Optimizing Blog Images for Maximum Impact on Social Media and Search | Pepper Content

Optimizing Blog Images for Maximum Impact on Social Media and Search

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 17/08/2113 min read
Optimizing Blog Images for Maximum Impact on Social Media and Search

Table of Contents Introduction Optimize Images for Social Media Optimize Images for SEO Benefits of Formatting Your Image How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality Image Optimization WordPress Plugins You Can Use Best PracticesConclusion Key Takeaways FAQs Images play a great role in making the content look more appealing, attractive, and engaging.… Continue reading Optimizing Blog Images for Maximum Impact on Social Media and Search

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Optimize Images for Social Media
  • Optimize Images for SEO
  • Benefits of Formatting Your Image
  • How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality
  • Image Optimization WordPress Plugins You Can Use
  • Best Practices
    Conclusion
  • Key Takeaways
  • FAQs

Images play a great role in making the content look more appealing, attractive, and engaging. A viewer is more likely to get attracted to an image first than the written text. 

An image is like the face of the blog and also an impressionable factor. Images are as important as content for SEO and make the content more accessible to viewers. 

Image optimization refers to the process whereby you create and produce the best-quality images. These images must have the ideal size, format, and resolution to keep users engaged and entertained.

Optimizing these images is crucial because the search engines get the essential contextual information from them. 

If images are optimized, it also helps in the fast loading of the page, which in turn enhances user engagement and search engine rankings. If you want your brand to succeed with SEO, make sure you are well aware of optimizing your images. Follow these image optimization tips.

Optimize Images for Social Media

Images on social media are the primary factor for engagement because they help put a more effective message across than a simple text. 

It gives an introduction to the main topic of your post or article. It is essential to use social media images innovatively along with the text. 

Facebook

Facebook requires you to follow certain guidelines for images, as follows:

Profile Picture must be 180 x 180 px

Cover Photo must be 850 x 315 px

Ads must be 1200 x 630 px

Desktop News Feed must be 1200 x 628 px

Instagram

Instagram has set the following image guidelines:

Profile Picture must be 400 x 400 px

Portrait Photos must be 1080 x 1350

Landscape Photos must be 1350 x 1080

Instagram Stories must be 1080 x 1920

Pinterest

Pinterest also has some set rules for images, as follows:

Profile Picture must be 400 x 400 pixels

Board Thumbnails must be 51 x 51 px

Board Cover Photo must be 217 x 146 px

Where to get social media images

If you are not using original images for your post or article, you can use some apps to create them. 

Several sites offer images that are free to use, like Flickr, Free Images, Pixabay, Open Clipart, Free Digital Photos, Wiki Commons, Morgue File, etc. 

  • Pixabay: It offers a huge variety of free photos and illustrations. You can use these for commercial use.
  • Open Clipart: It is the best and easy way to get free images. You can use the clipart with other photos and make your social media images look attractive.
  • Morgue File: It offers an excellent collection of free photos that can be used for commercial purposes but with attribution.
  • Unrestricted Stock: It comprises a superb collection of free photos and vector files. These images can be used for commercial use, for free.

Optimize Images for SEO

Image File Names

It is essential to choose the right file name for the SEO page and rank higher in the search engine result pages. The name must be relevant and have descriptive keywords. 

Keep the target keywords at the start, and they must have hyphens between them. 

The file name must not have any underscores as search engines cannot recognize them. The file names must also be sensible to humans and search algorithms. 

File Size

The file size refers to the amount of space required to store the file on the server. If the images have larger dimensions and resolutions, they slow down the page load speed extensively. 

It is essential to reduce the file size without compromising on the quality of the image. An image that loads faster and has a good quality will be liked by SEO as well. 

Alt Tags

Alt tags refer to the alternative text related to an image. The viewer can understand by merely looking at the picture, telling what it is about.

But, the search engines need clues; thus, the alternative text is essential so that the search algorithms can index that image content. 

The alt tag must be good and provide context to help visually challenged viewers too. 

Sometimes, due to a technical glitch, an image can’t get uploaded; in that case,  search engines refer to the alt tags to rank the page. 

To enhance the visibility of the alt tags, it is good to use keywords related to the brand. The details must be a bit more extensive than the file name. 

Image Title

Image titles may not be as essential for SEO, but they do give a little extra information to the alt text. 

