WebP versus JPEG

March 30, 2023

In the fight for better search ranking, WebP can be a great weapon. What is WebP, how can you use it and what is the difference from JPEG?

What is WebP?

WebP is a modern image format developed by Google that offers lossless and lossy compression.

WebP images are typically 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images, making them faster to load and saving bandwidth costs.

WebP is supported by Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers, Safari, and other web browsers, making it an increasingly popular choice for speed and SEO optimisation of modern websites.

How is WebP different from PNG ?

WebP uses an advanced predictive encoding that enables it to compress images far better than JPEG with even better quality.

What does this mean for you?

  • WebP offers smaller(25%-34%) file sizes and higher quality than JPEG.
  • WebP images can be transparent and animated, while JPEG images cannot.
  • WebP supports lossless compression, meaning no information is lost when the image is compressed.
  • WebP images load faster than JPEG images, meaning your web pages will load faster

SEO and WebP

In the fight over better SEO and Google ranking, WebP can be a great weapon. Google promotes the use of WebP on webpages to improve SEO scores, although not yet widely applied.

Google's Lighthouse WebP recommendation
Google's Lighthouse WebP recommendation

WebP impacts both your page load speed and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), both of which are important signals used by Google's ranking algorithm

Together with optimising image sizes, usage of WebP images is truly low-hanging fruit when it comes to SEO optimisations.

How to get started with WebP

There are several ways you can start using WebP formats:

  1. Convert all of your source images using Google's command-line tools or any third-party conversion software. This approach might be feasible if you have a small number of images to convert
  2. Export all new images as WebP from your Graphics software. (For Figma a plugin is required)
  3. Use Mighty Image to convert images to WebP on demand without having to touch any source images. Together with on-demand resizing to optimal images sizes, this is a cheat code for SEO optimisation
Combine WebP format with proper resizing to decrease file sizes and improve page load speeds

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