Site speed is vital. Unfortunately, for content marketers, improving site’s speed can be an arduous technical task the can go out of control. But is it really?
According to Google, site speed does matter. If your site is slower, your search engine ranking will suffer. However, you should not speed up your site because Google said so but an improvement in this area translates to an improvement in the overall user experience.
In a stat from Firefox, every one second of improvement means a two percent increase in conversion.
So, what can you do to improve your site speed? Where can you start? Images are a common element where you should be focusing on to help you get started.
But optimizing images doesn’t necessarily mean you go to Photoshop and make your images smaller. Remember, you still want your images to look beautiful.
The first thing to consider is the format. PNGs are ideal if your images have fewer colors. PEGs are perfect for photos.
Next, look into your images’ dimensions. Then, evaluate whether or not you really need to add those images to your site or post.
Besides Photoshop, there are online tools that you can use to optimize your images. Some of them are free while others require some fees.
By optimizing images, you can yield largest byte savings, thereby, an enhancement of your site’s performance.
According to Google’s image optimization rules:
“The fewer bytes the browser has to download, the less competition there is for the client’s bandwidth and the faster the browser can download and render useful content on the screen.”
So, you can start resizing, reformatting or replacing your images. As Google suggests, you can get rid of those additional image resources, use CSS3 effects whenever possible, and use web fonts.
If you’re diligent with pictures, you can save 1.2 seconds of the total page load time. Of course, it will depend on the type of images you have on your site.
Optimizing your images will not rocket speed your site. However, it will improve the overall user experience significantly.
When you choose an image, you need to make sure that it’s related to your article. In this way, you won’t baffle people with your obtuse choice of photo.
And of course, choose an image that is not copyrighted. Or you can pay for your own photographer to capture images for you. But it can be expensive. If paying a photographer isn’t in your budget now, you can just use free resources out there, like Google’s image search and Flickr Creative Commons.