Optimizing product images for your eCommerce website: Here’s how you do it right

It’s not a secret that in order to rank an eCommerce website well in search engines, you must optimize product images. However, sometimes even the best efforts won't produce any results. This is usually a sign that you must change your approach in order to get better results. 

In today’s article, experts from Alpha Efficiency will show you the exact steps to take when optimizing product images for your eCommerce website.

Crucial steps for optimizing product images

1. Choose the right file type.

Choosing the file type might not sound important at first, but it’s the first step in assuring that your eCommerce will be fast and have high-quality images. Let’s see the differences between these file types: 

  • JPEG/JPG - this file type is the most popular choice as it can display an enormous range of colors by mixing RGB lights. The quality of a JPEG image can be adjusted.
  • GIF - this file type is used for animations. Only 256 colors can be displayed in the GIF image.
  • PNG - better in quality than JPEG, but occupies more storage space. It is usually used for images where quality is essential.


Using JPEG file type for most images on your website might be the best choice, as it provides a balance between image quality and file size.


2. Compress image files

Online shoppers expect businesses to provide high-quality images that represent products that they want to purchase. However, images are the largest file type on the web page and there are usually many of them on a typical eCommerce website. 


That’s why it’s important to compress images. It will save bandwidth and allow the page to load faster, improving the speed and efficiency of your webshop.

3. Rename image files

Giving descriptive titles to image files will not only help you organize them better, but it will also help search engines understand the context of an image. Here are two key tips for naming image files:

  • Use descriptive keywords instead of random numbers
  • Keep it short - don’t overcomplicate it


Naming image files correctly might not have a huge impact on SEO, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

4. Use alt tags

Image alt tags are descriptive texts that help search engines understand what the image is about. Also, if for any reason the image doesn’t load in the user's browser - alternative text will show up. Using these tags is important for SEO and they can affect rankings.

5. Use high-quality thumbnails

Thumbnails are a crucial part of every eCommerce website. While exploring your online store, people will spend most of their time skimming through thumbnails. So make sure that thumbnail images are attractive and showcase the product in the best possible way.

When optimizing a thumbnail, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Is the image big enough?
  • Is the quality of an image good?
  • Will both desktop and mobile users be able to see a product clearly?


6. Transparent background for product photos

It is recommended to use simple, one-colored backgrounds for eCommerce websites, as they’ll provide a better view of the product to customers. Images with such backgrounds will look much better on thumbnails.

7. Create Sitemap

Sitemap, in short, makes it easier for crawlers to understand the structure of a website, which can help you with SEO. As eCommerce sites are usually complex and have many web pages, submitting a sitemap is a good idea.

You can either create a separate image sitemap or add necessary information about your images to the one that already exists.

8. Test different product images

Conducting A/B tests can help you find the best image for selling a product. Don’t be afraid to set up two versions of a page for the sake of measuring users' reactions. Finding the right image will help you increase conversion rates.

Online tools for optimizing images

There are many free online tools that you can use to achieve the best possible result. Here is the list of some:


  • Kraken.io - a tool that can help you quickly optimize and compress images


  • Removal.ai - a tool for removing the background on a product photo. It is convenient to use.
  • Yoast SEO - this WordPress plug-in comes in handy for creating sitemaps.
  • ShortPixel - offers three levels of image compression, so you can decide which one suits you best.



Final words

Optimizing product images for an eCommerce website is not essentially hard when you follow the plan. And the benefits are great. It can improve the performance of your website and help you rank better in search engines. Optimizing product images will also make your online store look better, increasing conversion rates.