help you check your websites loading time.

frustrating slow website

With the coronavirus still at the forefront of global news and dazzling the headlines of our local media outlets, the world is spending more time online, shopping online, and reading online more than ever.

So, according to Google’s research, your website needs to load in under 3 seconds.

Netflix has even reduced the streaming quality of its videos to keep up with demand and reduce buffering and load times.

It’s important for your business that your website loads quickly, so your customers don’t have to wait. Optimising your images for web performance will improve your ranking and your customer’s interactions with your business.

How can you optimise your images for best web performance?

The size of your images is going to affect your website’s speed for sure but you don’t have to lose the quality of your images to speed up your website. In fact, quality images can make or break a website so they are important.

But how would you optimise your images for web performance?

It’s actually pretty easy. We’ve got a few key tips on how to do this and create a fast and pleasant end-user experience on your website.

Dimensions

The size of your images plays a big role – not only in how they are displayed but obviously the larger they are – the bigger KB or MB they will be.

The best practice and standard sizing of images on a website should be around 800 x 534 pixels.

If it’s a header or footer image then it should be 1500 x 500 pixels.

If your website uses Opengraph then your images should be 1200px x 630 px.

You can cut down the size of your images (and you’ll learn how in the next part) while using the specified dimensions for the different parts of your website.

Following the recommended sizes for your website images – which are surprisingly overlooked, will mean your images look the best for their different uses.

Like social media for example, how often do you see images that just don’t look right?

That’s because someone somewhere isn’t paying attention to the actual size that is needed for social media platforms. Yes, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, and all the others have different size requirements for images. If you make sure you are using these recommended sizes then your images will stand out amongst the others.

Sizes

Keeping all your website images under 200kb is one sure way to optimise your images for the web.

You may be wondering how you can achieve this – especially when your image may be crazy large (5600 x 3400px).

We’ve got some great free to use tools that will help you compress your images for optimisation.

After you go through the steps to resizing your image, you may then need to put it through the tool again to further compress. Just make sure your KB’s are as close to the 100 KB mark as possible.

You may worry that optimising your images for the web will mean you lose image quality. In effect, you will lose some of the quality – but that would only matter if you were printing these images.

As long as the original image was high quality then you won’t lose the clarity of the images.

Make sure your website is performing at its best – quick loading times, and great optimisation of images will all go towards improving your website’s performance. You will increase the number of visits, the number of customers and repeat visits to your website just by following these simple steps to optimising your images for web performance.

Do you want to grow business revenue?

Do you want to have a strong presence in Google Search?

Do you want to improve your customer experience through web-based channels?

This is where we can help your business – it’s our speciality.

Get in touch with us to see how we can help your website perform at its best – images, content, and SEO.