Shopify is one of the most robust eCommerce platforms you can find for your business. It is fast and has many in-built capabilities to run your eCommerce business successfully. But like David brought down Goliath, a simple absence of Shopify image optimization can also bring down your robust Shopify store.
Many organizations need to be more accurate in assessing the significance of image optimization in SEO. Making this mistake can have severe effects on your eCommerce business. Today, we will explain everything you need about Shopify image optimization. We will also explain how you can use it to improve your SEO ranking and effectively boost your engagements and sales.
What is Image Optimization?
Image optimization in SEO involves optimizing the file size of the images you use in your Shopify website and landing pages for the best page load time. In most cases, the process involves reducing the file size of the image so that it does not compromise the image quality.
In other words, image optimization in SEO ensures the best usable size for images without compromising page load speed. The image size can also have a significant impact on your Google rank. It applies to your decorative pictures and product images on your website.
Image optimization ensures a memorable and seamless user experience on your Shopify website. According to the data from Google, the bounce rate increases by 32% if the website loads increase from 1 second to 3.
And if the load time increases from one second to five, the bounce rate can go up by 90%, and you don’t want that. Image optimization is an excellent way to avoid this challenge and ensure that your users have a seamless experience on your Shopify website.
How Do Images Affect Your Sales and Conversions?
The most significant reason why companies want to use high-quality images on their website is to earn the customer’s trust. Customers often perceive a website with only low-quality product pictures as sketchy.
Moreover, most customers tend to associate the image quality of a website with the product. In other words, providing excellent images throughout your website enables you to generate trust and even enhance brand loyalty.
A whopping 93% of consumers consider your website’s visual appearance and aesthetics before purchasing. As you can imagine, consumers will only spend their money on websites that don’t look sketchy or that they can trust.
And when you earn consumer trust, it becomes significantly easier to sell to them or complete a desired action. As a result, Shopify image optimization helps you generate more sales and conversions for your online business.
Why Do We Optimize Images?
Better Page Speed
The most significant reason to optimize your website images for your Shopify store is to ensure faster page speed. Even though Shopify offers a robust eCommerce platform using large and unoptimized images can slow it down.
As we stated above, page speed can significantly impact your online store’s bounce rate. One of the best ways to avoid bounce rates due to slow page speed is image optimization. It ensures your users do not have to wait for your website to load and provides a seamless buying journey.
Enhance User Experience
A slow-loading website is bound to impact the user experience negatively. The consumer will not wait around indefinitely till your website loads up. With so many options in the eCommerce market, the consumer will not think twice before navigating away from your store.
You must ensure image optimization to avoid this from happening to your Shopify store. Besides boosting page speed, image optimization makes your Shopify store look professional and aesthetic.
Optimize Your Shopify Store for SEO
One of the primary reasons to optimize the images in your Shopify store is to ensure a high SEO ranking. Image optimization ensures that your Shopify store shows up on Google image searches and can also be rewarding for your overall Shopify SEO efforts.
Page speed is one of the most significant factors Google’s algorithm considers while ranking websites. Image optimization helps you avoid penalties for your SEO ranking. Not just Google, every search engine considers page speed a critical criterion for SEO ranking.
Benefits of Shopify Image Optimization
Boost Website Speed
The most significant benefit of Shopify image optimization is its ability to boost your website speed. It enables your web and mobile pages to load faster and provides a better user experience to your customers. A delay of just two seconds in loading your online store can significantly increase your bounce rate and cost you valuable sales.
It is also worth noting that Google considers site speed as one of the primary signals it uses to rank pages. Some sources suggest that Google may use the “Time to First Byte” when it assesses page speed. So, it is only best that you ensure Shopify image optimization to ensure that it does not affect your Google ranking negatively.
Ensure a Better Shopping Experience
Another significant benefit of Shopify image optimization is that your customers can get a better browsing experience. Web browsers, in general, do not like slow-loading websites and often navigate away from sites. Image optimization ensures this does not happen to your website. Instant loading of your Shopify store makes the browsing experience better for your customers.
As you can imagine, pages that take too much time to load have a higher bounce rate. And every single second counts in this case. Everything happens so fast that the time it takes for the user to notice slow loading and going to a different site happens in mere seconds. Image optimization ensures such a situation never occurs due to the slow loading of images.
Enhanced Search Performance
Shopify image optimization helps users and search engines better understand your online store. It means your website is quick to get attention online. That’s not all. 32% of Google searches return images as results. It is an excellent opportunity to get your brand the attention it deserves from the target audience.
