8 Need-to-Know E-Commerce Image Optimization Hacks

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
12 min read

Ever wonder why your product image doesn’t arrive when you execute a Google seek out your product?

Wonder if that big product image on your own new website landing page may cause slower loading speeds for the customers?

What about conversions? Are your online conversions suffering as you haven’t optimized your images?

Images that aren’t optimized can negatively affect site performance, and for that reason, conversions.

And think about customer retention?

Boosting customer retention by simply 5% can increase profits by 95%.

And it’s 5 to 25 times more costly to get a new customer than to retain an ongoing one!

Most marketers aren’t coders or designers. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand the fundamentals of the tech that plays this type of huge role in your conversions and retention.

This means you need to absolutely learn how to optimize a graphic.

Here’s why understanding image optimization is indeed important:

Because images take into account more bytes than any part of an internet site, especially e-commerce sites, their size and complexity could make or break your online performance.

And that impacts your customer retention and conversions.

This is excatly why optimizing images is among the best methods to improve website performance and SERP rankings.

Take a glance at the graph below from HTTP archive. By March 2018, images constitute 50% of website content.

http archive

As you can view, image optimization ought to be a high priority for just about any marketer, particularly marketers seeking to convert people to buyers on the website.

In this short article, I’m likely to teach you the very best eight methods to optimize your images. These optimization hacks will enhance your conversions, SEO rankings, customer retention, and much more.

1. Get acquainted with different file types

You can’t decide which file type to utilize in the event that you don’t know very well what the file type is, right?


Marketers know these file types exist. And of course you like an excellent GIF.

But again, marketers often aren’t developers or design experts. And the more tech-driven marketing becomes, the more critical it really is to learn a few of the basics.

The goal with one of these file types would be to understand those will provide you with more bang for less space.

Since it’s about decreasing load time for the customers, you should know which file types will continue to work best for the images on your own site.

Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of the three main file types.

JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEGs tend to be the file kind of choice for photos and images since they mix blue, red, and green light – enabling the display of an incredible number of colors.

Other file types often don’t allow all colors showing within an image.

Another huge advantage of a JPEG file is you could adjust the quality.

When you adjust the quality of a JPEG, you’lso are adjusting the product quality. Top quality equals higher quality. But, it is possible to often look for a nice balance of image quality to size.

It’s vital that file sizes aren’t too large. This causes slow loading times, sending your visitors away and upping your bounce rate.

When in the event you work with a JPEG?

  • Most likely on all of your product images
  • Photography images
  • Images with many colors

Like these product pictures from Zappos:

zappos mens sneakers

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

A year or two when Apple and Android incorporated GIFs into phone keyboards, the tiny videos became everyone’s favorite solution to go to town.

But GIFs tend to be more than simply fun little videos — they’re compressed versions of photographs or videos. These little, compressed videos only allow 256 colors showing in the image.

A high-quality image might contain a large number of colors.

This implies that GIFs aren’t the best option for images with plenty of color variation. But, GIFs will be the only option for animation because they enable animation minus the huge quality.

When in the event you work with a GIF?

  • For all animation
  • Small images (like thumbnails or icons)
  • An image with a couple of colors (like your logo)

Like this one for Google:

google logo gif

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNGs are newer than JPEGs and GIFs. They’re typically larger in quality than JPEGs but better in quality. In addition they enable some flexibility since they have two different file types:

  1. PNG-8: An inferior file that allows for exactly the same 256 colors that GIFs do.
  2. PNG-24: This kind allows for an incredible number of colors. That is also the very best format for images where quality is more important than quality.

When in the event you use PNG files?

  • When image quality is more important than file size

Like these photographs from Zena Holloway’s website:

zen holloway website

Pro tip: Use JPEG for colorful and robust images, use PNG for simple images. Use GIF when something should be animated.

E-commerce marketers should more often than not use JPEGs for product photos. Simply take a glance at the file type comparison below.

file type comparison

JPEG supplies a solid balance between your quality and quality.

2. Obtain the image quality to increase conversions

There’s an enormous difference between “image size” and “quality.”

When we say, “image size” we’re discussing the dimensions of the image, like 852 x 852.

image size tesla womens hoodie

When we say quality, we’re discussing the quantity of space necessary to store the image on your own server.

The larger the quality, the longer it requires the image to load.

An image might have large dimensions but still be 2MB or less.

File size is really a big deal. It could make or break the performance of one’s site because each and every image must download every time your website is visited.

Your goal would be to keep your images at one to two 2 MB in proportions. Small your image size, the faster your load speeds, meaning a lesser bounce rate and much more happy customers.

How to resize a graphic file in order that it’s optimized for web performance:

If you don’t have photoshop, don’t worry. Pixlr is really a quick solution to resize a graphic file.

