Images: Your easiest page speed win
Page speed is important for both rankings and user experience, yet columnist Kristine Schachinger notes that many companies are missing an easy opportunity to improve in this area: image optimization.
Over the past few years, page speed has become very important in terms of your site’s traffic and rankings. People want fast sites — and because users want fast sites, Google does, too. Sites that are fast do better than slow sites in Google’s search engine rankings, all else being equal.
Now, there are areas related to page speed where you need technical developers who can change how the stack loads and optimize your server performance. However, not all issues of page load are complicated or require much technical knowledge. In this case, the issue we are talking about is image weight. Images are often a major issue for sites with slow page load.
Luckily, optimizing images is a really easy win.
Images and page load
Whenever we audit sites for slow page load, images are almost always a significant part of the issue. Those who create websites seem to have forgotten that we need to resize and compress images before uploading and not just leave it to the site CMS or server compression software.
Today, we often see pages with megabytes of images on the page. That is megabytes. A page should never be larger than 1 megabyte, let alone several megabytes, yet this is a frequent finding. In fact, many sites even come in at more than 10 MB per page. No web page should ever be that large — and when it is, there is almost always an image optimization issue.
Simply knowing how to properly size/compress/save an image and implementing a process to make sure this happens can fix a large percentage of page weight issues.