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Image Optimization Tools To Improve Load Speed & Conversion

14 Resources to Optimize Website Images:

 

Pictures are important for websites because studies indicate that a relevant image improves engagement and views of a page. Images grab our attention and can trigger emotions much more quickly than text. Our brains process images almost instantly, but it takes much longer to read copy.

image of 2 weights
Source: FreeImages.com

This has a cost though as it increases the weight of a page and consequentially the page often takes longer to load. According to the latest HTTP Archive Report which collects technical data from half a million of the web’s most popular websites, the average page now weighs 2,262 KB, up by 16% during 2015. The average webpage has grown by 221% since 2010 and well over half (64%)
of the weight (1,443 KB) is comprised of images.

To keep pages to a manageable weight it is important that images
are optimised to avoid slow load speed which can be damaging to conversion.   Google penalises sites with slow load speeds and visitors are more likely to abandon a site the longer it takes to load.

Research by Akamai and Gomez.com discovered that almost a half of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and many will leave a site if it hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds.  Etsy found that 160KB of additional images resulted in a 12% increase in the bounce rate on mobile devices.

To help alleviate these problems here  are 14 resources, many of which are free, to optimize your images.

1. CompressNow. Free online tool that supports GIF, JPG, and
PNG. Upload an image up to 9MB, select compression level, and view.

Compressnow.com homepage image


2. FILEminimizer Pictures.
 Offers Free software to reduce
the size of your images, photos and pictures by up to 95%. Compress your JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and EMF images and pictures. Compress whole digital photo albums at once. Choose from four different compression levels. FILEminimizer also comes in a premium suite that integrates with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and Lotus Notes.

Image of Fileminimizer homepage from balesio.com


3. FileOptimizer.
 Free lossless file size optimizer for Windows that supports over 100 different formats. FileOptimizer has a simple
interface that’s easy to automate. All processed files are copied to the recycle bin, so you can easily restore them. FileOptimizer is an open source application.

image of fileoptimizer homepage from nikkhokkho.sourceforge.net


4. ImageOptim.
 This is a Free application for Mac that optimizes PNG, JPG, and GIF images. To do so, ImageOptim integrates a
batch of tools, including PNGOUTPngcrush, ZopfliJpegOptim, and Gifsicle. ImageOptim finds best compression parameters and removes unnecessary comments and colour profiles.

 

Image of Imagoptim.com homepage


5. Image Optimizer.
 Free tool that’s available online or as a
download. Change image dimensions, quality, or file size. Choose an image or compress images in bulk.

Image of imageoptimizer.net homepage


6. JPEGMini.
  A photo compression application that reduces (up to 80 percent) the size of photographs, while preserving their full resolution and quality. JPEGmini Pro supports photos up to 50 megapixels and includes a plugin for Adobe Lightroom. Lite is Free. 

image of jpegmini.com homepage


7. Kraken.io.
 Designed with the purpose of being a single, easy-to-use tool to optimise images. Offers multiple methods for resizing and cropping images, lossless and lossy options, and has a WordPress plugin. You can store optimised images directly in Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Files.

Image of https://kraken.io/ homepage


8. PNGOUTWin.
 An application for Windows that uses its own proprietary algorithms for compression. Convert and compress to PNG from TIFF, GIF, BMP, and other formats, or optimize your existing PNG files. Compress one or more files, and drag and drop multiple files on the main window.

Image of PNGOUTWin homepage from http://www.ardfry.com


9. PNGGauntlet.
 A Free PNG shrinking application for Windows.
It combines PNGOUTOptiPNG, and DeflOpt to create the small lossless PNGs. PNGGauntlet converts JPG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP
files to PNG.

Image of PNGGauntlet.com homepage

 

10. PNGOptimizer. Free small Windows program that cleans and
reduces PNG files. It also converts other lossless image formats (BMP, GIF, and TGA) into PNG. PNGOptimizer has a simple drag-and-drop interface and creates easily available PNG screenshots.

