Recently, I’ve found myself focusing more and more on optimizing page load times. Improving page speed is something that is generally pretty easily understood by clients, and it positively impacts user experience and conversion as well as SEO.
But there’s one element of page speed optimization that even non-technical marketers and content creators can contribute to: image optimization. As Kristine Schachinger points out in her excellent article on image optimization, resizing and compressing images can often be the easiest and highest-impact action for speeding up pages on your site.
Schachinger does a great job of outlining image compression and resizing best practices, but once you know which images need work (or if you just have some new images to add to your site), what’s the best tool for actually compressing images?
Since image compression can be such an easy win, I wanted to test the capabilities of five different free, standalone image compression tools that writers, designers or marketers can use to ensure that they’re keeping their image file size in check.
For this post, I ran three images from a site I own through each of the tools:
Two of the images were PNG, and one was JPG, and each had been generated without any focus on optimizing for size or for ultimately being compressed (as will frequently be the case “in the wild”).
There are a lot of different free image optimization tools. While I’m sure I’m not aware of all of them, I’ve checked out 15 to 20 different tools and found these five to be the best suited for most purposes. I think its likely that most people reading this post will find that one of these five is a good fit for their image compression needs.
Let’s run through the various tools I used to compress the images.
Optimizilla has a very simple interface:
The biggest “pros” in Optimizilla’s favor are that the tool allows you to run up to 20 images through for compression at a time (a couple of the others on this list do as well) and that it has a great image preview feature which lets you dial up or down the “quality” of the photo.
This quality slider feature allows you to adjust your image compression based on whether the resulting image will look acceptable. Dialing down the quality shrinks the size of the image, so if you can’t see much of a difference at 60 percent versus 90 percent image quality, you may want to dial things down to 60 percent to reduce the image size as much as possible.
Like Optimizilla, TinyPNG has a nice, simple interface and allows you to run up to 20 images at a time. It also has a convenient “export to Dropbox” option:
Compressor.io also offers compression. Unfortunately, there’s not a bulk upload feature here, so you have to upload one image at a time:
Kraken does allow you to upload multiple files. It also has some nice features, like allowing you to easily export files to Dropbox or import files from Box, Dropbox or Google drive. Additionally, Kraken allows for “advanced” customization, like altering quality and orientation and preserving metadata for your photos.
The major downside to Kraken is that it was the only tool on the list that wouldn’t execute compression for all of the files in the free version of the tool. Our large infographic (which was a very big file at 1.7MB) hit their free cap. Their pro plans currently range from $5 to $79 a month.
5. Gift of Speed
What about the results?
As you can see below, all of the tools had a significant impact on image size. It’s worth noting that in each instance, I took the default version of the compressed image from each tool — I likely could have experienced even larger gains by tweaking the advanced settings in tools like Kraken and Optimizilla.
As you can see, on raw default performance, TinyPNG had the smallest file size for the two larger images, and Compressor.io had the smallest size for the logo. If you’re curious about before and after image qualities, I’ve uploaded all of the files to a public Dropbox folder here.
If you’re looking for a tool for your team to use that is very easy to use and outputs a much smaller image by default, I’d probably recommend TinyPNG. Personally, I’ll frequently use Optimizilla, as I find it’s the best combination of a simple interface with some easy-to-use customization (where I can preview and dial down the quality to help shrink a file if necessary).
How does this actually impact things?
You might be thinking, “OK, great, so you made these image files much smaller — but how much of an impact does that really have on how quickly my page loads?”
To help demonstrate how dramatic the impact can be, I created a page on a WordPress site and first added the initial images (and nothing else) to the body of the page and logged the total load time for the page, then removed them and replaced them with the smallest version of each file.
Page load with all of the original images added to a page:
Page load with the best-optimized version of each image added to a page:
So, page load time decreased by more than half once the three images were optimized.
Now, this is obviously a particularly pronounced impact given the presence of the large infographic file, but your logo (and similar files) are present on every page on your site, and there’s a good chance that between blog posts, product images and other areas of your site, you have several non-optimized images. How much of an aggregate page load impact (and ultimately how much traffic and revenue) are you forfeiting by using these unoptimized images?
The post From big to small: 5 free image compression tools reviewed appeared first on Search Engine Land.
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Next week in New York City, search marketers from across the world will gather for SMX East 2017 — three days of actionable tactics, mind-expanding education and awesome, valuable networking events. We really hope to see you there! If you haven’t already booked your ticket, there’s still time. Here’s a rundown of your options:
So there you have it. A pass for every person. Pick the one that best suits your budget and goals, and join us next week in NYC!
