A picture is worth a thousand words, the old saying goes, and in the fast-paced environment of the internet, this is truer than ever. With the advent of social networks, attention spans are getting shorter and the audience is demanding bite-sized chunks of information. An image is a great way to convey a message, set a tone and inspire a call-to-action, all with a single swing of the bat. To be able to do this most effectively, it is wise to know how to optimize images.
What Is Your Plan With Your Images?
There are a couple of things you should be aware of when using images for your web page, even though the final decision is up to you, your sense of style and the direction you want to take with your site. Firstly, always optimize images. They have to load properly and actually display to be of any use to your visitors. Secondly, images have been found to attract the eye of the users and keep the attention longer, especially if we’re talking about an image of a person’s face.
So, the logical question you should be asking yourself is, what do I want to achieve with the images? If you’re running an online shop, you’re definitely happy if the user’s eyes remain on the images of your product longer. Hey, the more they’re looking at it, the more likely they are to buy, right?! But, when you’re writing a blog post, images could detract from the experience and even draw the user’s attention elsewhere. In the end, it is up to you, so choose wisely!
Guidelines for Optimizing Your Images
When uploading to your site, it is of utmost importance to optimize images. High resolution is important, but it brings the downside of higher memory requirements. Too many images with a high file size could make your site choppy and load slower (this could even negatively affect your SEO). Too low resolution and you sacrifice visual attractiveness. A good rule of thumb is to always open your image in Photoshop (or similar) and view at 100% size. This will display the image as it would appear on your site.
Be sure to choose the right dimensions. Another point of contention is which file format to use for your images. The three most popular are JPG, also known as JPEG, PNG and GIF. They all have different pros and cons, so you should pick one according to your needs. JPG is best for photographs and product images, PNGs with their high quality are most suited for logos. GIFs have a low number of colours available, making their file sizes smaller.
The Final Verdict Is Yours
In the end, you’re the one behind the steering wheel, so you know best which direction you want your car to go, so to speak. You can always look to some of the successful sites of your niche out there, and see how they do it, but until you try you won’t know what works best for your web page. Do you want to focus on your art alone, and display nothing but images upon images? Maybe you’re a writer who wants to spice up their writing with some visual candy here and there, once every few paragraphs? Whatever it is, make sure to tailor it both to your needs and to the demands of your target group. Track your analytics, see what works best, and optimize accordingly. Happy imagining!