So often I see photographer’s websites filled with beautiful images but it will take FOREVER (okay, maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic here) for the images to load. Images are so important to your website but if they aren’t optimized for the web they could be drastically slowing down your website.
Image optimization is reducing the file size of your images as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of your gorgeous photographs. Large file sizes can bog down your website and cause it to load suuuper slow – and no one has the time or patience to wait for your website to load. In fact, most people only wait 3 seconds before moving on. You heard me right – you only get three seconds to impress your next clients.
Luckily for you photographers out there, you live and breath Adobe Lightroom. I know you spend hours of your life editing your images to perfection using it – but did you know that Lightroom could also be your secret weapon to better SEO?
I’ve put together a few tips on how I use Lightroom to quickly and efficiently optimize images for my clients when I am working on their websites.
An easy and simple way to improve your SEO is to rename your images in a way that describes them. An image titled “IMG_123.jpg” doesn’t tell search engines anything about the image. Try being as descriptive as possible when renaming your image. Something like “CompanyName_photography_descriptionofimage.jpg” will be a massive improvement over “IMG_123.jpg”
When exporting your images in Lightroom go to “File Naming” then select “rename to”, pick “custom name (x of y) and add in your custom text.
You have worked so hard to get your photographs just right so you want your photos to be the smallest file size without having to sacrifice quality. Really large photos can be as large as 1-2 MB. Ideally, you want your images sizes to have under 300 KB for larger photos and under 100KB for smaller photos.
When exporting your images in Lightroom go to “File Settings” and select “Limit File Size to” and put in 300K.
Images captured on a Canon 6D are 5472 x 3648 pixels. That’s HUGE! To put this into perspective the most common screen size used today is 1366 x 768 and the widest you will probably have to go is around 1900 pixels wide. So theoretically you could add your 5472-pixel wide image to your website but the largest anyone will ever see it is 1900 pixels wide.
So save your viewers the load time by resizing your images when you export them in Lightroom. I usually save my images between 1200-1900 pixels wide.
When exporting your images in Lightroom go to “Image Sizing” and change the width and height to 1,200 pixels. This won’t make your images square, it will simply make the largest dimension 1,200 pixels while still keeping your aspect ratio.
Pixels per inch, or commonly referred to as PPI or DPI, is the resolution of your image. Printed images require a resolution of 300 pixels per inch whereas the typical screen is 72 dpi. No matter how high the resolution of your image, if it is viewed on a screen it will be seen as 72 dpi – so save your files to reflect this.
When exporting your images in Lightroom go to “Image Sizing” and change the Resolution to 72 pixels per inch.
In Lightroom, it’s super easy to bulk edit image titles, file sizes, dimensions, and resolution. In a matter of minutes, you could be on your way to drastically change your website’s page load speed and helping you rank a little bit higher in search engines.