How to Optimize Images to Their Peak Potential

It is important to optimize images that you place in your blog. This included any images in line with your blog text, the WordPress “featured image”, as well as logos and header images.

We can do this manually, and I will be explaining the best practices for you to understand what we’re are trying to achieve. Then I’ll be giving you plugins that will help simplify this task in an automated way.

Steps to Optimize Images:

1. Re-size to Decrease Load Time:

This will help ease the burden on the visitor by not making their browser download a ton of information. The faster your page is loaded the more likely your visitors will check out another page.

optimize imagesThere are many times where I find an article that I think will answer a question I have. After clicking the link I sit, and sit, and sit. Honest it’s quite annoying and a waste of time. I will most likely not click another link since I don’t want to wait that long again. Also, if the page load time is to long I may just close the tab or window and not even see the site.

To do this simply open up an image editor program. I use GIMP because it’s free and does just about everything that Photoshop can. If you have Photoshop experience the terminology and where filters are located will be a little different but you’ll catch on very quickly.

If you have never used Photoshop, don’t worry, here are the steps to re-size your huge images.

Click Image on the tool bar, then Scale. After this, you can changed one dimension and the other will auto adjust. If it does not make sure the link the the right of the numbers is not broken. If the link is broke simply click the link to fix and try again. For an in-depth look at the process head over to GIMP’s Tutorial on the subject.

Plugin to Optimize Images: EWWW Image Optimizer

Ok, so that is just something else we need to do while creating out content. Luckily there is a great plugin that will re-size our images for us into web friendly versions. I’ve mentioned this and the following plugin in the post 7 Superior Plugins to Simplify Your Growth. The images will look just as good with a smaller file size so it’s a win/win.

EWWW Image Optimizer is a free WordPress plugin. Super easy to use as well! After installing the plugin hover over ‘media’ on your left hand tool bar and click ‘bulk optimize’. This only needs to be done once upon installing the plugin in order to get your past images optimized.

Once the bulk optimization is complete any new images you upload to WordPress will automatically be optimized by this plugin. So simple! I’ll never do without it because it saves so much time.

2. Optimize Images for SEO

This is important for getting your images to show for image searches. We have the ability to add keywords to our images to help increase our chances of showing up in those image searches. With some simple HTML, we can better our image SEO. Here’s how to accomplish the task.

optimize imagesWhen adding an image the HTML tag is <img src=”imagefilehere.png”>. We can add more to this including, titles, alternate text, and styling requirements. For our purposes we are going to focus on the alternative text.

WordPress adds a title automatically based on the file name of the image. This however is not needed since it will not help optimize your SEO but keep in mind it will not hurt it either so keeping it is up to you.

To add alternative text to your image with HTML simple add alt=”keywords here”. Replace keywords here with your actual keywords. If you are using WordPress, as I’m sure you are, all you have to do is add your keywords to the box on the right after uploading your image. The box is titled Alt Text.

Plugin to Optimize Images: SEO Friendly Images

Again we have a plugin that will check all this for us. SEO Friendly Images will make sure you alternative text is filled out with they keyword you are focused on within your writing. As well as the title. This is due to legacy code I believe, but it won’t hurt your SEO so it’s not a big deal.

I still do the manual work within WordPress simply because I like to know what I’m working with. Also if for some reason the plugin stops working or stops being developed i won’t have to go back and spend hours on all the photos to make sure they have alternative texts set.

Of course, it’s up to you how you want to go about using the plugin. I use it for the off chance that I forget to add a good alternative text to the image. It’s always good to save something to fall back on.

What’s your favorite plugin to optimize images for you blog?

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