First, head to PIXLR and go through the editor:

pixlr editor

Then launch either the Pixlr Editor or Pixlr Express. If you’re just performing a quick resize, Pixlr Express works great.

pixlr express

Next, upload your image to the editor.

Finally, adjust the size by saving the image. As you toggle the image-quality bar, observe that the quality also increases or decreases according to the quality you select.

pixlr photo editing

When it involves choosing the best quality for the product quality you need, you may have to experiment with it for a little.

Try several sizes on, and opt for the smallest quality that still looks good.

Once you’ve got that size-to-quality ratio determined, then you can certainly apply it to similar images in your store.

It may be smart to write this ratio down somewhere.

3. Name your files correctly to boost SEO

What you name your images matters to find engine web crawlers.

Many marketers don’t change the name of an image from the random number or code assigned by our computers or phones.

It’s vital that you name your image in a descriptive, to-the-point manner in order that search bots can know very well what the image is showing.

For example, the puppy image on the left includes a far better name compared to the one on the proper:

corgi puppies file name

Nothing against image 89374504, nonetheless it doesn’t reveal, or Googlebots, what the image is.

A great image name is descriptive, provides the keyword of one’s image (like corgis for adoption in NYC.

If you’re selling blue suede shoes, then blue suede shoes ought to be in the image name.

Keep it straightforward and descriptive to obtain the very best SEO results from your own images.

4. Keep your website accessible to all or any customers with alt tags

Alt tags are descriptions directed at a graphic that exists inside your website’s code. This essentially implies that what’s in the image is written in to the code of one’s website.

Alt tags assist in 3 key ways:

  • Visually impaired people using screen readers know very well what the image is due to an alt attribute. If they hold their cursor on the image, the screen reader can literally browse the alt attribute description in their mind.
  • It’s a type of code that tells the browser what’s said to be there if a graphic can’t load properly. This will come in handy if your site’s having loading issues.
  • SEO crawlers read them which helps enhance your SEO.

For example, the alt text because of this limited edition Golden Citrus Foaming Hand Wash is “foaming hand wash.”

method foaming hand wash alt text

The definitive goal with alt attributes would be to get them to descriptive, simple, and to-the-point. Similar to the file name.

Setting An Alt Text In WordPress

When you upload a graphic right into a website hosted on WordPress, you’ll have the choice to provide it both a title and an alt attribute.

alt text in wordpress

If you don’t create your personal alt tag, then WordPress will automatically make the alt tag exactly like the title.

This may be good or bad, based on what you may need to convey to a visually-impaired customer.

For example, if your image name is blue-boots, you might want to put in a few additional information to the alt attribute. Like, blue-hiking-boots-mens-size-10.

If you need to change or add an alt attribute, then simply demand image settings and rename the attribute.

Alternate attributes certainly are a must for anybody seeking to fully optimize their website. They improve user experience and in addition help with SEO.

5. Use sitemaps to really get your images noticed by Google

Does your e-commerce store contain image galleries? Think about pop-ups such as a call-to-action or email signup?

These days, consumers love infographics, memes, and videos. Do you know what? You need to add those to your sitemap too.

A sitemap enables you to optimize these images and videos for Google’s algorithms.

So what’s a Sitemap? To quote Google:

“A sitemap is really a file where one can list the net pages of one’s site to inform Google along with other search engines concerning the organization of one’s websites content.”

It allows internet search engine web crawlers, like Googlebot, to crawl your website intelligently.

In other words, it’s a file which has a map of most of one’s site’s content.

Here’s an example of a sitemap:

example sitemap code

For video entries you need to include:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Play page URL (location)
  • Thumbnail URL
  • Raw video file URL and/or the video player URL

For image entries you need to include:

  • Location (Location, or the URL where in fact the image is situated is mandatory. All the bullets are optional but recommended)
  • Title
  • Description
  • Caption
  • License

Below is really a sample video sitemap from Zappos:

xml video sitemap

If you have a great deal of images and videos, you might desire to create separate sitemaps for every kind of content.

Sitemaps are crucial, and you ought to absolutely add your images, videos, etc. if you’re seeking to get your articles noticed by Googlebots, Bingbots, along with other internet search engine crawlers.

If your website is hosted on WordPress, you may use Yoast SEO that will automatically add your articles (images, videos, etc.) to a sitemap.

If you don’t have Yoast SEO already, it’s an easy task to install.

Then to possess Yoast SEO add your articles to a sitemap, just make certain the enable button is on and save changes:

xml sitemaps yoast seo wordpress

6. Optimize your thumbnails to operate a vehicle upsells

Remember once you bought that awesome cellular phone case soon after you upgraded?

