Optimizing your blog images for search
The pictures on your website and in your blog posts are very important. They make your post more visually appealing and can help convey the message you are trying to get across to your readers. In my opinion, every blog post should have at least one picture.
However, aside from the visual and design benefits of pictures on your website and blog, there are a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits your images can bring to your website as well. But simply uploading a picture to your blog won’t do much unless you know how to properly optimize your pictures.
Keep in mind: Google (and search engines in general) can’t view images. Google doesn’t know what your image is a picture of unless you tell it.
How can that be? What about Google Images? When you type “dog” into Google Images, you get pictures of dogs. That’s because all of those pictures have special tags letting Google know what they are about.
There are a few ways to help Google understand your images. Doing these things will let your images, and your blog, be found easier in search results.
OPTIMIZE THE FILE NAME
Before you even upload an image to the website, you need to think about optimization. Make sure that the picture file has an appropriate name. For example, most pictures are titled something generic, like ‘photo1’ or ‘screenshot’ or ‘img321.’ If this is the case, change the title to something that describes the picture. If it is a picture of a black dog sitting in a chair, title it ‘black dog in chair.’ If it is a picture of a dish you baked, title it with the name of the dish. The more descriptive you can be, the better.
OPTIMIZE THE PHOTO TITLE
Once you upload the file, be sure to title it appropriately as well. (Note: we use the WordPress platform for our site, but most other platforms have similar fields to complete.) In WordPress, this is usually automatically populated by the name of the file. So if the file name is titled appropriately, this will be fine as well. If not, you will need to come up with a descriptive title for the photo to put here. Follow the same rules as when choosing a file name.
INCLUDE ALT TAGS
There is a field where you can include alt tags. These tags will not display anywhere that the public can see, but it is a way to give Google more information about what the image is about. I recommend including 4-5 tags about what the image is about as well as what the blog post is about. It is also a good place to slip in a general keyword about your business every so often. However, it’s important to not include too many keywords here. Just a few will do the trick.
Optimizing your images is important, so don’t skip any steps. Fortunately, these things only take a couple extra minutes, but can really help your website be found easier in search engines.