These titles boost user engagement. If you are a WordPress user, then the image title is taken from the file name.

But if you do not use WordPress, try to use the best keywords that can explain the image well. It is also better to include a call-to-action button like “Download Now” or “Buy Now”. 

If you have a website, you would want people to find it and engage with it. But for that to happen, you would need to reduce your image’s file size and work on your image optimization techniques to get discovered easily. Fortunately for you, we have prepared a guide on how to do image optimization. We will provide you with sufficient image SEO tips to improve traffic on your website and how to optimize images for the web without losing quality

Benefits of Formatting Your Image

The first and foremost benefit of optimizing your image is that images make up 21% of a total web page’s weight on average. So, if you are trying to optimize your blog, you should consider adding images. Implementing a good image optimization workflow is no big deal. Still, many bloggers overlook this fact when they are working on their blogs. 

As a blogger, you don’t want your visitors to keep waiting for the website to load. They might get tired and move on to something else. Optimizing an image will improve your page’s loading speed. We all know the benefits of SEO and how it helps your site rank higher in search engine results. But if your site has too many large files, they can slow down your site and trust us, and search engines do not like slow sites. So, you have another reason for optimizing your image now. 

Also, Google indexes your images faster for Google image search, which will help build traffic on your website if someone is doing an image search. With optimized images, you will be able to create backups much faster, and smaller image file sizes consume less bandwidth, which networks and browsers appreciate. Lastly, smaller and optimized images will require storage space on your server, but this also depends on how many thumbnails you optimize. 

How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality

Image optimization isn’t too complex, but the key is bringing the image to the smallest file size possible while not compromising on the image quality. Three things that you need to keep in mind when optimizing an image are image file format (JPEG, PNG, GIF), compression (higher compression means smaller file size), and image dimensions (height and width). If you play your cards right and follow our SEO tips for images, you can reduce the image size by up to 80%. 

1. Image File Format

Choosing the correct file format is more important than you might think when optimizing an image. If you are using photos that have a lot of colors, then you should go for PNG. PNG should be your go-to choice if you need a transparent image, and GIFs are animated images.

While the PNG image format is uncompressed (leading to a higher quality image), the downside is that the file sizes will be larger. JPEG is a compressed file format that will not reduce the image quality and provide you with a significantly smaller size. Lastly, GIF only uses 256 colors. With the help of lossless compression, it is the best choice for you if you want to go for animated images.

2. Compression

Compression plays a huge role in image optimization. You must have heard of tools such as GIMP, Affinity Photo, and Photoshop. These tools come up with built-in image compression features that you can use to optimize your photo. However, these tools are manual, so you will have to work on them before uploading your images anywhere. Several automatic plugins will automatically compress your pictures when you upload them. Many beginners and even large corporations use them because of their ease and convenience. You can look up these plugins that go by Optimole, EWWW Image Optimizer, etc. However, depending on the image compression tool you use, you will have to change the settings accordingly.

3. Image Dimensions

You would often notice that when you click a picture on your phone or your camera, it typically has large file dimensions and a very high resolution. Although these high-quality photos are great, if you want to print them or go for desktop publishing, they are not suitable if you’re using them for websites. Fret not, for reducing file dimensions of these images is not a big deal. You can quickly decrease the file size of these images to something more reasonable. You can use image-editing software on your computer or even on your phone to resize these kinds of images.  

Image Optimization WordPress Plugins You Can Use

This section will discuss how to optimize images for a website without compromising on the quality of images. It can be hard to do the grunt work manually, but WordPress makes the job easier for you, so you don’t have to do the formatting or compression manually. We will talk about a few plugins that will automatically optimize images for you and upload them. What’s more, these plugins will optimize those images that you have already uploaded. This feature is beneficial, especially if you host a website that’s filled with images.

At the same time, you mustn’t be relying solely on the plugins. Consider an example here. If you upload 2 MB images to your WordPress media library, your web hosts’ disk space can drain up fast. We believe that the best method to go around is to use a photo editing tool beforehand to resize an image and then upload it, following which you can use one of the plugins that we are going to talk about to reduce the size further. 

1. Imagify Image Optimizer

The plugin comes with an optimization feature in which you can choose between three levels of compression: normal, aggressive, or ultra. What’s more, it provides you with an option for restoration. If you are not feeling happy about the result of the quality, you can click on the restore button and compress the image to the level that matches your requirements. The downside is that you are only entitled to 25MB worth of images per month with a free account, following which you have to upgrade to a premium version. The plugin lives up to its name, though, as you can also get rid of the original images and resize the larger images in no time.