Besides that, visual search is gaining more and more popularity every day. Google went so far as to build a unique search function that allows the user to combine text and images into a single query. The impact of an image is undeniable in Google searches. With Shopify image optimization, you can get the best search performance for your brand.
Tips to Optimize Images on Shopify for SEO
Shopify image optimization is simple if you have a general idea of what you are doing. However, if you are entirely new to SEO and image optimization, you would be best off with some help from a reliable SEO expert like Rainmaker.UNO.
Suppose you wish to avoid involving an SEO expert or want to understand Shopify image optimization better. In that case, the following tips can help you.
1. Always use Clear and Concise Names for Your Images.
The best and most straightforward way to start Shopify image optimization for your business is the image name. Instead of taking the easy way and using the default file name for your images, try including the relevant keywords. Doing so can benefit your SEO efforts and help your Shopify store rank higher on search engine results.
Always make sure that you use a keyword-rich name for your image files. Ideally, the image should be descriptive enough for the reader and search engines to understand what the image is about without looking at it. For example, instead of using a random name like “DCIM64209” for a pair of shoes, use “2023-steve-madden-white-shoes-men”.
2. Carefully Optimize Your Alt Attributes
Did you ever notice that when a website or browser fails to load images, it displays text as an alternative? This text is called alt attributes, and you can use them for web accessibility. It is the exact text that you see when you hover the mouse pointer over the images on a web page after it finishes loading up.
Optimizing your alt attributes call also adds value to your SEO efforts. By adding relevant keywords to the alt attribute on your Shopify store, you can improve your search engine ranking. Adding appropriate alt attributes is also the most effective way to ensure that your images appear in the Google image and web search results.
Use plain and simple language for the alt attributes similar to the image name. You can add the product’s model or serial number to the alt attribute. Although you should use keywords in them, ensure you don’t stuff them. Finally, ensure you don’t use alt attributes on irrelevant or decorative images, as the search engine can penalize your site for that.
3. Carefully Choose the Image Dimensions and Angles
Choosing the correct dimensions and angles for your website images is also an essential part of Shopify image optimization. Make sure to upload pictures of your product from different angles so the customer can get a better look and feel. If the product has noticeable features, make sure to include images of the interior, too—for example, the interior of a car.
You must also ensure that the additional images you use have relevant alt attributes. The ideal practice is to add descriptions, such as “interior,” to the base or primary alt attribute. You can use large images for your website if it does not affect the load time. In other words, use the largest size possible without increasing the load time by half a second.
4. Resize Your Shopify Website Images
As we explained, large-size images can slow down your page load speed and negatively impact user experience. The best thing about Shopify’s eCommerce platform is that the Shopify theme resizes or compresses the image.
Nonetheless, you must still be careful about the image size. Several advanced tools available online can help you with image resizing and editing. Some tools you can consider for image editing are Adobe, PicMonkey, Canva, PIXLR, and GIMP.
Pro Tip: Make sure the images you use on your eCommerce store have a file size lower than 70 kilobytes.
5. Choose a Suitable Format for Your Images
There are three standard image formats that you can use in your Shopify store: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Among these, JPEG is the standard format for web images as it has high compressibility without badly losing image quality. GIF images have relatively lower quality and support animation. It is best for decorative pictures or icons.
PNG images are fast gaining popularity as an efficient substitute for GIFs. It supports numerous colors compared to GIFs and does not lose quality with re-saves like JPEG images. However, it has a larger image size than JPEG. Hence, JPEG is the best choice of image format in most cases. Ensure you never use GIFs as product images, but PNGs can work as alternatives.
6. Optimize the Thumbnail Images
Using thumbnail images is an efficient way to showcase your products without wasting too much space. But if you leave them unchecked, they can become a harmful parasite slowing down your online store. eCommerce store owners must ensure that the thumbnails they use do not interfere with the fast loading of their category pages.
Fortunately, Shopify merchants get image optimization directly from the platform. If that does not work, Rainmaker.UNO can help you by minimizing thumbnail images and varying your alt attribute text. Our experts ensure every aspect of your SEO, including thumbnail optimization, to ensure fast-loading web pages.
7. Make Good Use Of Image Sitemaps
Image sitemaps are an excellent way to ensure Google notices your website images. Google’s image crawlers can only go through your website media images if they are specifically called out in the source code of the webpage. The image sitemap alerts crawlers about unidentified pictures, and you can submit the sitemap directly to Google via Search Console.