Pssst — We also offer team rates so your crew can divide and conquer, learning as much as you possibly can, all while enjoying considerable discounts! Check out more about our team rates here.
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Google Tag Manager has added a native scroll depth trigger tool to report scroll-tracking data in Google Analytics.
According to Simo Ahava’s blog post on the new feature, the native scroll depth trigger includes basic options that allow users to track both vertical and horizontal scrolling. Site owners can track scrolling activity on all or select pages of a website.
“The new trigger comes with all the base features you’d expect in a scroll depth tracking plugin,” writes Ahava, “There’s no option to track scrolling to specific HTML elements, but luckily the recently released Element Visibility trigger takes care of this.”
To enable the feature, go to the “Trigger Configuration” menu within Google Tag Manager and select “Scroll Depth.” From there, users can configure “Scroll Depth Threshold,” “Scroll Depth Units” and “Scroll Direction” tracking parameters.
While Ahava reports the new plugin works well and makes it easy to set up a Google Analytics Event tag for scroll-depth tracking, he notes that users should be mindful of certain tracking options.
“If you load the page so that you are on or have crossed any one of the defined thresholds, the gtm.scrollDepth trigger will automatically fire for all the thresholds you have crossed,” writes Ahava, “So, if you are at the very bottom of a page and you reload the page, GTM will fire a trigger for each of the thresholds 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, without the user explicitly scrolling.”
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When it comes to SEO, you have to play by Google's rules. But Google's latest Fred roll-out has webmasters worried about transparency - here's why.
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If you’ve heard of Bitcoin then you most likely have heard of blockchain, the technology that enables Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to exist and function. The technology is forecast to disrupt many industries as it allows users to conduct transactions without a middleman in a secure and transparent format.
Some of the industries that can potentially be disrupted are car sales, voting, ridesharing, real estate, insurance, sports management, loyalty cards and gun tracking. While the search marketing industry is not as mainstream as the aforementioned industries, it can also be potentially disrupted by blockchain.
Now, before we go any further, this article is not about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. However, if Bitcoin is adopted by large companies such as Amazon or Walmart, it will certainly have an impact on the future of payments between search marketing agencies, website owners, advertisers and others. Contract agreements will also be impacted, as the blockchain could be leveraged for more transparency and accuracy.
What is blockchain
Here is a great definition of blockchain offered by Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of a 2016 book called “Blockchain Revolution”:
Image courtesy of weforum.org
In layman’s terms, it’s like a Google Doc spreadsheet that is shared with the public which displays transactions and is tamperproof. Many are considering blockchain to be as impactful as the internet was in the ’90s.
Impact on search engine marketing (SEM)
In the digital marketing world, many central authorities, such as Google and Facebook, connect advertisers with website owners. For example, Google is a central authority in programmatic ads, where it helps advertisers run ads on websites via the Google Display Network. Google essentially is the middleman that helps advertisers and website owners trust each other. If they already trusted each other, they would not need Google as an intermediary taking a cut of the profits.
Enter blockchain, which can verify that every user is genuine with 100 percent accuracy and that the website owner is only charging the advertiser for genuine clicks through to their site. Then the website owner and the advertiser don’t need a middleman to arbitrate their agreement, which would save them both money. Blockchain presents a big threat to Google’s display network revenue.
Blockchain being the unhackable distributed ledger is going to also help reduce online fraud. It will provide transparency for persons involved in a transaction without giving away their personal details, essentially proving they are a real person. Ad fraud is a big problem: It cost advertisers over $7 billion in 2016. A number of players — including Microsoft, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and DMA (in partnership with MetaX) — are already working on blockchain-based digital identification systems.
Impact on search engine optimization (SEO)
As companies start to adopt blockchain, they will need to integrate it within their websites. This involves the web developers as well as the SEOs, if they are trying to gain organic search benefits as well as display the information from the blockchain transactions.
This will present both technical issues and opportunities in which SEOs will have to work alongside developers to resolve compatibility issues with different content management systems and website platforms. I have noticed that the Schema community has already started to work on Schema Markup for blockchain certificates and user ID profiles. Both items are a work in progress and have not yet been published on Schema.org.
Here is a glimpse of what the codes for both items looks like.
The following sample markup (from our company) is in JSON-LD format. Full details can be viewed on GitHub.
Blockchain user ID profiles
As new blockchains are developed and it is more widely adopted, it will certainly disrupt the search marketing industry in many other ways. For now, search marketers should pay close attention to blockchain as it grows.
