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There are 5 common mistakes to avoid on your site when it comes to website images. Making these mistakes can significantly slow down your website load time, hurt your SEO, break the law and damage your credibility, so let’s discuss each of these.
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The first common image mistake to avoid on your website is uploading huge images. Having huge images on your site can really slow down your load speed. In our fast-paced world where the average person will only wait about 2 seconds for a site to load before they leave, it’s imperative that you compress your images for the fastest load time possible.
You can compress your images with free tools, which can reduce the image size dramatically without losing quality. I personally use Tinypng but there are many others to choose from.
If you are using Showit to design your website or you have one of my Showit website templates, the photos that you upload to Showit are automatically optimized, which is nice but I still recommend compressing them further with Tinypng. This is something I started doing after recording the video above.
Your blog on Showit runs through WordPress and manages images separately so if you are adding images to your blog post you will want to optimize them. If your entire website is exclusively on WordPress, you will need to make sure that you optimize both your WordPress website images and blog images.
I recommend Tinypng, but you don’t have to run every image through the tinypng.com website individually as that would take forever. If you work exclusively in WordPress or you have a Showit website and use WordPress exclusively for blogging, then you would simply add the plugin Tinypng in WordPress. This will optimize your JPEG, and PNG images automatically.
This plugin is free, it literally takes seconds to install and it will be invaluable to the speed of your website and decrease your website’s bounce rate so take the time to do it.
In my Website Without Stress course that comes with each of my Showit website templates, I walk you step by step through installing and activating this plugin for your blog posts images as this is all you need to optimize in Showit, and this way you can be sure that your images are being optimized correctly.
The second common image mistake to avoid on your website is using the wrong file extension. You’ve likely heard the terms jpg, png, gif, and possibly even svg but did you know that each has its specific purpose, and using the wrong one can affect the photo’s performance on your site?
Without getting too technical, I am going to break down each of these extensions.
A JPEG is the most common image on the web. It’s best to save your website photos with this extension. JPEGs are great because they take all the data of a large image and compress it into smaller file sizes without losing image quality–at least to the naked eye.
If you’ve got a plain rectangle-shaped or square image, this is definitely the file type to use. You can compress jpegs down even further with something like Tinypng which I discussed in detail above.
PNG files are larger so they will slow down your site more, but they have some benefits. First, they retain the maximum image quality. Second, unlike jpegs, you can download them with a transparent background, so they are ideal for use with images like your logo where you may want to put it over a colored background and you need a transparent background.
Gifs are lower-quality images than JPEGs. They work best with simple illustrations and blocks of colors. They are not the best option for photographs. When you think of a gif you likely think of animation, right? This is because animation is the one area in which this type of file is really useful. Gifs are the largest file sizes and cause your site pages to load the slowest. So, use these wisely.
SVG images are sharp and clear images that will look good no matter what size they are or what device you view them on. SVG files are ideal for logos, icons, and simple graphics. They load quickly like jpegs because they are lightweight.
You wouldn’t want to save a photograph as an SVG, but for different shapes or graphic elements, it’s a perfect choice. They’ll look sharper than a png file and they’re significantly smaller, so they won’t slow down your website at all.
The third common image mistake to avoid on your website is not renaming the image file. When you download a stock photo or even one of your photos off your phone it comes with a default file name often with random numbers or words that don’t relate to the image.
When it comes to SEO though, it’s very important to include your focus keywords in your file name to help your page rank for those words.
Search engines crawl both the text and image file names on your site, so again it’s very important that you rename the image files with the appropriate keywords for that page before uploading them to your site.
The fourth common image mistake to avoid on your website is forgoing the alternative text.
Once your images are uploaded, you want to make sure that you are taking the time to fill out the alternate text box, also known as your alt tag. This is the text that shows up on your website page when a browser can’t properly load an image. So instead of seeing the image it will display the text describing the image.
This is also used to help the visually impaired, as their website readers will read the alt text tag and give them an understanding of what kind of image you have displayed on the page. It’s actually the law to make your website ADA-compliant and alt text is one thing you must have for your site images.
On Showit, there is a specific place to put this description. I provide this for all of my private website clients and show my website template students how to add this via the complimentary Website Without Stress course that comes with each template.
The fifth and last common image mistake to avoid on your website is not having any images or photos of yourself on your website. It’s okay to use stock photography on your website, but it is absolutely necessary to put at least one or two pictures of yourself on your site.
I understand that you may feel self-conscious or scared of putting yourself out there, but it is essential as a small business owner, blogger, coach, digital product creator, etc. People like to put a face to who is running the business and providing the content. It helps build the trust factor and gives them a sense of security.
No pictures of yourself can raise a huge red flag in people’s minds about the legitimacy of the website. Think about yourself. Would you do business with a small business that had no visual information about who you are doing business with? I know I wouldn’t. People will feel more confident about the content, services, and products you provide when they have a face to put with the brand and business.
You do not need to have professional photos of yourself if that’s what’s holding you back. As you grow, this is a really smart investment, but to start, take messy action. Have someone take a picture or two of you with an iPhone or use some you already have. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure it’s a clear picture of you. You don’t have to plaster it everywhere, but putting one on your home page and on your about me page is a good place to start.
I hope that you found this blog post helpful. Again don’t forget to check out this link to learn more about my free Website Without Stress masterclass. This will teach you how to build a strategic business website that turns visitors into customers.
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