You can use Google sitemaps to provide valuable data on your website’s images. However, using sitemaps does not guarantee indexing from Google, but it turns the odds in your favor. You can get valuable suggestions for formatting your image sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. Besides that, you must also add relevant tags to your images.
8. Be Extra Careful With Decorative Images
Often Shopify store owners get preoccupied with optimizing the product images and need a reminder to optimize decorative photos. The decorative pictures in your Shopify store include the following.
- Background images
- And any other non-product-related pictures.
When you group all the decorative images, their combined space on your Shopify store can be considerably ample. So, ensure that you optimize the decorative photos every time there is an update to your Shopify store. Ideally, you should use PNG-8 or GIFs for borders and simple patterns and use CSS for creating simple colored areas instead of using images.
9. Be Mindful With Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
Shopify stores offer robust content delivery options and optimization capabilities that you typically don’t have to worry about CDNs. Adding backlinks can be a problem with standard CDNs because the link in the image goes directly to the CDN domain.
This problem is unlikely to arise in Shopify stores because of their inbuilt capabilities. Use a CDN if only your business requires it. For example, a company that consistently deals with high-volume transactions can benefit from CDN.
10. Make it a Point to Test Your Website Images
Your Shopify image optimization process is complete and conclusive if or when you test the numbers. Start with checking the number of images per page. Reducing the number of images per page can help with non-hosted websites’ performance and boost your click-through rates. But in some cases, increasing the number of images per page can improve user experience.
The only way to tell whether the approach you take is working is by testing. You can also test which image angles the customer prefers the most for viewing your products. Consider surveying your customers to find out the necessary data for the test. Shopify also offers valuable insights that can help you test your Shopify store.
Top Shopify Apps for Image SEO
One of the best Shopify image optimization apps you can use for your business is AVADA SEO. It is a top-rated app in the Shopify app store with a 4.9 rating. AVADA SEO can significantly save the time and money you spend on Shopify image optimization.
The Shopify app provides an automated alt tag for the numerous images on your website, including the product page, collection page, and even blog posts. Besides that, the app offers high-quality compression of images, advanced metrics tracking, and much more.
Another Shopify image optimization app to consider for your online store is TinyIMG SEO. It is a full-speed image optimization solution. The app can automatically optimize your images and upload them to the store for you. Automated image optimization is another attractive aspect of this Shopify app.
You even have the option to restore the optimized images to their original format or manually optimize the image size. Besides that, you can use the Shopify app for image resizing and fix issues with technical SEO and page loading speed. You even get live support and broken link redirection with this Shopify app.
It is a free Shopify app with many attractive image optimization features and capabilities. The Shopify app has an advanced JPEG compression capability that dynamically decreases the image size and speeds up your website.
Another attractive aspect of the Image Optimizer app is that it can automatically set the alt text using nothing but image templates. Moreover, the solution can compress and optimize your existing and new images automatically.
Minifier SEO Image Optimizer
One of the most significant advantages of using Minifier SEO Image Optimizer is its ability to enhance store visibility. The Shopify app can create alt-labels and image titles that improve your SEO results.
Besides that, you can use the Shopify app to compress images efficiently and ensure a memorable user experience. Minifier SEO Image Optimizer accomplishes this by optimizing a broad range of image formats.
It is one of the most famous image optimization solutions on the web today. TinyPNG uses the lossy compression method to effectively minimize the image size for your images, including animated images.
The image optimizer solution offers an API that allows you to resize your thumbnail images automatically. TinyPNG also can remove irrelevant aspects of your store and add attractive backgrounds.
How do Images Affect Your Website's SEO?
Final Note - Connect With Our SEO Experts for Shopify Image Optimization
As you can see, there are many ways Shopify image optimization can improve your SEO ranking. But it is practically impossible for an individual to keep track of all these elements. It is why you need an SEO expert like Rainmaker.UNO to take care of your Shopify image optimization to improve your SEO ranking.
Every eCommerce store has numerous products and multiple images for those products. Imagine the trouble you have changing the name of every image and realizing them to the optimal size. The task becomes even more complex if you regularly post blogs with images.
The best approach you can take here is to hire an SEO expert like Rainmaker.UNO to take care of the Shopify image optimization. Our experts will analyze your Shopify store in-depth and assess its image optimization needs. We will then conduct a holistic Shopify image optimization to improve your SEO rankings.