Why Image Optimization Is Key To Google PageSpeed Insights
Any blog or website owner that has been online for a while knows the importance of image optimization and the effect it has on the performance of your site. Before we load an image onto our site it is important to make sure it is optimized to the best possible option while still maintaining the quality needed for a professional website. The speed of your website depends quite a bit on it. You will see why Image optimization is key to Google PageSpeed Insights
We will talk about some important tips in this post.
- Page Speed
- User experience
- Tool to use
First, what is Optimization?
It is the process of removing UN needed extra space and sometimes pixels within an image or a file in order to compress it down to it’s most optimal condition.
Hopefully keeping the quality of the image intact,there are multiple factors that matter for optimization but Let’s stick with image size. What I mean by size is not the dimensions of the image but the file size. Kb, Mb and hopefully not Gb.
Those are forms of measurement for files. I am sure you are aware of them, but I mention it because I want to make it clear what I am showing you
An example could be that the perfect image your find is 197Kb when you download it. When you compress it or “optimize it” it may drop to 43Kb. That is a significant drop in file size in relation to the original. As long as the quality of the image remains, then you can use it knowing you have optimized it to its most efficient form
This image below was optimized using one of the tools I list below. I received a 28% reduction in file size
Some images do not need much optimization but still do it anyways. You really don’t know that until you do it. Some will only change a little, some will be dramatic.
Now it is important to still maintain the quality of the image and hopefully, by optimizing it, the physical size (the dimensions) did not change much. Otherwise, that image may not be the one you use.
You need to make it a habit to optimize images every time you load them onto your site. I optimize every image before I load it to my site. It has really helped with page speeds which I will cover in a bit.
As we mentioned above, when a file is optimized it is compressed into the most efficient form of itself, if that makes sense.
There is two main types of compression that matter to you as a blogger or website owner. There are other forms as well but for what you are concerned about image-wise. There are two main types
- Lossy compression-.JPEG images use this type of compression
- Lossless compression-.PNG images use this type of compression
Lossy compression means it is possible to see a dramatic difference in image quality at times. Many times it is just fine, but small parts of the image can be removed when compressed which could result in poor quality.
On the flip side, you will normally see a larger reduction in file size with lossy compression so if the quality remains good then you are in good shape. Your routine should be, find an image compress it and then load it to your site.
Lossless compression means you won’t lose bits and pieces of your image when you optimize. It will just reduce the file size, you shouldn’t see a change in picture quality
The main two types are used in several file formats but for what you will need image-wise. Just stick with.JPEG and.PNG Those should be your main image file types for your site.
Why Optimization and compression are important
The two main reasons optimization is important as far as I am concerned are
- User experience
- Site Speed
Google is all about providing users with the best browsing experience, so poor quality images or large file size images will not perform well when your site is crawled by Google. The results are lower page rankings and slow loading web pages, which result in a decreased user experience.
Lower rankings lead to less revenue for your and as a result can have a major impact on your business. If an image that is too large ends up moving your form page 1 to page 2 then you will see a dramatic drop In your traffic.
If you end up falling further then forget about making any revenue form your post as most users won’t go past page 3 normally.
I know I don’t’ when I am searching online for something. I will select the most relevant and obvious choices as soon as I find it. Normally that is on page 1. I am no different from you when searching online,
We both want our information presented to us right away. That leads me to my next point
No one wants to wait for a slow loading web page. I know I don’t. The online average is about 3-4 seconds that users will wait until they move on. A slow loading page can literally Kill your business. Especially if it is your money page or a page you send people to for a purchase of some sort.
Images are the biggest culprit of a poor page speed. I have seen at times when I create a post and then check it in my Pagespeed Insights and it is loading slowly. So I run the check to see why and bingo Image optimization pops up again as the main problem. So now I optimize every image before I load it to my page. I have a few tools that I have found to work well for use
Below is a shot of my page speeds using the PageSpeed Insights tool that I use. This is after fixing many images that held the speed in the 60s and 70s, I ran this the day this post was launched, that’s why it says “today” in the scanned column. Normally it displays a date of the last time you ran the scan
I have one below I still need to work on a bit more to get that 81 into the green but This is very valuable information that helps my website visitors have a good experience. There are several factors that can hinder page speeds including the router of the person searching for the page.
So if my pages load slowly it may be your router. But this is what Google has me listed at and that is what keeps my ranking and my site performing well.
Tools Of Choice
I use a few tools that are free for Optimization.
TinyJpg A nice free tool that allows you to drag and drop images that are instantly optimized. They have a pro version but you don’t need it for optimization. This is my go-to optimizer. You simply drop a picture in and it is optimized then download and use it.
I have TinyJpg saved in my browser tabs, so I just drag every image I load to my site through this tool. I have seen over 70% difference in file sizes. My site speed has increased since I started using this tool a few months ago.
Kraken.io Another nice tool, which also has paid plans in case you need it. Free drag and drop image optimizer
Obviously, there are more optimizers out there, but these are what I use for Free. It comes down to personal preference when you find one you like. But I highly recommend adding a go-to tool to your arsenal.
Site Content- I use this tool as my main editor for my website- It contains over 1 Million Royalty Free images already optimized for website speed. It is a proprietary tool of Wealthy Affiliate and is available to all members
I also have the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin on my WordPress dashboard, which helps keep stuff optimized on my behind the scenes functions.
There are several plugins that perform this same action. However, I have found that most of the plugins are fairly limited in what they actually do. That’s why I use the ones listed above in addition to my plugin.
So as you have read, Image optimization should be one of the most important factors you care about for your online business. The simple fact that fixing some images can make a huge difference is proof enough.
Making a page speed scan part of your regular routine is a good idea as well if you don’t have the tool that I use above also called PageSpeed insights, You can go directly to google and use it that way.
Here is the link to Google PageSpeed Insights Input your website URL and hit analyze and see what happens for your website. The report it generates will tell you what you need to fix.
So before you go out and load up a bunch of images on your blog or website, please consider what it will do to your site. Of course, you can load many pictures, but if your load them without optimizing your won’t get many visitors to your page.
Has this helped you understand how this can help your blog or website? what are your favorite optimization tools paid or not, Let’s talk about it? Feel free to comment or share this post if it provided value for you
Have a great day