Image Loading Times: Size Matters & The Need for Speed

Image loading times are vital. If your website loads slowly, you’re going to get punished. Potential customers will leave your site and Google will push your site down the SERPs.

People have short, unforgiving attention spans. This is especially true now on mobile devices where user experience (also known as UX) is even more important. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to avoid annoying Google (or your customers) by optimising your images to improve site speed

This isn’t a recent thing. If Google are going to make changes that will benefit their customers, they’ll usually always let everyone know on their blog!

Image Size Matters

The image size isn’t just about the dimensions of the image – instead, it is much more about the file size.

If you have a number of files on a page that are in the MB’s, your site will suffer. Ideally, we need to be down in the low KB range.

There are, however, some quick fixes that you can apply. These solutions will have an immediate positive effect on your website load times.

So, here are 3 quick, actionable steps to decrease image load times – no technical knowledge required!

  1. Check your page speeds on Google. The results will tell you exactly which images you can reduce to help save load time.
  2. Remove unnecessary images. If it doesn’t offer value – delete it!
  3. Reduce dimensions and compress your images. This can be done quickly and easily (and for free) on sites such as Tinypng.com

Tinypng Homepage screen shot

To demonstrate, I ran the image above through the Tinypng site. As you can see below, it immediately reduces the image size by 75%.

Tinypng results page showing reduced image size

If you do this on all your images, the savings will quickly add up. Look how happy the panda is!

The 3 tips above can be easily done without any real technical knowledge.

Make sure you do this before you upload any images to your website: this way, you won’t accidentally duplicate any images and take up valuable space on your server.

Advanced Techniques

If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, or have an in-house web expert, work through this list too:

  1. Enable browser caching
  2. Optimise your CSS
  3. Keep your scripts below the fold

Following these quick tips will improve your image SEO and as a result, your site will load faster.

Making these quick and small changes can have long-lasting positive effects on your business’s website. Improving image loading times will keep both Google, pandas and customers happy!