Image of PngOptimizer from PSYDK.org

 

11. PunyPNG. A Free online tool that supports JPG, GIF and
PNG. Compress up to 20 files, with a max of 500KB each. The Pro plan offers higher compression and optional “lossy” (e.g. slight quality reductions)  optimizations, with a 1MB max file size for 5,000 images per month.


12. 
RIOT.  (Radical Image Optimization Tool) is a Free image optimisation programme for Windows to visually adjust compression parameters while retaining minimum file size. Compare the original image next to the optimised image in real-time and instantly see the new file size. Its features include batch support for multiple files, image adjustment tool, and colour reduction.

Image of http://luci.criosweb.ro/riot/ homepage

13. TinyPNG. A Free online tool that provides lossy compression to reduce the file size of your PNG files. By selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, fewer bytes are required to
store the data. TinyPNG also offers a plugin for Photoshop, for Windows and Mac.

 

Image of Tinypng.com homepage

14. Trimage. This is a Free cross-platform tool for optimizing PNG
and JPG files. Trimage uses OptiPNGPngcrushAdvanceCOMP, and Jpegoptim, depending on the file type. All images are compressed on the highest available lossless-compression
levels. Available for Linux and other Unix systems.

Thank you for reading my post. If you found it useful please share it using the social media button below.

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

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  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as Deezer.comFoxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com.  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.  By  aligning each stage of the customer journey  with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@outlook.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.

12 Cross-Browser Testing Tools To Improve User Experience & Increase Conversion.

For my Free Digital Marketing Toolbox click here.

Why Cross-Browser Solutions?

Webpages can look very different in each browser they are viewed in because a browser understands some code slightly different than other browsers. This can often be the cause of your conversion rate being significantly lower for some of your supported browsers.

With over 1,000 combinations of browsers, operating systems and plugins it is practically impossible to check every single page to ensure it renders correctly for all users. Even if you only focus on checking the most common browsers, OS, device and plug-ins it is still a very time consuming and complex process.

For most organisations it is likely to be more efficient and better use of your scare resource to get a company that specialises in this task. They can quickly check and come back to you with screen shots from multiple browsers, operating systems, devices etc. You can then concentrate on the analysis and fixing problems identified.

1. Browsera:  Browsera locates cross-browser layout problems automatically by comparing each browser’s output and reporting on JavaScript errors. The site crawling feature allows for easy testing of all the pages on your site. It can also test pages behind login and does not require any installation as the service works entirely in the cloud. The Free plan offers limited browsers, deferred processing, public pages and low resolution screenshots. However, the Free plan does include problem detection, site crawling and JavaScript errors.

2. BrowseEmAll: Live testing, automated screenshots and compatibility reporting all from your own PC. BrowserEmAll operates from your local machine to find cross-browser problems, optimize for mobile devices using simulators for iOS and Android, test local pages and allows you to run different browsers side-by-side.

BrowserEmAll is great for testing websites protected by firewalls because it is on your own machine and you can run up to four different browsers side-by-side and instantly see how a change affects the page rendering in your selected browsers. Free trial licence key available on request.

3. Browsererling: Offers a limited Free live interactive cross-browser testing that is powered by HTML 5 canvas and JavaScript so no need for Flash, Applets or anything to install. Simply enter your URL and when your test is ready you have 3 minutes to review it. The paid plan unlocks ‘premium’ browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 to 11, and provides Secure Shell Tunnels (SSH), resolution changes and premium support.

4. BrowserShots: Is a Free (though there is a charge for priority processing) open-source online web application that takes screenshots of your web pages in different operating systems and browsers.  It uses a number of distributed computers to open your website in their browser. It will then take screenshots and upload them to a central  dedicated server for you to view.

5. BrowserStack: Provides easy access to all desktop and mobile browsers using live, web-based testing. You can test internal servers or local HTML designs, via remote browsers through a secure local testing setup. Free trial offer gives access to over 700 desktop and mobile browsers.

