How to Optimize Images for eCommerce Sites without Losing Quality
How does image optimization help ecommerce sites?
Can optimizing images actually increase revenue and conversions?
We recently sat down with Steve Kamerman, COO and Co-Founder of ImageEngine, to ask him those questions and more.
Watch the Full Interview with Steve Kamerman
Trusted by Google, Amazon, and countless other clients, ImageEngine optimizes images for sites by up to 80%, automatically.
This improves SEO, lowers bounce rates, creates better site and mobile UX & increases revenue.
How are images so crucial to revenue and user experience?
It turns out that images are at the heart of ecommerce and online UX.
Here are some wild image optimization stats:
- 75% of online shoppers rely on product photos when deciding on a purchase (Techbuzz)
- Images take up 65%+ of modern websites’ total bandwidth (CodeBurst)
- High-quality images are 40% more likely to be shared on social media (Efelle)
Images are a vital part of making a website captivating and engaging. However, it is crucial to balance having pictures to enhance the user experience and not overwhelming visitors with unwieldy, oversized images.
So we asked Steve how he started ImageEngine in the first place?
“Prior to ImageEngine, the only products that we offered were under the umbrella of a company called ScientiaMobile, and ScientiaMobile offers a product called WURFL.
[WURFL] detects the capabilities and characteristics of mobile devices. And we realized that this product is fairly hard to sell by itself… so we wanted to push up a vertical that demonstrated the value of WURFL.
And so we thought, well, image optimization is an area where everyone can benefit by knowing the device characteristics, like the size of the screen and which image formats are available – we can tailor the images directly for those devices.
And so we decided to create our own image CDN… and we built the CDN ourselves.
The impetus was really to demonstrate the value of our mobile device detection. And then we quickly realized that it opens us up to a market much larger than mobile device detection itself.”
Steve saw the need for making websites faster.
Legacy CDNs spent billions of dollars to minimize your time-to-first-byte, an aging metric for site performance. ImageEngine, by contrast, minimizes the time-to-last-byte by shaving off 80% of the bytes that need to be transferred, thanks to advanced image optimization.
Legacy CDNs might have shaved off a few milliseconds of time of your site’s performance, but ImageEngine can take your images and optimize them by up to 80%.
That could increase your site speed by full seconds without needing to invest Billions of dollars or hire multiple developers.
How does image optimization work?
The secret is that making your images smaller makes them faster to serve.
When your images are faster to serve, it makes your entire website faster.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s take for example, your LCP (Largest Content Paint).
Your LCP is a measure of your page speed, telling you how long it takes for the core content of a page to load and ultimately consumed by your end user.
LCP is therefore very integral to your user experience. And it’s only part of your overall Google Core Web Vitals score.
(Image Source: blog.chromium.org)
If your LCP is poor, you’ll have higher bounce rates and Google will penalize your ranking.
Google measures this because they look for a proxy for the positive user experience. They want to measure how good your website is, from the subjective view of a user.
So if the largest thing on your page is an image, you want that to show up as quickly as possible.
That needs to be extremely well optimized.
Image optimization solutions help eCommerce sites by optimizing all the images including the LCP.
How Images Affect SEO
A significant percentage of your SEO depends on the performance of your site and Google penalizes sites that don’t perform well.
And if your images are not optimized and slow down your page and user experience, that hurts your page performance.
Web performance is probably the strongest indicator of a good user experience. And a good user experience is what you’re rewarded for by SEO by Google.
Google wants to promote sites that people want to go to, because they’re in Google’s self interest to increase ad revenue.
So they really do align with your goals of having a good user experience. And if anything, it improves your Google score now and in the future.
This isn’t an ‘SEO hack’. This makes your site demonstrably better for your users.
Why Image Optimization Increases Site Speed
Steve has many case studies where eCommerce sites took their page load time from 10 seconds to 4 seconds.
That is significant.
Because we’re talking about, images.
Meaning, it’s something any site can optimize.
Put another way:
How much would you pay to double the speed of your site?
What if all you had to do was measure your page load time and optimize your images?
That alone will increase your traffic, as per Google rewarding you for positive site performance.