Are you thinking of starting an eCommerce business, or maybe you’ve started one, and want to increase the number of people who go to your online store? Did you know that in Australia eCommerce growth is up more than 73% YOY since the start of the pandemic? Yes, 73%!
Looking at these trends, it’s clear that there’s never been a better time to start your business online. Or if you have an existing business that’s not selling online, perhaps now is the time to make the transition.
In this article, you’ll get to explore all about eCommerce image optimisation, and why it’s so important for ranking your site in Google. Read on to discover how making some quick and easy changes can help you stand out from the crowd, and increase the length of time visitors spend on your site.
What Is Image Optimisation?
Product image optimisation is about decreasing the size of your images as much as you can without decreasing the quality. It also takes into account your image’s SEO (search engine optimisation). Done well, an optimised eCommerce product image can help you to rank on Google and other search engines as well.
1. Your Image Name
While it’s easy to keep the name your computer chooses for images, don’t. Images are a great way to sneak SEO in without having to try too hard. Make sure that you do keyword research, and once you do so, you can add a relevant keyword to your image’s name.
For example, some eCommerce product image tips can include: instead of saving an image as EFGHBA48.jpg, you can save it as calicokittens.jpg. Think about what you’re selling, and what your target audience will be searching for online to find your product.
A good rule of thumb: name your image file according to what the image is, while keeping it succinct and as descriptive as possible.
For exmaple, let’s look at the image below of a vintage Gibson guitar.
The model is a Gibson ES-335, and it’s a 1967 make. As you can see the colour is “cherry red”.
In this case, we’ll name the image file: “1967-Gibson-ES-335-cherry-red”
2. Image Alt Text / Alt Tag
Next, we’ll turn our attention to the image alt text – also known as “alt-text” or “alt attribute”.
Alt text is HTML code that’s attached to the image on your website and is used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a web page.
Here’s what it might look like:
<img src=”1967-Gibson-ES-335-cherry-red.jpg” alt=”1967 ES 335 Gibson Guitar in Cherry Red”>
The primary reason that alt text exists is for web accessibility – to assist visually impaired users who may use screen readers to read and understand page content.
In terms of SEO, alt text is important because Google’s crawlers can read them, which gives Google more context and understanding about what your image is, and why it’s on your page. This in turn can help improve your SEO.
Another function of the alt text is that it also lets your browser know what the image should be in case it doesn’t load.
Ok, now you know all about what and why you need to use alt text on your images, now let’s look at how to optimise your alt text.
It’s quite simple – just describe (in about 6-8 words) what your image is of. The alt tag gives you a bit more freedom than the image name.
Using the same example above, we’d probably use something like:
“1967 ES 335 Gibson Guitar in Cherry Red”
Did you know that the eCommerce product image size can impact conversions? Keep in mind that your file and image size are 2 different things. Your image size is the actual dimensions of your image. The file size is the space the image needs to be on your server.
Of course, when your file size is large, it’ll take longer for the image to load. You can increase the dimensions of the image without the file size being too large.
You’ll want to keep your image between 1-2 MB. The smaller you can get your image size, the quicker it’ll load. No one wants to/will wait around for a slow to load website.
4. File Type
File types for your image can include JPEG, PNG, or GIF. If you choose GIF for your eCommerce images, they’re not as high-quality as JPEG images. They’re better for decorative images and icons.
Choose GIF if you’re going for a simple image with not too many colors. Avoid them for images with various colors.
PNG is growing in popularity. You can use PNG for more colorful images than GIF. They also don’t decrease in quality when you re-save them.
If you choose PNG, keep in mind that the file sizes tend to be much larger than JPEG. JPEG is a better option for not having as large of a file size.
JPEG has been around for a while, they’re an older file type. You have the option to compress them. This means you can have high-quality images that have smaller file sizes.
Which File Size To Choose?
We recommend going with JPEG when it comes to your file size. You’ll notice that you can have a smaller file size with great quality. PNGs are an alternative to both GIF and JPEG. Most of the time the image software you use will allow you to choose the file format.
Make sure that the image size won’t impact the image quality. You can test the image as well to see how your customers like them. If you decide to test the number of your images, you won’t want to test the image quality at the same time.
This is a map of the content on your site. If you want to take a look at your sitemap, go to yourwebsite.com/robots.text. This will show you your sitemap URL. If you see .gz in your file extension, you’ll want to remove it.
You can choose from different sitemaps for your site such as an image, video, news, XML, mobile, or HTML sitemap. This is the way that search engines will rank your site.
You can either use sitemap templates or create your own. If you use a template, you can figure out which parts of your site aren’t as reachable as others.
If you’re ready to get started, you’ll want to check out different photo editors, such as pixlr. Pixlr allows you to edit your photos in your browser for free. This is a great way to make professional edits without spending a fortune.
Tinypng is another tool we recommend. This is where you can compress JPEG and PNG images. This is a great way to compress your photos without losing quality.
reSmush.it on wordpress.org is a must. This is a free compression and image optimisation plugin. You can use it for PNG, JPG, and GIF files.
Shortpixel on wordpress.org will allow you to speed up your website. This is a compression plugin that allows you to increase your number of visitors and SEO rankings.
Exploring All About eCommerce Image Optimisation
Now that you’ve explored eCommerce Image Optimisation, you should be well on your way to having images that convert. We know that learning SEO and making sure that your images meet SEO standards can be quite overwhelming.
Do you want to dedicate more time to your business itself instead of worrying about SEO? Contact us today. We’re experts in SEO, and will come up with an action plan that’s specific to your needs. Don’t just have images on your site, have images that lead to increased traffic to your site due to SEO-optimisation.