If you have just started blogging, or even been blogging for a while here are a few tips that will make your images more friendly to both the search engines and your site visitors.
Before you upload: Optimize your image
Scale your photographs to the exact dimensions which you wish to use them, don’t rely on your blog to re-size your photos, they will download much faster if they are scaled pre upload.
- File size vs quality
Ideally your photographs need to be small in file size but in great quality, large files can take a long time to download frustrating your readers and driving them away.
- Most image editing software will allow you to easily optimize you images to be web ready, however if you don’t have access to anything suitable try Pic Monkey . It will allow you to crop re-size and add text and graphic overlays
Rename your images
Most camera will name photographs some like D03456, an arbitrary number that means nothing. Re-name your photographs so they encompass the following.
- The content of the photograph
- The content of your blog post
- A phrase that someone may search
e.g You are about to write a blog post all about how to make some rope pencil pots.
The image below is named rope_pencil_pots.jpg, which reflects the composition of the photo, the content of the blog post and could feasibly be a phase that someone would use as a search query. Each word with an under score _, but is perfectly OK to separate with a hyphen instead (rope-pencil-pots.jpg)
When search engines visit you site they are unable to “see” a photo of a rope pencil pot, all they understand is the code (HTML) powering the site which in this case looks like this.
<img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_lBtkHUaGZQ/TxhQ30_6TJI/AAAAAAAAA78/YYvdehrboig/s320/rope_pencil_pots.jpg" width="320" />
By giving the photo a meaningful file name it essentially helps the search engines ” see” the photo.
You have uploaded your photo now what?
Add an ALT tag to your photo
What is an Alt Tag?
Alt stands for “Alternative text” and adding an alt tag to an image further enhances the ability of the search engine to understand the content of the photo.
In the case of my rope pots my alt tag would be
alt=”rope pencil pots”
As you can see the phase I am using is the same as the name I gave the image file.
How To Add an ALT Tag
The ease in which an alt tag can be added to a photo depends on which blogging platform you are using, WordPress is much easier than Blogger.
And because this is difficult to explain in words I have made a video which covers adding an Alt tag to your images in both Blogger and WordPress (and just in case you are wondering the accent is English!)
Is it worth the effort?
And here is a little test to show you this effort does pay off. Click the link below, it is the Google image search for Rope Pencil Pots …now look at what they have listed as the first image!
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