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2. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

This free plugin comes with multiple features that have the potential to become a one-stop-shop solution for all your needs. Starting with the compressor, you will be able to compress 100 images per month. You can compress different types of files, including but not limited to PNG, JPG, GIF, WebP, and PDF files. The plugin will do both lossy and lossless image compression, and it even converts images from CMYK format to RGB. Their process is relatively fast and straightforward: your pictures will be taken into the cloud for processing, and you will get them back to your site, which will replace the originals. Don’t worry, as your original files will not be deleted. There will be a backup of your original files so you can restore them if and whenever you want.


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3. Optimole

Optimole is an entirely cloud-based plugin that will automatically reduce your images and thumbnail size without any work at your end. How cool is that? This is a significant advantage when we talk about your site’s loading speed because it won’t display larger images. In simple words, it shows all the images according to a user’s viewport and browser.

What makes this plugin different is that if a visitor happens to have a slower internet connection, the plugin will downgrade the image quality according to the speed of the internet. Additionally, the plugin will automatically detect the browser that the visitor is using and display the WebP images if they are supported. These features truly make the plugin stand out from the crowd. Optimole is free to use, but you can always upgrade to the premium plan if you feel the need for extra bandwidth and processing space.


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4. Optimus Image Optimizer

This plugin uses lossless compression to optimize your photos. Lossless simply means that there won’t be any loss in the quality of your images. The plugin supports WooCommerce, and if you have large existing media libraries, you can simply use the bulk optimization feature that comes with it. Once again, there is a free and premium version. If you subscribe to the premium version, you have to pay annually and compress as many images as you want. Moreover, if you combine it with the Cache Enabler plugin, you can also dive into WebP images, a new lightweight image format from Google.


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5. WP Smush

WP Smush is different from other plugins. It mitigates the hidden information from images to minimize their size without compromising on the photo’s quality. The plugin scans images and reduces the size as you upload them to your site. It will also scan the images you have already uploaded and help you reduce the size of those. WP Smush is compatible with known media library plugins that you might have heard about, such as WPML and WP All Import. The image optimization is done using lossless compression techniques, so your image quality is high. Additionally, Smush finds your images in whatever directory you have saved them in and then decompresses them. Last but not least, Smush has this amazing feature where you can automatically set the width and height of your images, so all of them are resized to identical proportions.


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6. TinyPNG

With a free TinyPNG account, you can compress up to 100 images per month. TinyPNG lets you optimize your JPG and PNG images and automatically compresses new photos and the existing ones. It can compress JPEG images by up to 60% and PNG images by up to 80% without compromising the image quality. What’s even cooler is that it does not have a file size limit, and it can even convert your images from CMYK to RGB so that you can have more space.


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7. ImageRecycle

ImageRecycle, as the name partly suggests, automatically optimizes your images as well as PDFs. What sets ImageRecyce apart from other plugins is that you can set the minimum file size for compression. If you happen to have an image that is 70 KB in size, you will have an option to exclude it from compression automatically. With this, you can ensure that your images and files are not compressed more than they need to be. The plugin also includes auto image resizing and bulk optimization. Although ImageRecycle provides you with a 15-day free trial, this is a premium service. All the photos are uploaded and compressed using their servers. Their unique charging feature ensures that you don’t pay by the month but by the total number of images that you want to compress, so you don’t spend more than you need to. Their pricing plans start at $10 for 10000 images.

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Serve Images on a CDN

You might think that everything that you surf online happens in an instant. That’s not exactly the case, and it’s not as simple as it seems. Geographical distances matter. The larger the distance between the visitor’s location and your website’s server, the longer the wait. You can solve this latency problem simply by installing a CDN. You don’t have to know what a CDN is to figure out how it works. CDNs store your website on different servers and spread them across the globe. Then they simply connect the visitor to that CDN that is most compatible and geographically closest to them. With CDNs, your latency problem is solved, and your website loads more quickly.

