Images and SEO

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By Project Manager – Mike Loomey

Google mostly looks at text when examining a web page, or blog post to see where it will rank in the SERPS or Search Engine Results Pages.

It will take into consideration the number of words, the keyword density, the H1 headings, H2 to H6 sub-headings etc. Image-heavy web sites and blog posts that contain very few words are therefore at a significant disadvantage. These might include photography sites, ones for artists and painters etc. Often, this sort of site owner will not want to spoil the look of a beautifully laid out site by added lots (of what they perceive as) “ugly” text.

I can see their point. So here are a number of techniques which can be employed to get around this issue …

(1) You could create and optimise some sub-pages on your site and with SEO attract people to those. You will attract traffic without having to spoil those main aesthetically pleasing looking ones

(2) Make sure you add ALT text to absolutely every image on your site. This should include your well researched key phrases. Be careful to avoid keyword stuffing though. I tend never to go over a 5% keyword density for my keywords.

(3) Before uploading any image to your WordPress media library, make sure that you (a) rename the file to include a descriptive key phrase in the new file name. (b) compress the image using a suitable plugin; or an image manipulating program like Photoshop, or similar. Compressing the file will mean that it loads quickly, which is something Google loves. (c) You can also specify the height and width of the image in the HTML code, which again speeds things up. (d) Always include an image title. Check out “W3Schools” to find out how to include a keyword rich image title in HTML It’s a tad tricky at first but like many things, you only have to take the trouble to learn it once. Then it’s a skill you will have forever !

(4) Again, before uploading any image to your WordPress media library, (a) right click the image, go down to properties and #tag the image with keyword rich tags. (b) If you think it is appropriate to the goods or services you provide, find an external program … like Sourceforge.net to geo-tag your images with the name of the town or district in which they were taken or are on offer. These steps will help you get ranked a bit higher in the normal Google search. However, it will have an even bigger influence in Google and Bing image search … Why? … Because nobody else can be bothered to do it!

Mike is the founder of both 3 in 1 SEO and 3 in 1 Web Design

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