Optimizing Your Product Images for Google

Google is one of the biggest and most popular search engines in the world; therefore it’s important to know which SEO elements will improve your rankings.

The content on an Ecommerce site is a key element that can help your or hurt you in the SERPs if done incorrectly. One of the most important features on Ecommerce sites are images that are well-optimized to improve the usability, speed and design of the site.

Why is it Important to Include Product Images on Your Ecommerce Website?

One of the first steps when starting an Ecommerce site is to add images to the products you are planning to sell. People like to see what they are actually buying, and having images will make your site more attractive, which could potentially lower your bounce rate.

It is also beneficial to inform the search engine robots that you have a great picture on your site. The robots will be capable of understanding your image content correctly and be able to show relevant information about your products to a person that is performing a search.

Tell Google about your product images

One of the most common mistakes on Ecommerce sites is the lack of alt attributes in the product images. Alt attributes (also known as ‘alt tags’ or ‘alt text’) provide content description of an image on a website.

Alt attributes facilitate the accessibility of your website for the search engine robots. The purpose of alt attributes is to provide a description of the content of an image file (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF) and to provide text for visitors who can’t see images in their browsers. The alt attributes provide the same functional information to the search engine robots as a visual user would see it.

alt attributes example for ecommerce websites

          <img src="womens-red-dress.jpg" alt="womens red dress" title="Womens Red Dress"/>

Alt attributes should be written to describe the image as closely as possible. 

It is recommended to use at most 125 characters for the alt attribute, and make sure that every product that you’re submitting has a product image with the correct alt attribute.

Friendly Names for Your Product Images

Google recommends that the picture files have user-friendly names. This is because descriptive filenames are good for users and your Ecommerce site so that if you forget to put an alt attribute on your image, search engine crawlers will still be able to use the filename as the image’s description in their search results.

You have to name your files descriptively, for example if your product is the following:

                                           ecommerce image optimization example

     <img src="womens-black-tshirt.jpg" alt="womens black t-shirt" title="Womens Black T-Shirt"/>

Instead of having an image file named “06489.jpg”, it was renamed to “womens-black-tshirt.jpg”.

It is really important to add keywords to your image titles so that customers will have more opportunities to find your site and your products.

Choose the Correct Image Format

Before adding new product pictures to your Ecommerce site, you have to pay attention to the image format. Google gives recommendations for Image optimization, especially for choosing the correct image format:

  • For JPEG file types: This format allows you to optimize your image without losing the quality of it. The size of the file is also lower than the other formats. JPEG files are also ideal for screenshots.
  • GIF file types: This format is used especially if you require an animation for your Ecommerce site.
  • PNG file types: This format has the highest resolution for your pictures, but the size of the file will be larger than other image formats. PNG files give transparency to the photos you use on your Ecommerce site.

When adding a picture to your Ecommerce site it would be ideal to use JPEG, GIF or PNG files because they are compatible with every browser, which might increase sales for your site.

image file types for ecommerce image optimization example

Source: developers.google.com

Optimize your images

Optimizing images on your Ecommerce site is a key step you need to take before uploading any product images to your site. If you optimize your images correctly, you can save loading time for your visitors, resulting in the increased speed of your site especially with low bandwidth connections.There are many techniques to optimize your product images, not only the size file but also the design of those pictures.

One of the most important image optimization techniques, crucial for online stores, is reducing the site load time by compressing the images.

For a successful Ecommerce site, it is necessary to make your own images and avoid using the products images from the manufacturers. By doing this, your rankings in the SERPs won’t be penalized for copying the same product images from others, and you will increase your opportunities to appear first for your potential customers.

Finally, adding a variety of images for each product with different dimensions or angles is a great technique to have a better design and to attract more visitors to your site. For example, if you are selling TVs, a great tip for you would be to include different pictures of the product and then also include the accessories.

Example:

  • File name:Television-B56GH-Frontal.jpeg
    • alt= “Television B56GH Frontal”
  • File name: Television-B56GH-Sideview.jpeg
    • alt= “Television B56GH Sideview”
  • File name: Television-B56GH-Remote-Control.jpeg
    • alt=“Television B56GH Remote Control”

You have to make sure that the text surrounding the images is relevant and complementary so when the Google bots crawl your images, they are also crawling the content surrounding those images.