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Optimize Photography for Your Site

February 19, 2021

You may be wondering why you’d ever need to optimize your photography for your website, or you already know you should but are wondering the best ways to go about it. Then you’re in the right place!

Why Optimize

The most obvious reasons? You want to optimize to increase your site speed and boost your SEO rank.

1 Increase Site Speed

No one is willing to wait 50secs+ on your site for images to load. Not only are we too impatient (long gone are the dial-up days), we can develop a negative viewpoint towards that site’s owner.

The faster your load time, the longer people will stay on your site. It’s important to improve the overall experience users have which will help increase your conversion rate.

2 Boost SEO Rank

What photographer doesn’t want better SEO rankings? In 2010 Google announced that speed was a factor when ranking sites. Not to mention, naming your files correctly helps with search results too!

How to Optimize When Exporting In Lightroom or Photoshop 

I’m going to keep the instructions rather simple, since I’m sure you already know most of this or have a rough idea. So after selecting your image(s) and navigating to the Export menu:

1 Name your files correctly

Leaving your images named per camera settings is fine for local storage and personal use, but for uploading to your website you’ll need to put in a tiny bit more effort. Naming your files correctly plays a big role in boosting your SEO ranking and search results.

As a standard you’ll need a “Custom Name – Sequence” for the images. For your custom name think of what you want search engines to pull or what clients will search. 

A good start would be to include your business name, the type of session, and the location. You can always use hyphens to help organize the url and make it easier to read too.

2 Image Settings 

The Image Format for your photography will most likely be a JPEG/PNG. 

When saving them in this file format, you’ll need to make sure you’ve already changed your Color Mode/Space to RGB instead of CMYK.

As far as the quality bar is concerned, there is no need to max it out nor minimize it to nothing. Stay in the 60-80% range. The quality will still stay the same (to the naked eye) and lower the file size making loading time better on your site.

Your resolution for the web should be 72DPI.

Your image size should be the size you want it to display online, or slightly bigger. Never go small since responsiveness on your site could scale the image up and cause distortion. A nice rule of thumb for image sizes is 1500px for galleries or blog posts. If they are images that may be clicked on and enlarged, or set as backgrounds you may want to go up to 2880px.

Further Optimizing 

Once you’ve exported your images following the instructions above you’ll want to further optimize your image and reduce the file size. There are some great tools out there to assist you with this!

1 TINYPNG is an online site that will compress your images while retaining the quality. You can upload either PNG or JPG and even upload 20 images at a time. If you subscribe to their pro (which I believe is $25/year) you can upload unlimited images at a time. Great for blog posts or gallery updates.

2 JPEG Mini is similar to the one I just listed. There is even a plugin for Lightroom if you get the pro version!

3 If your site is on WordPress there are a variety of image optimization plug-ins. A few you can look into are: Imagify, ImageRecylce, EWWW Image Optimizer, Kragen, WP Smush.

So in summary?

Optimizing results in increased conversions. If your site is loading quickly, and your SEO is leading more users, you’ll be having an increased conversion rate on your website. Awesome, right?!

All the success,

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