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When it comes to a Shopify store, product photographs can make or break your success story. Did you know that 93% of shoppers make decisions based on product visuals? The product may be perfect and described with details highlighting all its features but if the photograph is unattractive, your customers will just scroll past it.
There are many aspects to generating product images for a Shopify site. It needs to be framed attractively, it should be properly categorized and easy to find and it should be optimized for quick loading. Let’s take a more detailed look into it.
First and foremost, you need well-framed photographs that show the product in its entirety and highlight all its features. You can shoot the product with props but make sure they don’t distract from the main product.
If you’re planning to take the photographs yourself, it may take a little practice before you figure out the perfect angles, lighting and amount of white space required for each photograph. Else, this is a task you can outsource to a professional product photographer.
At the very least, you require one photograph of the entire product from the front and one from the back, close-ups of details and one photograph of the product in use. However, don’t use too many photographs.
Once you have the final set of photographs, you will need to optimize them for Shopify image sizes. It’s a balancing act. On one hand, the larger the photographs, the longer your page will take to load and on the other, the bigger the photograph, the clearer the details will be. Shopify recommends an image size of 2048x2048 pixels. It should ideally be under 70kb. Format matters too. For quick loading, save your product images in .jpeg files.
There are two ways to optimize Shopify image sizes; manually with photo editing software like Photoshop or by using an automatic compression tool.
While you’re at it, also optimize your thumbnail images. Thumbnails are not indexed by search engines and hence you can remove the alt text from these files.
Even if they’re sized correctly and saved in jpeg formats, do not upload photographs directly from your camera. It is very important to name the photographs correctly. How you name your photograph files is important as search engines take these names into consideration when they rank the website.
You need crisp image titles that describe the product with hyphens between every two words. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords that would add value to your file names.
“Brand-Mens-shoes-black-loafers” may be considered a good name but “Mens-shoes-in-black-colour-with laces-for party” is too longwinded and misses out on the brand name.
Add Alt Attributes
If your customer has a spotty internet connection and the product photograph does not load or if he or she is visually impaired, the alt text you give to your product image will explain what the image was about. It also plays a part in increasing your SEO ranking.
Alt attributes should be short, simple and descriptive, they should include your target keywords in the right density and be relevant to the image. Explanatory phrases such as “photograph of” or “image of” etc. should be avoided. If the product has a model number, this detail can be added to the alt text.
Decorative images do not need alt attributes.
Now that all your product images are optimized, named and ready to be uploaded, you need to put them in the right order. First, you need to choose a featured image for the collection. From the Shopify login page, go-to products and then to collections and select the collection to be updated. If the collection does not have a featured image, you can upload a new image. If there is a default image being used, you can click on Change Image. The featured image for a collection should give the viewer a clear idea of what to expect from the collection.
Minimize Decorative Images
Apart from product images, you may be considering a few add-on decorative images like buttons, borders, etc. While they may add to the site aesthetics, they are dead weight for all practical purposes. These images need to be used in PNG formats that are heavier and slow down your web page load time. Hence, try and minimize the use of all non-product-related images.
Test Your Site
Lastly, you need to test the web pages to see how quickly they load and whether your photographs do justice to the products. Over time, you can also take a look at analytical reports to see which images your site visitors pay most attention to and what angle your customers seem to prefer. This will help you develop a more consistent image style and subtly re-emphasize branding.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes when you design your website. When it comes to product photographs, it’s simple – the better a product looks, the more it will sell. The technical aspect of product images is as important as the aesthetic one – if the image is too heavy and doesn’t load quickly enough, your customer may just close the tab. Keep the tips listed above in mind and you’ll have a website that looks beautiful and gives your customers a pleasant shopping experience.
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