For bloggers, images are a must if you’re to be successful. With a recent HubSpot report indicating that blogs with images get 94% more traffic compared to plain-text blogs, there is no doubt that images can significantly add to your bottom line.
Images are the first thing site visitors see when they land on your blog. If the images are attractive, the visitor is likely to stay on that page longer, improving chances of conversion.
Images are also more likely than plain-ext to be shared on social media. As a blogger, social shares are definitely something you yearn for.
The problem, however, is that the images you choose can also turn away your visitors, costing you conversions.
A common problem when using images is image size relative to the screen. If the images you’re posting have an original size of say 10x10 inches and you expect users to view these images on mobile devices, then a problem might arise.
While a majority of the latest smartphones might still be able to display the images correctly, a few older phones might not be able to process the images.
"What happens next can kill your blog. Either, the image may appear as broken or it may not be displayed at all. Either of these can dilute the browsing experience, potentially turning away site visitors."
The other major challenge is compression and image formats. When you have large images, obviously, you’ll want to compress them so that they can be displayed seamlessly on smaller screens. But the compression algorithm you choose can possibly spell doom for your blog.
While in some cases you might get away with a compression algorithm that alters the original information, in other situations, loss of information through compression can result in poor images and cluttered layouts leading to poor visitor experiences.
The solution to these and many other challenges is image optimization. At the most basic level, image optimization refers to a category of best practices applied to make images more purposeful on the internet.
In blogging, it involves a series of activities that would ultimately make your images, and by extension, blog easier to find for search engines while also delighting your blog readers.
Image optimization serves two other purposes;
1. Minimizing bandwidth
2. Minimizing download time
There are several image optimization strategies as you will learn in our subsequent blog posts.