SEO Image Optimization - ensure the right image file size and format for SEO

  • Last updated on December 29, 2022

  • Did you know that the right image optimization is of the utmost importance to improve your SEO performance? In this article, I will explain to you the essence of proper image format and compression for the best SEO image optimization.

  • SEO and images

    In case you are not aware of the relevance of the image SEO best practices, let me picture you it this way: half of a users’ Google searches end up on the first page of the search results. What I mean by this are users who don’t even click on the search results that appear on the first page of search results. When using a search engine, users want answers to their query immediately. And ideally, they should also be able to see the answers to their questions. Unfortunately, digital consumers tend to be rather impatient, so as a consequence, you should give them what they want in the shortest time possible.

    We live in a fast society and must adapt to the prevailing requirements. If we don’t give the user what they are looking for at a particular moment, we can almost certainly lose their interest. Such a user will definitely not be paging through search result pages to finally get to the 15th page of Google search results. We all live in a hurry and time is gold, right?

    In an effort to improve your site’s SEO performance, you better keep in mind that Google search engine takes images into account just as much as the wording present on your site.

    In other words: images are recognized as an extra content source and will help you to increase your SERP rankings – if optimized correctly.

    If you’ve come across this article, I’m assuming you’re looking for information on how to optimize images for SEO. We will focus on matters such as choosing the right SEO image format and SEO image file size.

    Spoiler alert: in the final paragraph you will find information about a SEO image optimizer online that will help you compress images and convert the image format to WebP and AVIF formats. With this plugin, you will certainly improve your SERP rankings having SEO image optimization refined to the highest standards.

    Best image format for SEO

    We will start with the first significant issue – the best image format for SEO. I will not beat around the bush: among all the available image formats, two deserve special attention: WebP and AVIF. Forget about file formats PNG or JPG – these two belong to the past already. The new modern formats offer all the essentials you will need for Google image optimization.

    JPEG vs. WebP image size and quality differences.

    WebP: SEO friendly image format

    My personal favorite. If you’re unfamiliar with this format, hop on over to the article, where I have listed some benefits of it.

    Converting images to WebP for SEO is one of the means to improve your site speed, user experience and image quality. You’ll have faster loading times for your site if you use smaller, yet similar quality images. At the same time, your visitors will have an even better experience viewing them, as your images, and hence – your page will load faster!

    What is more, not only the user will appreciate the images’ reduced loading time. Google’s algorithm gives preference to pages with faster loading times, which means that by reducing it on your page, you increase your chances of improving your organic search results. According to Google, website speed and page speed are among the factors that influence a page’s ranking. Google is able to crawl more pages if the pages load faster. As simple as that!

    AVIF: Go one step beyond

    If you thought that nothing beats WebP format in terms of SEO friendly image format, you were wrong. Meet AVIF – the king of all image formats.

    While WebP is a first step to eliminate the dominance of JPEG and PNG, AVIF has all the potential to become the imaging standard of the next decade. Read this article where I have compared AVIF and WebP format to learn about further differences between those two SEO friendly image formats.

    AVIF’s efficiency is superior in all tests to JPEG, but also each time more to WebP. Images in AVIF format have compression and quality characteristics at a higher level than WebP, which is an amazing feat. AVIF-optimized images have higher quality, faster loading times and much smaller sizes than those in WebP format.

    Keep in mind that an acceptable threshold for page load time is a maximum of 3 seconds. As long as the images on your site are not optimized to the best image format for seo, you can be almost certain that your page abandonment rate will increase.

    SEO image size

    Size matters, doesn’t it? In this case, size really does matter – the smaller, the better!

    In order for images to be noticed by the search engine algorithm (most often it is Google), their size must be as small as possible and their quality as high as possible.

    I frequently say that a site that has plenty of images will always be more engaging to the user than a site that only has only plain text content. This is actually the case if the images on this page are well optimized, and thus if their size is compressed properly! What we most see on websites are not optimized JPG images, which notably slow the website down and worsen the user experience. Of course, unoptimized images in large sizes don’t improve your SEO performance either.

    The newer image formats I have told you about before, promise a size reduction of up to 50% (in relation to the original file size in JPG) and more flexibility. Chapeau bas!

    How do I implement AVIF or WebP on my site?

    If you’re using WordPress as your CMS, the fast and easy option is to get an image optimization plugin that supports WebP or AVIF. Ideally, opt for a plugin that optimizes images to both formats. Your choice in this case will be Converter for Media plugin.

    This short video will quickly show you how this SEO image optimizer works. Remember, this plugin will help your site’s SEO performance skyrocket in no time so you better pay attention to it.

    The free version offers unlimited conversion of image files to WebP format. This is a great advantage – to be specific, there are not many plugins out there that offer conversion to this file format completely for free.

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  • Conversion of image files to AVIF format, on the other hand, is available in Converter for Media PRO, which is the premium version of the same plugin. The price of the plugin is competitive, with pricing plans starting as low as $50 per year – the price for as many as 120,000 separate image optimization processes. In conclusion, I think you have nothing to think about. Take this Google image optimization plugin for a test ride and try it yourself. Try the free version for converting images to WebP format to start with. It doesn’t cost you anything and it can bring great results.

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