How to Properly Optimize Images on Shopify for Better SEO

Online stores need images. They allow customers to see what they are buying. But large, unoptimized images can slow down your website. Slow websites are frustrating for visitors, and can also damage your search rankings.

This guide will show you how to optimize photos on your site for better Shopify image optimization and a faster, better looking Shopify store.

1 – Name the Images Properly

Using descriptive and keyword-enriched image file names for your images can advance SEO and support discovery through image search results. Adhere to these recommendations for naming your pictures:

  • Use Specific Keywords: Rather than giving a name like “image1.jpg,” use related keywords that indicate the product, its color, or other distinctive traits. For instance, name it as “red-sneakers-mens-running-shoes.jpg.”
  • Hyphenate Words: Let each word in your filename be separated by a hyphen since this enables search engines to recognize individual terms easily while indexing them.
  • Keep It Short: Even though including significant words is important, avoid making the filename too long because it could become unwieldy or get cut off on some systems.
  • Establish Consistency: Create one standard way of naming product images throughout Shopify store creation process so that things stay organized and manageable in future editing phases.

When you name images according to these suggestions, they will rank better on searches. Also it makes managing them easier later within Shopify store build up. Finally offering valuable clues about various things to both users and search engine bots.

2 -Write Effective Alt Texts for Image SEO to Rank Photos into Google Image Search

Alt text is crucial for both accessibility and SEO and our Shopify SEO servicees can help. It describes an image using words that can be read by a screen reader or displayed when an image fails to load.

In addition, properly written alt text also assists search engines in comprehending the context and content of your images, thus making them more likely to appear in image search results.

The following are some suggestions on how to write good alt texts:

  1. Be Descriptive and Accurate: Instead of saying “image of” or “picture of,” try to provide short yet detailed descriptions that accurately reflect what is depicted in the picture.
  2. Include Relevant Keywords: While making sure the alt text sounds natural and descriptive, consider adding some product-related or relevant keyword(s) for optimizing web images.
  3. Consider Context: Depending on where it is being used, think about what other information may be necessary to give appropriate context around this particular use case.
  4. Keep it Brief: Generally speaking, alt texts should be concise – no longer than a few words or phrases; otherwise they might be truncated by screen readers (or even search engines) altogether and increase your image file size.
  5. Distinguish Similar Images: If there are multiple similar pictures shown next to each other (such as different colors of shirts), make sure everyone has slightly different alt text as an attribute for every product image so that they can be distinguished by screen reader users.

These guidelines will help you create efficient alternative text that improves accessibility, enhances user experience and potentially increases visibility of your images in search results.

3 – Compress and Resize Images for Optimal File Size on Your Shopify Site

Quality and file size of images can be greatly affected by the file format you choose. Below are the top three image formats and their features:

  • JPEG: This is a lossy compression format which produces smaller file sizes but sacrifices image quality. It is perfect for photographs or images that do not need transparent backgrounds.
  • PNG: Unlike JPEG, PNG is a lossless compression format that preserves image quality hence bigger file sizes. It is best suited for graphics with transparent backgrounds, logos, and other important elements of a website.
  • WebP: A recent Google-developed picture format that allows both lossy and lossless compression as well as transparency support. WebP images generally have smaller sizes compared to JPEG and PNG images, making them great for optimizing image file sizes on your Shopify site.

For most images, especially product photos, it is recommended to save them in either WebP or JPEG formats due to their small sizes.

Resize Images to Optimal Dimensions to Optimize Images for Shopify

Though Shopify supports uploading an image with up 4472 x 4472 pixels or 20MB (depending on your Shopify theme), it is not advisable because this will lead to slow loading speed. Instead, follow these image optimization tips:

  • Ensure that you resize pictures according to the exact dimensions they will appear on your site. Large files take a longer time load thus slowing down pages unnecessarily.
  • Shopify suggests the resolution of 2048 x 2048 pixels at most for square product images but depending on theme used this might vary together with desired resolution.
  • Avoid resizing any picture so much bigger than its intended display size since small devices may produce blurred or pixelated views when such are shown.

By resizing your images according to their optimal dimensions you will strike balance between quality and weight hence ensuring seamless browsing experience among customers.

Leverage Image Compression Tools to Optimize Your Images

In order to maintain good quality while reducing the size of your pictures further, use some compressing software or plugin designed for this task such as:

  • TinyPNG and TinyJPG
  • ImageOptim
  • Shopify Image Optimizer app

These tools have sophisticated algorithms for compressing large high-resolution image files or many smaller ones. They go beyond the visible loss of detail in order to achieve a good balance between size and quality necessary for providing fast visually appealing experience on your site. Test different methods until you find what works best for all users.

Step 4 – Implement Lazy Loading to Optimize Your Shopify

Lazy loading is one of the best Shopify store speed optimization methods that you can use. This technique works by postponing image loading until they are really needed. Instead of loading all the images on a page at once, lazy loading loads only those images that come into view as the user scrolls down the page.

It should be noted, however, that this doesn’t mean lazy load can be used in any situation. Generally, you want to avoid lazy loading above-the-fold content because these elements should be treated as critical assets and loaded immediately.

When implementing lazy loading on Shopify sites, remember to use placeholder images to prevent layout shifts which can ruin UX (user experience).

There are different ways to achieve lazy-loading support for your Shopify site:

  1. Use a Lazy Loading JavaScript Library such as LazySizes.js by adding required code snippets into theme files.
  1. Leverage apps or plugins for lazy loading available from the Shopify App Store.
  1. Make use of native browser-based lazy-loading capabilities while ensuring backward compatibility with older browsers using polyfills or fallback methods.

Regardless of how you implement it, always test and monitor the impact of lazy load on your store’s performance so that no other features are affected and users don’t suffer from degraded experience.

5 – Create Image Sitemaps 

An image sitemap is a document that gives search engines information about pictures on your website, such as where they are located, their captions and other metadata. Creating an image sitemap and submitting it can help search engines find and index your images better. 

This may improve your visibility in the results pages of searches made with images.

Although Shopify does not have an built-in facility for creating image sitemaps, you can create one for your store by following these steps:

  1. Use a Sitemap Generator Tool: You may use different online tools and apps to generate a website map that includes pictures on Shopify. The or Screaming Frog SEO Spider amongst others are popular choices. Another option would be getting the Image Sitemap app from the Shopify App Store.
  1. Include Relevant Image Information: Ensure that you include significant image URLs, alt texts and captions while generating an image sitemap for SEO purposes. 
  1. Submit the Sitemap to Search Engines: After creating your image sitemap, submit it into major search sites like Google or Bing. Most times this can be done through their own webmaster tools or search console platforms respectively.
  1. Keep the Sitemap Updated: As you add or update images on your Shopify store, remember to regenerate and resubmit your image sitemap to ensure search engines have the most up-to-date information about your website’s visual content.

6 – Test and Adjust Images

You have to test your images on an average basis and change them as necessary if you want to ensure that the pictures of your Shopify shop are optimized. 

Analyze the performance of your website by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest or Pingdom. These tools will show you how fast each page loads and which elements slow it down (including images). They will also suggest ways of improvement.

Keep an eye on such indicators as load time per page or image-related stats over weeks/months/years. This practice will help you find bottlenecks that occurred after certain updates were made either intentionally or inadvertently.


Keep going! Quick sites are preferred by customers. If necessary, start small. But never stop. It becomes easier bit by bit, day by day. Try and change things as you move along. Observe what brings the best outcome in your store.

It is worth it when you try. Optimized pictures bring happy shoppers . Happy shoppers buy more things. They keep coming back also. Stick with it, and you’ll see results.