It has been said that an image can speak a thousand words, and in the fast pace of the online market, nothing is more valuable than this.
Despite all of the benefits they can bring, did you know that your images could also be impacting the SEO of your website?
Search engine optimization is focused on the traffic your website brings in as well as how many of these visitors become customers. There is a lot of work that goes into SEO, and images on Shopify are also a part of this.
Not only are the kind of images you use for your store important, as they can provide a first impression and draw customers in, but everything about these files can impact the way your website operates. From image quality to image file format can impact your website and how it performs in search engines, so need to be considered.
While this is not something many website owners may have realised, image optimisation is our job here at the agency and a large part of what we offer. As SEO experts, we work on all aspects of your website to ensure it performs well in search results and has specific experience with Shopify.
Our team can help with optimizing images and improving website speed, ensuring your website not only looks good but performs well in terms of traffic. After all, running an online store takes a lot of work, and you want this to be noticed by the right people.
For more help with Shopify image optimization, please contact us today.
We can provide a free no obligation quote for all our services and work with all kinds of businesses.
What is image optimization?
Image optimization is the process of modifying the images used on a website so they load faster and therefore are easily understood by internet bots.
One of the biggest factors of SEO is site speed, and this can be seriously impacted by the image quality and file size on web pages. As an online store would not be complete without product images, image optimization techniques are vital as they allow you to present your products in the best way without interfering with SEO.
Several main factors can come into play for Shopify image optimization, with the main culprits being image quality and file size. All the product images and decorative images on your site must be high-resolution images, as this ensures they can be seen on any screen size.
However, high-quality images typically have a large file size which can limit page speed.
Not only is a slow loading speed annoying for customers, but page speed is a factor of SEO and can therefore impact how your website ranks in search engines.
Google uses the loading speed of a website to determine how reliable of a source it is and, therefore, where it should be ranked. As image size can affect this, there is a whole category of techniques known as image SEO that you can work on to ensure your website looks good and works well.
Instead of compromising on your ecommerce images, there are image SEO techniques that can be used to improve page speed and ranking in search engines.
As a leading SEO agency, we can provide Shopify image optimization tips and support to help your website perform at its best.
Contact us today for your free no obligation quote.
Why is image compression important?
Image compression is the process used to reduce the file size of any image without resizing the image itself. This is a way of ensuring the image files on your website continue to be high quality without causing a slow page speed and reduced SEO.
There are two forms of image compression:
This form of image compression results in a smaller file size by removing data. By removing data from the file, you will lose image quality, but it should not be overly noticeable when done well.
However, a major downside to this kind of image compression is the fact it cannot be reversed. If you are going to use this to reduce the file size, make sure to keep copies of all original image files, just in case.
With lossless compression, the file size will be reduced without affecting any aspect of the format and quality. However, as it does not impact the quality, you will usually still end up with a large image file size with lossless compressed images.
This is because there is not a lot that can be done to images without deleting some of the data, but you can preserve the quality of your images this way.
With both kinds of image compression, you can significantly reduce the image file size and therefore increase the loading speed of your website.
This will be especially useful on websites that have a lot of images, no matter what process you choose for compressing images.
Different image formats
There are multiple file formats for images on Shopify, and you will need to understand these to determine what is the best option for image optimization.
You can determine what kind of file you are working with by looking at the image file names, as these usually contain one of the following:
This is a lossy compression file format that does not always create high-quality images. There are still benefits to using JPEG images, such as the fact they have smaller file sizes than other formats like PNG for example and therefore work better for page load speed.
It is not possible to have transparent backgrounds in the JPEG format, which is something to consider when looking for background images or decorative images for your website.
Simplistic images are best done using JPEG, and this is usually the default mode whenever you save images, such as from Google Image search results.
This is a lossless compression format that is ideal for transparent images and higher-resolution images on the website. PNG files are great for important aspects of the website, such as collection images and logos, but they do have a much larger image size than JPEGs.
As we know, large file sizes can impact the loading speed of your website, which is why those in PNG format should not be overused.
This is a new format and perhaps the best image format for all kinds of websites. This was developed by Google images and provides smaller file sizes in both forms of image compression, as well as being high quality.
