• 24th May 2021

What is WebP – can it help my SEO?

What is WebP – can it help my SEO?

What is WebP – can it help my SEO? 1024 642 79DESIGN Ltd

The file format of WebP is something that was raised with us just a week or two ago.  They asked us if our websites produce images in WebP format, if that helps with SEO.  If it is Google preferred, and so on.

Is WebP smaller than JPG or PNG?

So this WebP is a file format that is generally thought of as being smaller than PNG or JPG files.  Usually they are, but if your website already compresses images, a WebP format may just compress it further for no real benefit; perhaps bytes of size.

CDN, Files or other ways

There are a few ways a WordPress Website Design (and others) can push WebP File Formats to the browser:

  • WebP files (*.webp)
  • CDN – WebP file format, that is now ‘seen’ as *.webp

We have in fact used both formats.  If your website compresses images already, then the WebP conversion will have little to no images on your site.  In fact we tested one tool and it showed up 95% of the images could not be used as WebP as the original file sizes were smaller!

A CDN will do this on the fly, but you do pay for that – sometimes a lot, sometimes little.  But this can occasionally lead to SEO issues if the network of the CDN is not quite right, or other issues with other file types using the CDN.  In tests we have found incredibly varied results with CDN.

Webp in SEO imagesGoogle likes small files – not just WebP

Google prefers WebP as they are generally smaller files.  Consider this though – if a JPG or PNG on your website is in fact smaller already, converting it, spending money making it a WebP will actually serve you almost no benefit.  It’s all about the speed of delivery.  The smaller the size of your webpage, the faster it will be delivered and downloaded to the browser.  Don’t just assume a WebP is the “be all and end all” to image delivery.

If your image is optimised and compressed, and then WebP does that even more, it could result in poor quality images.

There are many ways to optimise your website, particularly with good WordPress SEO, and one of the biggies is Image Size.  This is however not all about the KBs, but also the Pixels.  We provide WordPress Support throughout the UK, and one of the areas of support is speed.

Example: You have a page that has an image showing at around 450px wide.  Maybe 450/300 of an office.  Great.  How big is that image?  “Back in the day” you would just use HTML to show it at the size you want, but is it not better to load up the correct sized image?  We ran some tests recently on an SEO page from a competitor’s website, and an image like the one described here was 3000px wide, and 1.3MB!  It needed to be around 73KG and 450px wide.

image webp optimisation in SEO

Boost your SEO with better image optimisation

Whoever was doing their optimisation and SEO, needs their Photoshop head read!  Someone was clearly given that photo to add, and just uploaded it, not considering the size of it.

We had a video out a few months ago with ducks in it – all running in a row.  It was about “putting all your ducks in a line”, and if one falls out, then the others just go off.  If you have a page that has animations, things that twist and move, and then an image that is about 2500px wider (which is bigger that most Macbook screens) than it needs to be – not good SEO!

Consider WebP, but also consider if your images are optimised, in terms of size, storage size and so much more.  If you are unsure, just get in touch with us as we can very easily tell you if your site has such issues.

Leave a Reply