One mistake many photographers make, is not optimizing their images for search engines. For example, I’ve seen web pages where there is only an image of a brochure or price list, and no text. The problem with this, is Google doesn’t see the image.
How Google Sees images
Google has “robots” (software that ranks websites) that check out your site. These robots don’t see pictures or colors etc… They only see text. So they don’t see your pictures, but they do see the name of the pictures.
When you add keywords to the “Alt” text and title, it helps Google find your images.
Alt text is short for alternative text, which is the text that appears in place of an image when that image is not viewable. The purpose of the Alt text is to describe the image to someone who cannot view the images. When this text is added to your images on your site, this helps your site indexing with search engines.
One thing to note, if you have a flash site, it doesn’t matter if you have optimized images, because with a flash site, Google doesn’t see pages, text or images.
Are your email subscribers seeing your images?
The same thing also happens when you use only an image in emails that are sent out to your subscriber list. Some people prefer to create a design in Photoshop with text, then flatten the image and send just that image in the email newsletter. However, some of your subscribers may not have images enabled in their email program, so if you send an image without any text or Alt text, the message will be empty. This of course hurts open and click rates for your emails.
How to add Alt Text to images
This is what an image with alt text looks like:
<img src=”http://www.mysite.com/images/dsc001.jpg alt=”these are targeted keywords” />
The image title is dsc001.jpg and the alt text is these are targeted keywords.
The title: the title should have a keyword friendly name. So instead if dsc001.jpg – change the title to something seo friendly like family-portraits.jpg
If you use WordPress, you can add titles and alt text in the image editor or the html editor. There is also a plugin that will automatically update your image with title and alt attributes.
When you upload an image to your email service, there is a place to add title and alt text to your image. Images can also have titles set in Photoshop.
Adding alt text is an extra step to take when uploading your images, however it can make a difference with seo.
If you hover over the image in this post you will see the alt text for the image. There is a short tutorial for members on seo optimized images for WordPress.