Consumers expect modern websites to be mainly visual. But, the more compelling and complex the related media is, the more data is involved, compounding the site’s weight. In today’s content-craving world, delivering unoptimized media can cost you because it leads to sluggish page loads, resulting in visitors abandoning your site in search of a faster alternative. In fact, a page load that takes more than three seconds can cause as many as 40% of your visitors to bounce. Given this competitive, digital-first environment, you can’t afford to lose page views, for time is of the essence.
Did you know that humans process imagery 60,000 times faster than text? In fact, 90% of the information our brains process is visual, which makes it seem a no-brainer—pun intended—that brands are connecting with consumers through visual content online. However, adding media assets like images and videos to websites comes with a tradeoff: the more media, the heavier the site, which results in a noticeable slowdown in page loads and a reduction in content quality.
Imagery and video are proven ways to promote engagement and conversion on e-commerce sites. One study found that 75% of online shoppers say that product pictures are “very influential” for their purchase decisions, with a respondent commenting, “If I can’t see it, I can’t make a decision about it.”
For years, Google has been updating its search algorithm to prioritize end-user experience, displaying the most relevant and helpful content at the top of search results. The latest—and maybe the most significant—update so far is Core Web Vitals (CWVs), which are new metrics announced a year ago that will, starting in June, begin determining search rankings. With this update, Google is being abundantly clear that visual experience of webpages is paramount.
As a technology company, Cloudinary owes its success to its ability to build solutions that address the most critical challenges you, our customers, face. The companies we serve run the gamut of digital businesses—retailers and direct-to-consumer brands, media and entertainment, travel and hospitality—which, coincidentally, all care about the same things.
To engage with modern users, today’s websites must be extremely visual. Even though high-quality images and videos can help keep visitors on the site and convert them, those media assets also add to the page weight, load time, and bandwidth. Unoptimized content can result in performance issues, causing visitors to bounce off.
So, your boss comes to you in a panic: he's just heard about Google's Core Web Vitals initiative and needs you to optimize the company website right now! "No problem," you say, hiding your fear that it's not something that can be done overnight. Just taking the first metric, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), how can you possibly identify all the large elements - most likely images or video posters - of the many hundreds of pages that make up your site? There are already thousands of high-resolution (read massive) media files stored away, which marketing could use any time. How are you going to make sure they're all compressed to a size small enough to be delivered within the threshold? Not to mention all the new images and videos that will be created over time...