Like PNG, these kinds of images can have transparent images but are around 25% smaller than this kind of file, making them ideal for all kinds of images, from product images to decorative images across your website.
You need to determine the right image format for your website and page load speed, as this can influence multiple areas of your work. Before you upload images to your site, make sure you understand what the file format is and how this affects image size and quality.
With this information, you can work towards better image optimization and provide the best page load speed with an attractive website.
As a leading SEO agency, we offer all forms of support, including image optimization. With the years of experience we have in SEO, we can help your website increase in search engine rankings and consider all factors like image size.
If you do not know where to go when it comes to optimizing your website, then we can help.
To work with us, please contact the team. We can provide a free no obligation quote to all customers and offer a great service.
Shopify Image Sizing
We have spoken a lot about the size of the file, but this is not the only thing that can impact page load speed. The file size does have a lot to do with it, but so does the literal image size – as in how it appears on your website and how much of the page it takes over.
If you have an image that is too big for the page, then you are using unnecessary data to load this page and to make the image appear. In most cases, the page will have to shrink anyway to fit the screen of your customers, and large images will appear blurry.
This is why Shopify has limits on the image sizes it will support. The maximum image size for all Shopify sites is 4472 x 4472 pixels, which translates to a 20 MB file size. While this is the maximum supported by Shopify, it is not recommended to be used on any site because of the way it translates onto the screen and impacts loading speed.
Shopify recommends site owners use product images of 2048 x 2048 pixels, but this is not a hard and fast rule as it can vary based on your site theme.
As you can see from even the Shopify recommendations, the size of the image on your website will impact the loading speed and quality of the page.
When considering image optimization, you not only want to focus on the file type or size of product images but also the image size itself when it is on the website. There are various aspects of image optimization that you need to consider for the best results, and this can take a lot of work to get right.
This is why a lot of people work with an SEO agency like ours to optimize their website and perform better in search engine results.
To learn more or request a free no obligation quote, please contact us today.
5 Image Optimization Tools
If you want to optimize your images, Shopify has some tools that you can download to make this process easier.
As we have mentioned, there is a lot of work that goes into image optimization, but with these apps, the process can be simplified, and you will find it easier to reduce file sizes across your entire website.
With our experience, these are the top image optimization tools available through Shopify and should be considered for better SEO:
1. Crush. pics
This app offers advanced image compression of two levels or manual adjustment of file sizes. Once you download the app, it offers full automation and can even provide alt text tag renaming for better SEO.
The original image will be stored for 30 days, allowing you to have a backup of everything on your site, and it works with all forms of images, not just product images. As well as offering automated optimization, you can also manually optimize images using this tool.
This is a great tool for automatic image optimization and image resizing. This app can be used to edit alt text tags on all image files and filenames for better SEO across the board.
You can also optimize the metadata and alt attributes of all image file formats using this app.
With this app, there is an automatic image optimization format that can provide both lossy and lossless image compression. There are also options for the optimization of alt attributes like alt text tags and file names, as well as an image format conversion for PNG to JPEg images.
There is a 30-day backup for all images and an automatic IPTC information preservation, which includes the ICC colour profile, date, copyright, and geotags, amongst others.
4. AVADA SEO: Image Optimizer
This is a simple image compression tool that can be used to reduce file size and image dimensions on your Shopify store. It also supports the optimization of alt text as well as offers more SEO tools that apply to other aspects of the website, not just image SEO.
5. SEO Optimizer
This is a great tool for all aspects of SEO on Shopify, and it can be used for images as well.
In terms of image optimizing, this tool can compress the file size and provide optimized alt attributes like alt text tags on all files.
Optimizing your images for SEO
Images can impact your search performance in multiple ways. While the loading speed is one of the main factors in Google search rankings, this is not the only way your product or blog images will impact your SEO.
There are two other factors you should consider when it comes to using images on your website:
Every image across your Shopify store will have a file name, and while this may not be shown on the website, it can be viewed by search engines.
