Are you missing an important tool in the quest for search engine success?
If you are using images in your blog (and you should be), they can help move up your blog in the search rankings. But if you aren’t making use of the Alternate Text box that WordPress provides for each image, your images aren’t doing much for your blog’s rankings.
Using Alternate Text, also known as Alt Text, with your uploaded images helps Google (and other search engines) to more effectively index your blog. Search engines cannot “see” photographs or graphics, which means they cannot be indexed and included in search results.
When you add an image to your WordPress blog, you get this box.
For SEO, the most important parts of this box are the File Name, the “Title” and “Alternate Text.” The first step begins before you upload your image. Give your image a descriptive file name. If it’s a photograph it probably has a name like “IMG3456” or if you have some sort of cataloguing system or are using a stock graphic it might have a name like “DIS1011.” That’s great for being organized and lousy for SEO.
Before I uploaded this image, I renamed it “epcot-at-twilight.” A descriptive name helps search engines to classify it in searches. Searchers may look for “epcot at twilight” or even “epcot” but they aren’t likely to look for “3456.”
WordPress automatically puts your file name in the Title Box. When a reader mouses over your image in the post, this is the text that will show up. You can change the title if you wish, but the file name is not changeable.
Next is the Alternate Text box. If your images don’t load for some reason, this is the text that will show up in their place. Alt Text should be descriptive and relate to both the image and the post. My Alt Text for this image is “Epcot at Twilight, Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida.” All of the text relates to the image and helps Google to know the subject of this image. Using just “Epcot” would also work, but the text should be as informative and descriptive as possible, especially if your blog or post are image-heavy, like a photography blog.
Avoid “keyword stuffing”, however, which can cause a search engine to decide your site is spam and maybe drop it completely. An example of keyword stuffing for this image would be “Epcot at twilight, Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida, Disney, resort, twilight, Disney Parks, sunset, Mickey Mouse, theme parks, Disney Resorts, Orlando tourist attraction, Walt Disney.”
In addition to using the alt tags, make sure the text on your page also relates to the images and puts them in context. If your blog or post is image-heavy, be sure to include some descriptive text in the body of your post that incorporates your keywords in a natural way. Combining relevant text with relevant Alt Text will help increase your blog’s search engine rankings and help to increase traffic and readers.
If you haven’t done this in the past, start doing it now and see how it helps your blog. And as you have time, you can go back and add Alt Text to previously uploaded and posted images to help your blog’s rankings even more.
Have you done this on your blog? Do you have any questions about Alt Texts or using images on your blog. Please share any comments or questions in the comment section below and I will answer them for you.