Optimize Your Images In 4 Steps

Taking Good Photos Is Just Part of SEO Success

SEO has never been easier for newbies and pros alike. Rankings, backlinks, competitors, reports, analytics – you name it – all in one place.

Photos were once a bit of a blogger afterthought. Many of us (particularly in the reputation management space) thought of them as eye candy. Photos made pages look nicer, we thought, but they really weren’t doing anything for our SEO scores or our overall page health scores.

But here’s the thing: If you spend just a little extra time on your photo posting routine, you could transform your photos from candy to cultivator. When you’re done, you could get the traffic boost you’ve been looking for.

The Best Ways To Do It

1. Amend Your File Name

The average digital camera assigns a numeric file name to each image you take. So chances are, your photos come with names like “00009.jpg,” which says absolutely nothing about what the photo contains or how it might be used.
Pop that photo on your site without amending the file name, and you’ll bump up against Google’s image publishing guidelines. Here, the developers specifically ask posters to amend their image file names before they publish a photo online.
Google’s computer program is robust, but at the moment, it’s not quite able to read an image and determine what it contains (although that might be changing soon). That means the program uses surrounding text to determine what an image really shows and why it might be valuable. That file name is part of the data Google examines and, in the absence of other valuable data, that file name might be used as the image’s snippet in search results.
Sure, it’s a pain to rename a photo. Clearly, that work comes with some significant benefits.

The Best Ways To Do It

2. Complete the Alt Text Box

When you’re set to post your photo on your blog, you’ll get a dialogue box with a bunch of fields you can fill out. If you’ve been skipping over this box, slow down and take a peek at the benefits you possibly missing. Let’s start with the all-important “alt text” box.
As Google has made clear, the algorithm looks closely at the data contained in this alt box, and it uses that data to determine what content is and is not relevant to someone performing a search. That means you need to put something in this box for Google’s spiders to find you.
But, this alt box also has a deeper (and as some suggest, a more meaningful) purpose. This text is displayed as a replacement for images when users can’t access those snaps. People with vision impairment might specify alt text replacements, and those with very slow connection speeds might also get “alts” instead of images.
That means your alt text shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords that really don’t mean anything. They should be filled with natural words that accurately describe what the image is about.
And you have a plenty of words to use, too, as some research suggests that alt text can be up to 16 words long. Verbosity might be your friend here if it helps your readers to understand what the image is about.

The Best Ways To Do It

3. Write a Photo Description

Up next, the title tag. This is the small amount of data that people will see when they hover over an image. And, it’s also the text that Pinners will see if they attempt to pop your photos on their Pinterest boards.
Your title tags can treat to your keywords, say most experts. If you have a specific search term you’re targeting with your blog post, ensure that term appears in at the very least one image title tag, too. Don’t go overboard with it, of course. This is far from hidden text, so you won’t prefer to fill the space with garbage. Be respectful and keep the jargon to a minimum. But do use this space to advance your keyword cause.

The Best Ways To Do It

4. Slap a Caption Under Your Photo

Captions can be a little controversial. To some, they’re just clutter text that demonstrates how poorly the image integrates with the text around it. If the photo fit in so seamlessly, you wouldn’t need a caption to explain the shot?
Well, not exactly.
A caption is a great way to stop the eye of a scanner breezing through your web page. That matters as a high bounce rate could impact your SEO scores. By keeping those readers engaged with your content for just a little longer, you could do better on search.
But if you have questions or comments, I ‘d love to hear them. Just drop me a line in the comments!