Sunday, 30 April 2017

Increase your SEO in 2 easy steps with optimized images

SEO. It’s probably most frustrating, confusing, and downright annoying thing anyone who owns a website has come across. Due to the ever changing nature of algorithms and the seemingly endless number of factors that go into SEO, I know it’s just not for me to learn it all. That said, I do have a nifty set of tricks that has increased my traffic – both of which are applied directly to my images!

I do these two steps for EVERY. SINGLE. IMAGE. These super basic, outrageously easy, and not-too-techy tricks have increased my organic search traffic almost 1000%. Oh, and step number 2 will also help optimize your Pinterest images as well.

So let’s take a little time to optimize those images of yours for SEO, increase your organic traffic, and get a stellar Pinterest foundation laid out!

SEO is a tricky, scary, and daunting concept - but it doesn't have to be! Here are two simple ways to get you started!


Name Your Images

No kidding. This is probably the easiest thing you can do to dramatically increase your SEO. Naming your images with the proper keywords will make sure people can find them. If you have a beautiful graphic created and you upload it with the name “IMG_1247”, how will Google or any search engine recognize that it’s really a detailed layout of file formats? Or that it’s the most recent floral centerpiece you’ve designed? Or perhaps a recipe that you’ve just finished creating?

The fact is, Google can’t see images. Okay… well maybe that’s not entirely true, but we’re years away from that technology being useful or applied in areas such as SEO. In the meantime, why not tell Google exactly what it’s seeing so that you can rank higher? If you name your image with the correct keywords, search engines will know where to put it. For example “orange-pistachio-macaron-pancakes.jpg” is a bit more obvious than “IMG_8734” and will bring in people searching for any of those 4 keywords. Don’t feel that you need to be limited to just 4 words either. I create some pretty long file names myself and it’s worked out quite well. The key is to simply be accurate with your descriptions so that you’re getting quality visitors who stay on your site (this increases your SEO too!).

You may be wondering about whether you should use hyphens in your file names. Definitely! The search engine can’t tell that orangepistachiomacaronpancakes.jpg is actually 4 words, so a hyphen will let it know exactly what you mean.

Use Your Alt Attributes

I would actually say that this part is definitely more important than simply naming your images. I’ve noticed that the few images I didn’t have time to change the names on still do pretty well as long as I have strong Alt attributes.

Alt attributes are a full description of your image, and are used by those who have images turned off in their browsers or use a screen reader (similar to a text to speech program, for example). Search engines see these and not only can read them, but also help make your site friendly to those types of readers – bonus! Alt attributes simply need to be a sentence or small paragraph describing your image. You don’t need to use hyphens either.

When you’re adding an image to WordPress or Blogger, they both allow you to add alt tags to the image upload form. If you’re a bit more adventurous and want to hand code it, simply add alt=”” to your image tag.

What about Pinterest?

Well here’s the nifty little thing. When you fill out your alt attribute, you’re also creating the default description of your pin! Pinterest naturally pulls the alt attribute and fills in the default description in their pin box. So when you create your description, make sure it’s a strong one that holds your keywords and doesn’t sound spammy.

Don’t expect overnight results!

As with everything SEO, don’t expect your results to happen overnight. Just be sure to stay consistent, and use strong keywords that accurately reflect your images and you’ll notice increased results soon.

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