6. Cross Browser Testing: Covers over 1,000 combinations of browsers, operating systems and plugins.  Just enter your URL, select your browsers and get automated screenshots of how your website renders. Check Ajax, HTML forms, JavaScript and Flash  in most browsers and operating systems in your own browser or through a remote VNC connection. Also checks most major mobile devices.

The comparison feature allows you to choose a ‘base’ browser as a benchmark and provides a summary of rendering differences, plus screenshots of images side-by-side to identify layout issues. Allows you to test locally, even behind firewalls and secure login. You can also change the browser, cache, cookie settings and turn JavaScript off if required. Free trial and demo available.

7. Ghostlab: Provides synchronized testing of web and mobile for scrolls, clicks, reloads, and form input. This allows you to test the whole customer experience and identify problems connected with the DOM programming interface or JavaScript output.

Using their development tool you can inspect the DOM on connected devices remotely and make live changes to the DOM. Changes are synced to all connected devices, providing instant feedback on how it will affect your site on other devices. The remote JavaScript debugging feature allows you to debug JavaScript code on any client that is connected to Ghostlab. Free full-featured 7 day demo.

8. IE NetRenderer: A Free service that allows you to check how webpages render in Internet Explorer 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 or 5.5, as seen from a high speed data centre located in Germany. Type in your URL into the field and it comes back with your page almost immediately.

9. Litmus: Provides cross-browser testing as an additional feature to its email preview service. The latter shows previews across more than 30 email clients and devices, with images of how your message looks in the preview pane, and with images on and off. For cross-browser testing simply enter the URL and Litmus will show you how it looks in most popular browsers.

Further, Litmus offers link validation by providing a screenshot of each web page that a link in an email takes a recipient to and it certifies that the URLs you are linking to are not blacklisted. It also confirms that you click-throughs are being tracked correctly.

Offers unlimited and enterprise plans that allow you to use only the features you need, add as many users as you need, organize your account and re-sell Litmus without an integration. 7 day Free trial available.

10. SauceLabs: An automated cross-browser checking service for desktop and mobile. Covers over 450 browser and platform configurations. Enables access to live breakpoints during testing which allows you to investigate problems manually during the process. Free 14-day trial available for all sizes of organisation.

11. Spoon: This is a browser sandbox which currently covers Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, Firefox mobile, Opera mobile and Opera mini. Spoon offers manual and automated browser testing. The browsers run within isolated virtual containers, eliminating the need for installs and allowing legacy browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 to run on Windows 7 and 8. Just click Run for any browser to launch it instantly.

Containerised browsers behave the same as installed browsers, and because they run locally, you can test web applications hosted on your own development machine or on internal servers. Spoon browsers also support standard browser components like Java applets and ActiveX controls, as well as common plugin like Firebug, JE Developer Toolbar, and CSS and JavaScript debugging consoles.

Spoon browsers support standard browser components like Java applets and ActiveX controls as well as popular browser plugins like Firebug, IE Developer Toolbar, and CSS and JavaScript debugging consoles.

Browser Studio is Spoon’s three-step tool for creating custom browser containers. Choose your browser, and version, pick the run times and plugins you need and Spoon will create your custom test environment in minutes. This for instance allows you to test a web application with a Java dependency or see if Flash breaks your website.

12. TestingBot: Provides either automated or manual cross-browser testing with Selenium in the cloud. You can operate tests in 198 browser/OS combinations and every test runs on a virtual machine. Manual testing allows you to control browsers interactively from your own machine or you can run automated tests by choosing which browsers to test. You decide when automated tests should run and over what time frame.

Advanced reporting for each test includes multiple screenshots, video of your test and detailed statistics about the test. Their secure testing environment allows you to run tests on your local computer, on a LAN, or on a server via VPN. Offers a two week Free trial.

All the subscription services offer some kind of free trial and so you have nothing to lose by giving one or more a try out.

Thank you for reading my post and I hope you found it useful.  If you did find my post of value please click on the social media icons at the bottom of the page to show your appreciation.

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

 

  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as Deezer.comFoxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com.  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.  By  aligning each stage of the customer journey  with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@outlook.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.

