The Question “How important is image optimization for a website?” and “What is Image optimization?” many would have wondered.
People say, an Image is worth a thousand words and add as many images as possible to their website to make it look attractive, informative and what not. But eventually, they forget the impact it makes on the website’s loading speed and most importantly, the SEO.
We have tried a thousand times to reduce the size of the website, change the theme, and whatnot. But little did we know that the majority weight of the website is because of the images. On average, almost 64% of the weight comprises of images.
There have been many cases where people have shared that if the average website loads under 2 seconds, there are high chances that the people remain on the page, and if the same crosses over 4.5 seconds or more, over 40% of the visitors tend to leave the website.
When I read the same paragraph above on a different website, I had the same reaction. This legit gave me a reason to work backward and find the core reason for this, the images were the core problem here.
So, before diving deep into the technical aspect of Image optimization, let’s first understand What is Image optimization.
What is Image optimization?
Image Optimization is nothing but Optimizing the image by delivering the right quality at the right resolution with the smallest size possible.
If you are a WordPress user like me, there are many options like WP Smush, reSmush it, and more. But little did I know these plugins had also added some weight to my website.
Later, I manually compressed the images with the famous online compressing tool TinyPNG. Many Image CDN (Content delivery network) has smart optimizations that do all the job for you. Right from downloading the image from your server to the CDN, resizing it according to the device, lossless compression, and delivering it to the end visitor.
How important is Image Optimization?
As mentioned above, Page speed not only affects your loading speed but also the SEO rankings. For a complete newbie like me trying out to optimize a website is not a simple task. But towards the end of the article, you will also find a website which I optimized using a free tool and how it changed the loading speeds of the website.
Improve page loading speed
Minor optimization of your website can do wonders. Be it adding a plugin for your WordPress websites like Smush or resmush.it would do the job of optimizing your image sizes and will take care of resizing it according to the device.
You can check the speeds of your website by using these tools :
All of the above-mentioned speed testing tools are free to use and will show the majority of the changes you need to make on the website as a descriptive report. People love pages that load below 2 seconds which is what even MeshPie is trying to achieve by eliminating unwanted calls which increases the requests. The requests here directly has an effect on the loading speed.
Reduces bounce rate
Be it a business website or a blog like MeshPie, User experience should always be the first choice. Better user experience always gives aa return i.e more page on time by the audience visiting your website.
This will have a direct impact on your bounce rate as the visitor gets the best experience along with the content published in the platform. Upon all of that, the mobile-first approach should be your priority as the mobile users expect the page to load within 4 seconds.
Improves SEO Ranking
Many people don’t consider loading speed as a factor when they make a website. Google had put this point strongly and many marketing kings such as Semrush, Moz, Neil Patel, and more have been emphasizing on this topic whether loading speed is related to SEO.
Google’s official announcement in 2010 mentioned: ” Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.” This makes it clearly evident that speed is a factor that cannot be skipped in SEO.
Every Digital Marketer’s goal is to reach on top of the Google Rankings. So, once you are done with your website, focus on the page speed optimization which is going to do magic to your SEO.
You might wonder how page speed is going to affect conversions?
Well, as stated in the above point if your website is well optimized for speed, it means rankings should improve (Keeping in mind that you have followed the best practices). Apart from that, various marketing giants have tested out this relation between page speed and conversions.
According to the report generated with the metrics, over 79% of the shoppers who are not satisfied with the User Experience of the website don’t return. The User Experience’s first point begins with the page speed. Thereby if the page speed is high, you are losing a potential customer.
How to optimize a website with Cloud Image?
Step 1: Head over to Cloudimage.io and register yourself a free account.
Step 2: Install the official Cloudimage WordPress plugin on your website. Head over to Plugings>Add new or simply click here. Once you install, don’t forget to activate the plugin.
Step 3: Once you install the plugin, head over to the admin section of Cloudimage and copy your Token.
Step 4: Once you have the token copied, head over to the cloudimage plugin settings and paste the token in under the configuration section in the Cloudimage token area. Once you add the token, save the changes.
Step 5: Wait for few minutes for the images to get optimized and boom! You’re good to go. You can check whether your images have started optimizing under Stats & Logs > Logs.
Step 6: Update your cache options under Settings > Image Settings > Cache and set the Browser cache expiration interval (max-age in seconds) to 2592000 and CDN cache expiration interval (s-maxage in seconds) to 20000. This will optimize your images even better as the officials from Cloudimage.io has shared here.
And here’s a short experiment I did on my other website Dotdashes using cloudimage.io.
Get started with CloudImage now.
The below screenshots are the before using image optimization –
And the below screenshots are after optimizing the images –
As you can see, the major difference lies in the following –
- Page size where the page was averaging around 3.3MB in size before image optimization and after optimization, it is around 1.3MB
- Page load time has reduced a good 1-1.5 seconds and loads by 2.5 to 3 seconds from the previous load speeds of 3.5 to 5 seconds
PS: Please don’t judge the speeds by looking at this screenshot. I would not consider it as the best page loading speeds but do keep in mind that the only change I have done is the addition of Image CDN to the website. There are lots more things that you can do to optimize furthermore by messing with the image settings in Cloudimage.io which allows you to further optimize the images to lossy compression, force WEBP, and more. This is purely focused to the audience who are beginners in image optimization and written to the scope of their understandability.
So, why are you waiting? Go ahead and optimize your WordPress website by activating Image CDN.