Images optimization is a factor for search rankings and is an essential, but often overlooked when it comes to search engine optimization, or SEO. Images are also a very important part of most websites. They grab the visitor’s attention and fill in space where needed. Images alone can convey messages in their tone and depiction.
The problem that SEO firms face when working on client sites is that the client doesn’t always think about optimizing images. Many times, the SEO team at ‘corePHP’ has to work with clients that post ridiculously large photos that are posted directly to the website without editing. Some of these photos are as much as 10mb in disk space.
From the site visitor side of things, these images slow down page speed, and load painfully slowly. Often times, the client won’t realize that those images load slowly because the image is already cached on the client computer, thus speeding up load time for that computer only.
All’s not lost, however. You can teach your clients how to resize and edit their images very quickly using free online tools. The benefit is that your client doesn’t need to know how to use Photoshop or other advanced image manipulation tools because the basic functions are all included on those free online image editors.
One of the first things that should be taught is how to scale an image from full size as taken from the camera, to something that’s usable on the web.
Most current cameras take pictures that are at least 4000 pixels wide. On the website, the client will rarely need anything bigger than 1900 pixels.
In this example, we’re using the Pixlr.com Express image editing tool. The tool can be accessed directly via pixlr.com/express/.
1. Load The Image
Click the browse button and find the image you want to edit on your computer. Alternately, you can grab in image from the web via it’s full URL.
When the image loads, you’ll see this screen:
To Resize the image, you will click on the Adjustment icon to the far left on the bottom row of buttons.
Click on the Resize button next.
You can resize the image by pixels, choosing whether you want to keep the width to height proportions or not.
If, for example, you wish to have a featured image that requires a width of 720 pixels, just change the width from 1600 (as shown above) to 720, then click apply:
The image has been resized to the correct size, and you’ll be returned to the previous screen with all the function buttons.
At this point, if no further editing is necessary, just click the Save button in the upper left to save the new image to your computer.
2. Cropping Photos
Let’s say you want to crop the photo too. The crop button is on the lower left. Click on that.
Notice the four blue corners? Just grab those and move them to your crop points.
Once done, Click the save button and save the cropped image to your computer.
Just by teaching your client these simple image editing skills, and showing them the benefits of fully optimized images, the client will see lower page load times and happier site visitors that don’t have to wait for slow loading images.