You put your heart and soul into designing a beautiful website. You have colorful images. Your text is perfect. The right tone, the right words, the right amount of description. You carefully perfect each blog post. But your analytics show your bounce rate is high and your user engagement is low.
Why? You wonder.
There are two possible reasons. Your site layout – your navigation – may not be intuitive. The second reason could be your page load time. When people visit your site, they have to wait.
And they decide the wait isn’t worth it.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about one possible culprit for slow load times: image sizes. It is a simple problem that is easy to fix.
We have so many factors to consider when building a website. Content. Layout. Overall look and feel. Which images to use. The amount of time available to pull the site together. These are just a few.
It is tempting to cut corners. When it comes to image optimization, don’t cut that corner. Image optimization is so important if you wish to cut bounce rates.
Today, I’m going to walk you through the steps of what you need to do when you use an image and upload it to WordPress.
Second, let’s say you download a photo from Unsplash. The first thing you need to do is resize it.
If you are going to use it as a Featured Image, WordPress recommends 1038x630px for length and width. You can do this in any general image or photo software. Save it.
Change the file name to include keywords. Save it again.
So, from this:
In the latter example, I added the author’s name, the name of the photo archive, and then left the file name and number. You can also add in keywords such as “surfing” or “beach” to the file name to aid in SEO.
Do not keyword stuff in the file title. Just don’t do it.
Third, upload that photo to TinyPNG.com and compress it. Yes, compress the photo before you upload it to WordPress, even when you have an image compression plugin.
Why? You want to make it as small as possible in terms of length, width, and file size before you upload it. This reduces any chance of the image creating a drag on your web pages.
Next, download the photo from TinyPNG, and upload the image to WordPress. Let the plugin compress the file again if needed.
Next, attach it to your post or page. Be sure to add descriptive information to the title and the ALT tag area when you upload it to the media area.
File compression is so simple to do, and it will make a huge difference in a user’s experience on your page.
I’ve seen load speeds reduced by ½ to 2/3 — that is, 9 seconds to load down to 3 seconds — simply by compressing the image by length, width, and file size before uploading.
Last, but not least, is the file extension type. Logos are great; those should be PNG files. But for most other files? Use JPEGS.
If you use PNG files, it will slow down your site and reduce the user experience. Use JPEGs as much as possible.
SEO matters. Get your bounce rates down.
Just do it. Build a great website.
Sometimes you will find large gains from making small changes.
When you pay attention to the little, simple details, like image size, you will see the results in reduced bounce rates and improved online organic rankings.
What small improvements can you make today to improve your website and the user’s experience on your site?