From thumbnail images to larger Shopify slideshow images, each photo you upload to your website will have a default file name which is usually a combination of the file format and numbers to show the date. This does not tell search engines anything about the image and, therefore, cannot be used to provide relevancy to any search.
This is why you should retain any image before uploading it to your Shopify store. Ensuring you use keywords related to the image is vital, as this means it can be used for SEO and provide better results for your audience.
It is possible to overoptimize your image, which is why only the main keywords should be used. As SEO experts, we know what Google and other search engines are looking for and can help you optimize your images for better results.
Image alt text and title
The alt attributes of each image are just as important as the file name because this can also be seen by the search engine robots. This refers to the alternative text within any image’s metadata and shows robots what the image is should there be issues with loading it.
Alt attributes like this are also very useful for visually impaired internet users, which is why you should aim to include some detail here. With some detail, even just a few colours, will increase your page-level coverage across search engines and makes your Shopify store more accessible to all users.
The same rules apply to the image title, which is different from the image file name. While the image file name is not seen by customers, the image title can be seen when they hover over the image. Including some detail here can make your website more accessible while also contributing to better SEO.
For more SEO tips and support, please contact the team today. We can provide a free no obligation quote to all customers.
How to optimize images for the web
As SEO experts, we know that some rules remain the same no matter what kind of website you are running.
When it comes to image optimization, there are some things you should always do before adding anything to your website to ensure great SEO and a great user experience.
1. Resize your images to be the size they’ll be shown on your website
The image size is vital because this will change based on the browser being used to view your website. This is why it is best to avoid large images, which will shrink and reduce in quality whenever your website is accessed and instead, make sure there is a good balance of background, image, and text on every page.
2. Choose the right file format
As we have mentioned, there are multiple file formats for you to consider, and most websites use a combination to provide the best results. The three main categories for you to consider on Shopify are:
- JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
- GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Each of these will offer a different image size and, therefore, page load speed, as well as image quality.
3. Compress images to smaller file sizes
Before uploading any image to your site, you should compress it for a smaller file size. There are two ways of doing this, based on the final result you are looking for, and will significantly impact page load speed.
4. Name your images descriptively
All images, from product images to image pop-ups, should have an understandable description.
This not only contributes to better SEO but also makes your website accessible to all kinds of internet users.
5. Optimise your image alt attributes
As there are a lot of ways to optimize your images that you can see, a lot of people forget the alt attributes, such as alt text. However, these are just as important as file name and image description in terms of SEO and should not be ignored.
These can also be used to describe the image and make it easier for search engines to find what you offer.
6. Use image sitemaps
If you want your website to be found through Google Image searches as well as on the standard search, then you will need to submit them to image sitemaps.
As a leading SEO agency, this is something we can help with and ensure your website is noticed in all relevant searches. Contact us today for more information.
7. Lazy load images
This is a great way to increase page loading speed and ensure that all images on your site will load faster. You will need to stop all images loading on the initial page load and instead delay them until they become visible.
This can be done using the coding of most Shopify themes, and our team can help.
Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Shopify optimize images?
There are standard optimization processes for all file formats on Shopify, but this usually does not offer the best results. Instead, an app or additional work is required.
Why are my images blurry on Shopify?
Your image may be blurry because Shopify has stripped the colour profile in compression before uploading it. This is an automatic process that can be prevented by modifying the size and resolution of the images used on your website.
There are specific web formats for images that can be used to ensure the best quality.
What size should Shopify images be?
Shopify recommends a maximum of 2048 x 2048 pixels for square images on the site, but this can vary based on your theme. In most cases, no more than 1024 x 1024 pixels is ideal.
How do I reduce the size of an image in Shopify?
You can resize images using the Shopify image editor, which can be accessed through your Shopify admin profile.
Does Shopify have an image sitemap?
There is an image sitemap for the main product page on your Shopify store, but anything else will need to be done using an additional sitemap app or tool.
Image optimization is a vital aspect of SEO that most people forget.
As a leading SEO agency, we help Shopify businesses reach a wide audience and gain more online traffic by optimizing all aspects of their content. Image SEO is a great tool for better search engine ranking, and we provide a range of services for our clients.
To learn more or request a free quote, contact us today.