Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Images for Mobile (And Here’s How)
I’ve been preaching for a while now about how badly you need professional images for your Naples area real estate listings. But a common mistake I keep seeing is that agents’ images have not been optimized for mobile devices.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as loading your real estate listing images once. You may not automatically provide the same user experience no matter whether your potential clients are viewing your listings via a desktop, laptop, tablet, or on their smartphone. Your images need to be optimized so that the photos and any accompanying text will perfectly fit their screen. And since most home shoppers are now using their mobile devices to search properties, you absolutely need to make sure that your images are optimized for mobile.
What do I Mean by Image Optimization?
Image optimization refers to making your images smaller without compromising the image quality. Since you can’t remove your images to speed things up, you need to optimize them to improve your page’s performance. Your images account for most of the download bytes on your page, so you can make a big difference to your mobile site’s load speed and overall performance by reducing your image size appropriately.
However, there is a fine art to reducing your image size without compromising too much on image quality. With all of the amazing sites and landscapes of Naples and Southwest Florida, we sure don’t want to do that!
Why Do You Need to Optimize Your Images?
The main reason you need to optimize your images is SPEED.
If your mobile site takes too long to load, your clients will say “Bye! On to the next one.” The majority of smartphone users will expect your page to load instantaneously, and if it doesn’t they’re unlikely to wait. And guess what’s the easiest way to improve your mobile website loading time?
That’s right — by optimizing your images.
As a bonus, faster load time not only improves your user experience but will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as website speed is an important element that determines your site ranking among other Naples Real Estate sites.
So you’ll keep your potential clients from bouncing to another agent’s site while also improving your Google ranking — now that’s a win, win!
Pay Attention to the Image Format
Images can come in several different formats, including JPEG, PNG, and GIF. If your images are uploaded using an inappropriate format, it can increase the file size and affect the quality when the images are scaled for different screen sizes, such as mobile devices.
When it comes to mobile images, there are two main types: raster and vector. Raster images are made up of dots, like a digital photograph. This includes all of JPEG, PNG, and GIF images. Vector images are SVG images, which are not yet widely used unless you are implementing responsive images.
Some quick notes here: JPEGs are the most common format for web images. GIFs are more commonly used for animations and simple graphs, icons, and logos. And PNGs are common for high-quality graphs, logos, and other illustrations.
For real estate photography purposes, you should typically be working with JPEG images, as PNG files are uncompressed images. Yes, PNG images have more color and detail, but they are very big and will take longer to load, not to mention that they will not be fit to the screen. Meanwhile, JPEGs are compressed, much-smaller images that provide an optimal mobile experience.
Don’t Rely on Your Content Management System (Website Builder)
Unfortunately, your CMS likely won’t help you when it comes to image optimization. Yes, you can change your image sizes in a CMS like WordPress, for example, but making the image smaller within the CMS does not make it any smaller when it comes to loading time. Whatever the image size was when you uploaded it into your CMS is what the server has to load. This means you need to resize and compress your images BEFORE you upload them into your CMS.
This goes for every image that you want to upload to your site.
Luckily, professional real estate photographers understand what real estate agents need images for, and most will optimize the images for mobile for you or provide a delivery service that allows for easy optimization. That being said, it’s important for agents to understand how image size and quality can affect their mobile experience because if images are taking too long to load or don’t fit the screen, it is likely because they have not been resized or are not the proper format.
The more you know, the savvier an agent you will be!
Looking for a professional real estate photographer in Southwest Florida? Jon Kreider at Sun Services SW has expertly photographed properties in the area since 2013. A commercial photographer serving the Naples, Marco Island, and Bonita Springs communities, Kreider specializes in real estate photography and video, bringing homes to life online before they are viewed in person. Shoot him an email today to discuss your real estate photography needs.