8 Solutions To Prevent Website Abandonment.

The Abandonment Problem!

On average, around 96% of people who visit a website will leave without generating a lead or converting. Many have no intention or desire to convert. They are probably not be in the market for what you sell or offer. Some will have arrived on your site by mistake or are simply doing research.

However, there will be an unknown proportion of visitors who are currently in the market for your product or service. These visitors could potentially be persuaded to buy if they are engaged in the right way and your value proposition is sufficiently compelling. This is where your conversion activity needs to be targeted.

A systematic approach to A/B testing will allow you to identify areas for improvement. Beyond this there are two tools that can help improve conversion for those visitors that abandon your site.

Cart Abandonment:

Shopping cart abandonment is a massive problem for online retailers. Taking statistics from 29 different studies, the Baymard Institute in the UK, have estimated that around 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Just reducing this rate by 1% could increase revenues by millions of pounds a year for major retailers.

Help is at hand though with Shopping cart abandonment tools. Using a single line of JavaScript the software enables automated emails  to be sent to visitors who leave your website without buying items in their basket.

 

Re-Marketing:

For those visitors who don’t get to add an item to their basket there is onsite re-marketing. This uses real-time personalised onsite messaging to target form abandonment and other revenue-reducing behavioural issues (e.g. when visitors move to exit your site or become inactive). Onsite re-marketing helps to increase visitor engagement levels and should improve your conversion rate.

Listed below are 8 providers of shopping cart abandonment and onsite re-marketing tools.

1. Communicator: Provides automatic email campaigns for shopping cart abandonment. Recommends that emails are sent within 20 minutes of abandonment. On average it achieves a conversion rate of 5.2% using highly relevant and personalised communications.

Image of Communicator/corp.com homepage

2. NUDGR from Formisimo: This is a new solution to respond to abandonment of forms and checkouts. It is a machine learning based tool which uses algorithms to precisely identify patterns of behaviour that result in customers abandoning your site. This allows the tool to accurately predict customer intent and offer timely interventions to reduce site abandonment. The solution allows you to tailor offers according to your customers and campaigns.

Image of NUDGR.io homepage

 

3. Rejoiner: Offers automated email campaigns for shopping cart abandonment, and personalised behavioural email campaigns (e.g. for partial web form submission) to re-target users who exit your site. Optimizes campaigns through personalisation, segmentation and A/B testing email campaigns.

Image of rejoiner.com homepage

 

4. SaleCycle: Delivers both onsite re-marketing using targeted messages to 100% of visitors as they are about to leave your website and shopping cart or form abandonment email re-marketing.  Offers A/B testing of emails as standard and claim email re-marketing increases sales between 4.5% to 6%.

 

Image of salecycle.com

 

5. SAP Hybris: Conversion Manager triggers real-time onsite messaging, personalised emails and re-targeted advertisements for shopping cart and form abandonment. Offers A/B testing as standard. Browser Manager triggers 1 to 1 real-time campaigns based upon visitors browsing behaviour (e.g. visitor goes to exit site).

   Image of hybris.com homepage

 

6. ScreenPopper: Helps you convert more users through a pop-up appearing on top of a web page, with the goal of promoting a single call-to-action. The benefit is you get the visitors immediate attention, which can be used to for conversion purposes. If your goal is to get more newsletter sign ups, you can use the pop-up to offer an incentive in exchange for an email address. Free 14 day trial.

 Image of screenpopper.com homepage

7. Upsellit: Delivers a range of solutions for cart abandonment, including live chat, personalised automated email campaigns, real-time site abandonment detection and targeted onsite re-marketing offer campaigns.

Image of upsellit.com homepage

 

8. VeContact: Collects abandonment data to create real-time personalised  emails that seek to bring lost customers back to their pre-populated basket. Claims to achieve a conversion rate of up to 60% of abandoned visitors.

 

Image of veinteractive.com homepage

 

Thank you for reading my post. If you found it useful please share it using the social media icons below.

 

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@outlook.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, check out the Conversion Uplift  Facebook page or connect on LinkedIn.