Since this blog post is all about being FAST, I’ll keep it short, so you can get to moving on increasing your Shopify speed and SEO!
With that being said, we need to go over a couple housekeeping items first - just to make sure were both on the same page.
All of Search Engines have the same goal - and it’s to connect the searcher with the best answer the first time.
If they were constantly delivering less-than-useful content, they’d quickly lose their reputation and users would start turning to other search engines.
This is a good thing and should encourage you! It’s a big win for smaller businesses because Search Engines are not just going to automatically connect searchers with the biggest names out there.
Instead, they are going to prioritize the content that their millions of tiny robots tell them will deliver the most useful answers.
While SEO can get incredibly complex, today I want to share 2 of the easiest things you can do to up your site’s SEO game - no complex technical stuff required - by optimizing your images.
What the heck does this mean?
Glad you asked!
Optimizing images is reducing the image file size as much as possible without sacrificing quality so that your page load times are low.
This is important because slow loading websites are not good for SEO or for your customers.
Like I said earlier, Search Engines all have the same goal - and that is to match a searcher with the best website that answers their question. Included in “best” is showing which website are easy to use.
There’s a lot that goes into creating an easy to use website. To learn more about improving the User Experience on your website, check out this post.
For my audience, I know that most of y’all are ecommerce business owners wanting to showcase your products with beautiful photography and high-quality images. Which is great, don’t get me wrong! But if these photos aren’t optimized, those massive image file sizes will slow your site right down to a turtle’s pace.
In fact, it’s so important that I created the blog post to show you that the very easiest thing you can do to make a dent in how SEO friendly your site is, is to optimize your images.
Note: Most photographers DO NOT optimize photos before sending them. In fact, I’ve never seen one do it. So unless your photographer blatantly tells you they optimized your photos, you’ll need to do it.
First, you want to resize your images. Shopify limits the file size of an upload to 20 megabytes and recommends using 2048 x 2048 pixels for square product photos.
It’s important to note that Shopify does automatically compress images, but you can further increase page load times if you decrease the image size first.
In order to resize them, on a Mac, open up your image in Preview by simply double clicking on the image. Then play with the size of the width of the image to make the image a bit smaller. As you change the size of the width, you'll notice the file size changes too. Try to get your images to or under 500 KB.
What does correctly mean exactly? Images are automatically named something like IMG_8204. But I can guarantee you a whole lot of no one is Googling 'IMG_8204' to find your CBD company.
The best image names are an accurate description of what's happening in the photo as well as sprinkling in keywords, as it makes sense to do so.
Name your images so that humans would understand the names and you're good to go!
Bad Image name:
This is the worst mistake I see most ecommerce business owners make with image naming: they think naming their images is an opportunity to stuff in keywords.
I’ve recently seen a website that had their images listed as “best-clean-skincare-ever-rose-infused-body-wash.jpg”
This is bad.
Google says that image names should be short and not contain unnecessary words. To Google, that image looks like spam.
I also encourage you not to use your target keywords in your image names. A few years ago, it was good for SEO to use your keywords in your images. However, Search Engines like Google have caught on and now consider this gaming the system. So, avoid using your target keywords and keyword stuffing!
Here are some helpful tips to remember when creating your image names:
Now, in the case that you’re uploading 30 images to one blog post and you don’t have the time to name every single image, choose a few of your best photos to name. The images that aren’t named won’t likely help your search engine rankings, but won’t hurt it either.
Once your photos have been optimized and renamed, keep your photos in a folder, named something such as 'optimized' so you remember any time you add a photo to your site, to grab an already optimized one.
Save the site images to your desktop, optimize them, then delete out the old and re-upload the new optimized version of the photo.
While this might seem like a daunting task, there’s unfortunately no way within Shopify to change your image file name or to decrease it’s size.
Then, moving forward, make sure to optimize every photo before you add it to your site, so you don't need to do the work of uploading photos twice again in the future.
As always, if you need help creating your Shopify site, send me a note!