You probably discovered that case in the bottom of the purchase confirmation page soon after your payment experienced.

That thumbnail image upsold you! These images certainly are a great way to market other products to your visitors either once they’ve made a purchase or while they’re browsing other products.

Check out how Amazon uses thumbnails at the very top to entice customers to select similar or related products.

amazon thumbnails

An upsell can be an add-on, upgrade, or additional product a seller introduces for you after a short purchase.

Thumbnail images tend to be displayed, many at the same time, in the bottom of a full page. Like these displayed in the bottom of a J.Crew shirt product page.

jcrew shirt page

The goal is normally an upsell. You need to absolutely display related products below or above the cart or purchase page and entice your visitors to click.

But, if those thumbnail images don’t load, you’re passing up on a huge amount of potential business.

Once a person is here at your website, through say, a Google ad, you’ve already paid to obtain them there. So, the more they buy, the low your customer acquisition cost.

So, because they’re tiny, don’t disregard your thumbnail images as less vital that you your organization profitability.

They have to be super small in quality. Significantly less than 70 KB is ideal.

They’re best as JPEG or GIF files. Use Pixlr if you want to resize your files.

And don’t forget to mention your thumbnail images. They want solid names and alt attributes exactly like your product pics.

Getting these thumbnail images optimized can help you improve SEO and hopefully increase the quantity of profit you generate from each web conversion.

7. Capture both technical and aesthetic areas of images

It’s vital that you understand both technical and aesthetic areas of images on an e-commerce site.

1. Technical images: They are the images where you intend to concentrate on image size, file type, resolution, etc. Something like this:

mast milk chocolate

You want your product images to be quality JPEGs that aren’t too big in quality (like we discussed above).

2. Aesthetic images: They are the images where you need to concentrate on product styling, background color, etc. Take this image, for example:

mast milk chocolate image variant

Just have a look at the shadow effect and clean grey background.

8. A/B test images to boost conversions and retention

Marketers love an excellent A/B test, right? Well, your images ought to be no exception to the rule.

Too many images, too slow of lots time, or the incorrect image angles can lose sales for the company.

Here are some guidelines for testing images:

Quantity: Test between many and some images per product, per category, per page, etc. You can also test just how many thumbnails to feature below each product.

Testing quantities will help you to determine what’s best for the customers.

File size vs. quality: You can attempt if top quality and slower loading times effect conversions for the site.

For example, for those who have a far more expensive product, like designer handbags, your visitors may be pleased to await a higher-quality image to load.

That way they are able to zoom in and out and see every detail of it before purchasing.

Test which images your visitors like: Maybe your visitors would rather see both top and side of one’s newest shoes.

Or, perhaps they convert more regularly when they’ve got fewer angles to review. You’ll never know and soon you test.

Remember, when you’re A/B testing that it’s vital that you test only 1 variable at the same time.

For example, if you’re likely to test the number of images you have on a category page, then don’t test image quality simultaneously.

If you test several variable simultaneously, you’ll never know which variable led to higher or lower conversions.

Check out this short article for a far more thorough guide to A/B testing.

Here certainly are a few of the best image optimization tools

With most of these new image optimization hacks, you’re have to some tools to assist you accomplish your targets.

Here’s a listing of the best tools to assist you along your journey.

Image size and quality

Pixlr: WHEN I mentioned above, may use this free tool to edit images, also to increase or decrease JPEG quality or quality.

ImageOptim: Decrease quality by compressing your images without losing quality with this particular tool. (Mac only)

Kraken: Upload your images in bulk, compress all of them simultaneously, and download as a zip file to save lots of time.

WordPress Plugins

Yoast SEO: Optimize your image SEO and site accessibility by automatically assigning an alt attribute.

ShortPixel: Optimize your image size within WordPress

EWWW Image Optimizer: Automatically optimize images when they’re uploaded to your internet site.


It’s easy to understand just why there are a great deal of tools on the market for image optimization. It could have an enormous impact on your organization.

E-commerce businesses, specifically, need to focus on their image size and file names.

This is basically because e-commerce sites routinely have more images than other business types and in addition depend on their images to earn a conversion.

Start with a descriptive image name and alt attribute which will keep your images crawlable by Googlebots and in addition improve site accessibility.

Then implement a sitemap to provide internet search engine crawlers even easier access.

Keep your images at the tiniest size possible without sacrificing quality to boost load time and help convert more of one’s traffic.

Optimize your thumbnails and utilize them to upsell your visitors.

Finally, A/B test to boost conversions and customer retention. But make sure to only test one image variable at the same time which means you know which changes are making a direct effect.

Implement these eight image optimization hacks, and you’re sure to see improvements in your ratings and revenue.

What image optimization hacks work best for the business?

About the writer: Neil Patel may be the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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