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Technical SEO: Optimizing Images

Upload Speed ImagesIn our last blog post, we went over the importance of the upload speed of your law firm’s website. Search engines like Google are businesses, too, and want to maximize their own users’ experience. One of the things that their users hate the most is a website that uploads slowly. In this knowledge, search engines pay close attention to a site’s upload speed, and bury slow pages in the search results.

But poor search results is only one aspect of a slow website. In the end, it’s the internet users that are the potential clients that you’re trying to woo with your website. If there’s one thing that they all hate, it’s a slow website.

So if having a slow website is not only a negative, but a double negative, how can you make yours faster?

There are literally hundreds of moves you can make to enhance your website’s speed, many of which require some technical knowledge. Some others are easy, but require lots of planning, like flattening your site architecture. However, here is one that you can do on your own, without any advanced computing skills: Optimizing your images.

The Problem With Images: Size

Using images on your site is an absolute necessity. Just looking at one that doesn’t use a single picture shows how important they are.

However, one of the problems with images is that they often account for more than half of the byte size of your webpage. It can take well over a novel of text to take up the same disc space that a single image does. So, when someone visits your law firm’s webpage, a significant portion of the time it takes for your site to upload is spent working on its picture files.

Resolution and File Size

Not all images are created equally. The more pixels the image has, the larger the file size, the longer it will take to upload. A picture that has a resolution of 1482 x 891 is going to take significantly longer to upload – and will therefore slow down your entire website’s upload speed – than a picture that has a resolution of 500 x 450.

Of course, a picture with a higher resolution has more pixels, and is therefore also much clearer than a picture with a lower resolution. There’s not much else to it: It’s just a higher quality image, with sharpness and clarity that clearly dominate a lower resolution image.

Optimizing Images

However, if you have a high resolution image – say, 1500 x 1500 – and you’re using it as a tiny thumbnail image on your site that covers a space 150 x 150, all of that resolution goes to waste. Worse, when your website uploads, it has to upload the image file – all 1500 x 1500 pixels of it.

The waste is apparent: When someone visits your site, the massive image uploads, only to be shrunk down to a fraction of its size.

You can fix this by optimizing your images. Before you add images to your website, shrink them down to approximately the size of the space they will be filling. That way, your site won’t get bogged down with uploading images that it’ll just have to shrink on the display anyway, and you still won’t lose any of that resolution that you need your pictures to have.

While optimizing your images is only one of the technical ways to improve your SEO, it is one of the easiest to do, and has one of the highest return rates for the amount of work it takes.