Pictures, also referred to as images, are a powerful addition to your website. But how do you use them for SEO, that intimidating term we hear so much about but is so overwhelming?
SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. In a nutshell, it’s the behind the scenes content of your website that helps people find you when they do a Google search. Think key words and key phrases and meta data and so much more!
I want to share some tips on labeling your images for SEO.
I talk a lot about the importance of branded photography. There is so much value to having professional images, but the value goes beyond having fabulous, recognizable visuals. Images have SEO power, and quite a lot of it. They also keep people on your page longer which helps with your bounce rate and rankings.
What are Image (Picture) Attributes
First and for most let me explain where you will find the option to include all of the information you are going to learn about in this episode.
When you upload media to your website, either for a blog post or your headshot or branded photography for pages on your site, or if you are a photographer, to portfolio galleries, you will see options for the following image attributes:
- Alt text
Let’s dive a little deeper into each one.
Let’s start with Alt Text.
The alt text filed originated to serve the non-sighted population. Blind people visit websites and social media pages all the time. Since they cannot see the visual content, we need to provide details for them to be able to visualize or imagine, what we have posted.
The alt text field should include details about the image you are posting.
For example, if I am posting a headshot of a woman in a blog post about the importance of having a professional headshot, my alt text may be:
A headshot of a caucasion woman with blue eyes, long dark curly hair, smiling, slightly angled to the left and wearing a white blouse and navy blazer with small gold hoop earrings.
I’ve included the key phrase for the blog post while providing enough detail that anyone can visualize the woman in the photo.
Next is the title.
I always included a title but according to Google is isn’t necessary. The title will show up if someone hovers over the image on your page. You can use the key phrase in the title or provide a brief description of the image. Just be cautious that you don’t aren’t guilty of key phrase or keyword stuffing in the image attributes.
The caption is a description that will show up underneath the image in a blog post or wherever you post the photo on your website. You can include your key phrase for the blog post or website page in the caption for the sake of consistency and to help the viewer have clarity on the purpose of it being selected for that particular post. But again, you don’t want to over use the key phrase in the image attributes. The important thing to remember when writing a caption is that you want it to be short but explanatory because it is going to be present under the image for everyone to see. I usually do not post captions.
The description is exactly that, a description of the image. You do want to include the key phrase in the description and include your name and any other useful details.
On the headshot example I mentioned my description might be:
Professional headshot for realtor by Robyn Graham.
Or, for a podcast graphic the description might say:
Marissa Polselli was interviewed on The Second Phase Podcast by Robyn Graham. The two women spoke about the power of words for resume writing and LinkedIn profiles.
The description is important because when anyone shares your post or image on Pinterest the description appears. You want your name in the description so that people readily recognize the source or owner of the content.
Likewise, if you are using stock photos or if you have had a professional photographer create the image, give credit to the original source of the image in the description.
Include a URL for the image. This is important for when the post or picture is shared. Again, think Pinterest. When someone views the image and clicks on it, they will be brought back to your website.
When you create a blog post or website page, be sure to designate a featured image. The featured image will be displayed when you share the page or post URL. For example, if you share the link to a blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn, instead of only the title or URL being displayed, the image will be displayed and grab more attention.
Worth the Work
This may sound like a lot of work, but it really only takes a couple of minutes and provides value for your website and will help drive traffic to your website and improve your Google rankings over time too.
If you’d like more information on what types of images you should include on your website and how to become more visible, you can download my Personal Branding Look Book eBook from my website.
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