WordPress software treats all images equally. That’s just how their software works – unbiased. But when you think about it, it’s quite an inefficient use of resources, especially if you want to optimize your image in WordPress. If there is an image at the bottom of the page, it won’t be seen until much later than the image that is at the top of the page, and it goes without saying, the first image deserves priority. That’s precisely what lazy loading does. Pictures at the top get prioritized, and images below are only shown when the visitor scrolls down the page. Optimole, the plugin that we talked about above, will help you achieve lazy loading. The best thing about this plugin is that it will offer the user a “low-quality image placeholder feature”, which shows a visitor an intermediate low-quality photo until they scroll further down, and that is when the full-size image is displayed entirely.

Using SVGs

We recommend that you use SVG files alongside other images. SVG or scalable vector graphics are great for icons, text, logos, or even simple images. It’s because they are automatically scalable in both browsers and photo editing tools. Moreover, as we discussed before, Google indexes SVGs in the same way it does JPGs and PNGs, so it is excellent for SEO. Although not always, but more often than not, SVGs are smaller in size than JPGs and PNGs, which helps your site load faster. 

Best Practices

You need to keep in mind some general practices when you are optimizing images for the web. The most important image optimization tip we can offer is that when using a WordPress plugin, use the one that compresses images externally on their servers. It might seem like nothing, but this will significantly reduce the load on your site. Use GIFs, PNGs, and JPGs according to your requirement, i.e., GIFs for animation, PNGs for high detail resolution, and JPGs for general photos and screenshots. 

Try to remove hidden and unnecessary image data and metadata, and always use a CDN that can help your image serve faster to people across the globe who are visiting your website. Experiment with different ways to find the best settings for your photo, and use lossy compression so that your photo doesn’t lose its original quality. Try to make the best use of lazy loading, so the first image, i.e., the top image, always gets prioritized. Lastly, use vector images alongside other images wherever it seems necessary. 

That concludes our tips and recommendations that will for sure help you in image optimization. If you were not following it before, you might feel the need to start it now. There will be a significant difference in your site’s loading, and visitors will be thankful to you for it. Not to mention, faster websites will help you in SEO optimization, which will be better-liked networks and browsers, leading to a rise in search engine rankings. 

Conclusion

In today’s digital age, you cannot take chances with your online image and damage your results. The quality of social media is essential, especially if you want to maintain a good brand image. 

There are no excuses in the world of social media – once you share a low-quality image or post, your image is tarnished. Thus, it is critical to optimize the images that you post across any social media platform. Good quality images augment social media engagement.

You must understand that users tend to respond more to images than to plain text. 

So, to boost your market strategies, image optimization is important and plays a huge role in the success of a post or article.

If you are struggling to get noticed, make sure that your images are optimized, as these will improve the acceptability of your content by both viewers and search engines.

Key Takeaways

  • Images give an introduction to the main topic of your post or article.
  • Images must have the ideal size, format, and resolution to keep users engaged.
  • You can use some apps to create social media images. 
  • It is essential to choose the right file name for an image for the SEO page.
  • Optimizing an image will improve your page’s loading speed. 
  • Compression plays a huge role in image optimization. 
  • Certain plugins will automatically optimize images for you and upload them.

FAQs

1. Why is image optimization important for SEO?

By optimizing your photos, you can give your consumers a better experience and meet their expectations. Image optimization will aid in the ranking of your photographs in Google image searches.

2. Do I need to add alt attributes to my images?

Adding proper alt attributes to your photos on your website that include important keywords will help you rank higher in search engines and perhaps ensure that your e-commerce products appear in Google image and web searches.

3. How can you choose the correct file type to post images on the web?

Here are some tips from the experts to choose the correct file type. GIFs should only be used for thumbnails and decorative pictures. Both JPEGs and GIFS can be replaced with PNGs, instead of PNG-24, consider PNG-8, when it comes to e-commerce. JPEGs are the best option because they offer the best quality for the smallest file size.

4. What are some of the best free image optimization tools for image compression?

Many photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop optimize images. Other online tools like JPEG Optimizer, Optimizilla, Kraken.io, Optimole, etc., deliver excellent results.

5. How long should an SEO image name be?

Keeping it short and precise is the key. Try to keep it within five words or fewer to avoid stuffing and improve your findability on search engines.

6. Does changing image URLs affect SEO?

Changing picture URLs will have a significant impact on how those images rank. Setting up redirects, on the other hand, might help limit the harm. When old image URLs are redirected to new URLs, ranking signals from the old pictures are passed on to the new ones.

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