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It seems straightforward enough. We human beings are innately verbal creatures. Writing is just taking the language we dream, think, and speak in, and arranging the words on some paper or a computer screen. So why is it so hard sometimes? I think it’s because the same inventive brains that gave us Harry Potter, A
The post What’s Your Worst Writing Fear? Dread and Trepidation from Our Editorial Team appeared first on Copyblogger.
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Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:
Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:
Search News From Around The Web:
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Want to Close More Prospects In Your MLM Business? Dont Use Another Script Before You Apply These 3 Tips
You’ve prospected and invited…
Then, when it gets to the closing the prospect…
Getting stuck in sponsoring, especially during the close.
Whether you're new, or maybe you've been in the business and you've been struggling for a while, you're letting your current situation, or your current lack of success… Affect you!
But truth is, not another invite or closing script can cure this.
The Determining Factor for Executing a Close
People are buying YOU, not your scripts or how good your products or company is…
I'm not talking about lying about the income.
People want to be lead…
3 Tips to Closing Prospects to Your MLM Business
MLM Closing Tip #1- Connecting
This first lesson is about connecting.
You both got along well, even though somewhere your mentor didn't connect with him or her.
Who do you think that prospect will feel more connected with, furthermore, more likely to say ‘yes’ to?
Two key points to maximize closing:
1) Connect your prospect with whom he/she will have more of a connection with: are they in similar career paths, are they stay at home parents, etc.
MLM Closing Tip #2- Break it Down
Break down the objection your prospect may be giving you.
A way to overcome this fear is to break down the ‘large’ cost (objection) of the initial investment and put it into simpler, ideal terms by breaking down the numbers.
This is called the Breaking Down Close.
You would ask your prospect:
In two years that’s like seven hundred thirty something days right, so just say in two years.
Jessie, you’re a hard worker, you look like a hard worker…
Are you willing to invest a dollar a day, that’s seven hundred dollars to the seven hundred and thirty days in two years, so, are you willing to invest a dollar a day for the next two years to be financially free?
The 2 key points to maximize closing:
1) How confident you are in your questions, your overall approach to get them started.
2) Breaking down their fear, objection into simpler, ideal numbers that then shows them the vision of the value
MLM Closing Tip #3- Weekly Goals
You have to have a weekly deadline, a deadline that creates urgency to hit your weekly goal…
Macy’s, Apple, they all have quotas, sales they set to be met by the end of the week.
Well, how much money are you making?
What's your self talk when closing prospects?
Are you prospecting and closing like someone who is ‘stuck and struggling’, or like a top earner would?
Because you can have the ‘perfect scripts’ that can handle any objection…
How will you approach your closes differently?
Share a comment below on what you learned, and how you will take action.
The post Want to Close More Prospects In Your MLM Business? Don’t Use Another Script Before You Apply These 3 Tips appeared first on MLM Nation: Network Marketing Training | Prospecting | Lead Generation | Leadership | Duplication | Motivation.
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AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, Google’s open source initiative to improve web page speed and performance for mobile users. But that speed comes at a cost for digital marketers. AMP eliminates scripts — including the scripts that help you track mobile calls.
On October 19, join our Google AMP experts as they explore AMP’s pros and cons, as well as how leading technology providers are helping marketers identify AMP visitor sessions and track call sources.
Register today for “AMP Up Your Call Conversions: 5 Things You Need to Know,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by CallTrackingMetrics.
The post Google AMP and call attribution — 5 things you need to know appeared first on Search Engine Land.
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The holiday season has arrived early for locally focused marketers. Consider the developments that have occurred just in the past week:
If you spend a lot of time trying to appeal to a locals-only market, SMX East features a number of sessions that you’ll find valuable above and beyond the great content you’ll experience over the full three days of the conference.
Dan Leibson of Local SEO Guide will walk you through the results of The Definitive Guide To Local Search Ranking Factors, one of the largest-ever statistical studies of the local search ranking factors. He’ll show you what they’ve learned about the effect of more than 100 factors on the rankings of 15,000 local businesses in a hundred different metros.
If you run a local business of any type, you know the critical role that word-of-mouth endorsements play in helping spread the word about your services. In Harnessing The Power Of Online Reviews, Rob Kerry walks you through how reviews — the online equivalent of word-of-mouth testimony — can have a big impact on quality of service, customer satisfaction, customer retention and customer acquisition.
And if you’re marketing a service-based business, you won’t want to miss Top Ranking Factors For Service Based Businesses. In this session, you’ll learn:
Don’t delay: SMX East is next week!
To attend these and other sessions at SMX East, you can still take advantage of the best pre-conference rate. So be sure to register for SMX East now.
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