Gone are the days when bloggers just wrote loads of text, stuffed it with keywords and spammy anchor text, sought after a gazillion back links, and then ranked well in Google. Google has matured, and so has its users — even the young ones. Users are now looking for a multimedia experience, so visuals matter. Actually, visuals rule. In the short attention span of today’s digital world, a blog graphic or photo can propel users to engage and pay attention. So my dear creative blogger, when blogging, [bctt tweet=”add photos because they not only make your blog visually appealing, they also help you get found via Google Image Search results and on Pinterest.”]
Here are 5 tips for optimizing your photos for search and new free e-mail course.
#1. No tricks. If a photo was taken in NY, but you’ve moved and now have a business in Texas, do not rename that photo with Texas keywords or put unrelated keywords into the blog post. The image text needs to be related to the post or image file, period! Yes you can describe the wedding or event or the actual photo.
#2. Is it scannable? The % of people who actually read a whole blog post is not so high, so I like using photos to break up my blog post and make it scannable. So you can try to have some text, then some images, then some text or use photo graphics to break up your longer text. I love using canva for this too. Basically use media to your advantage and get visitors to stay on the site longer.
#3. Loading time and speed matter! Some of you are creative entrepreneurs that showcase lots and lots of photos in your posts, which can slow your whole blog down. Make sure you’re compressing those image files. There’s no need for your image files to be wider than 1200 pixels; my files are about 900 pixels wide. I only blog a few photos on my Fuse SEO blog, but on my photography blog, I use quite a few photos within each post. When a post contains more than a few photos, they are sized to 750 pixels wide. I have a goal this year of blogging fewer images for my photography work. Instead, I will add a slideshow or gallery link at the end to maximize my optimization without spending excessive time on it. This will give my readers a better viewing experience. You can resize your photos in a program like Blog Stomp, or you can use one of the following plugins to resize images: WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, Lazy Load.
Bonus tip: For images with text, illustrations, infographics or teaching/tutorial based posts, use PNG files instead of JPEGs.
Tip #4. Variation matters. You should not be repeating the text in your image files or alt text… which (if you blog lots of photos) will be a hard task. This is why it is extremely important to have a big list of keywords related to your content and what you offer. If you need more ideas on how to find new keywords, I have written this blog post here, and also this one, on DIY SEO hacks. [bctt tweet=”Don’t be repetitive, but use variations of keywords on each photo”]
[bctt tweet=”If you usually blog about the same topic often, then get creative and find new keywords for your blog posts.”]
WordPress allows you to optimize your photos in four areas: title, caption, alt text and description. Squarespace focuses more on Alt text sort of as a caption. I almost never use the caption field, as that text appears in the actual blog post photo. I do, however, spend some time changing the title, alt text and description. Alt text is the most important one! This is the text usually used in Google Image Search results and Pinterest. Google sees the first 16 words. It’s okay to add more words in the alt text field, but I would rather you wrote a complete sentence using keywords about the post or image. Always use full sentences in your descriptions, as well. Don’t be spammy with repetitive keywords.
Tip #5. Share on Social Media. Social proof has been a big factor in Google rankings, and posts with photos on social media convert better. That is a fact. A tweet with a photo catches my eye way more than a random tweet with text. The same goes for a Facebook post, and don’t forget the visual social media platforms, Pinterest and Instagram, which both depend on great images.
If you want to learn the step-by-step process on how to optimize images in your blog posts for WordPress and Squarespace, then join my FREE 5-day email course all about Image Optimization. During this course, you will learn the following:
**Day 1.** How to prep image files. Tools needed:
**Day 2.** Where do I optimize files in blogging?
**Day 3.** The writing part: What to write?
**Day 4.** Social sharing images
**Day 5.** Site Maps and Google indexing (make sure Google sees you)
Click on image to enroll in this FREE EMAIL COURSE!
So don’t be in the dark about how to get your photos found in Google. Join the e-mail course now, and start getting your step-by-step guide on how to optimize your blogging photos for search.