Why SEO Matters to Your Business Website Part 3 of 5

Optimize your images for better search results

If you’ve been following my SEO mini-series, you’ve learned the benefit of writing your copy before choosing your keywords, and why it’s good to be in the top 10 organic listing. This week, I’ll share how to optimize your images for SEO.

Why is this important? Hardly anyone bothers to spend the time writing keyword rich image tags and alt tags, so companies that do stand a better chance at being found by their ideal clients, plus they will be far ahead of their competition.

Be different. Stand out. Optimize your images.

If you’re like most people, when you land on a web page that contains text and images, you’ll look at the image before reading the content.

Unless your images contain image tags and alt text, search engine robots will never see your images: that’s because images are made up of bits, and search engine robots only read text.

Search engine robots search for and identify text so they can return the closet match to your search terms. If you don’t describe your images, you are throwing away the opportunity to be found, especially if your images are relevant to who you are, what you do, or what you are selling.

How to optimize your images in WordPress

TIP

make sure your file name is descriptive

unless it’s for a web header or background image, your image files should be no more than 600 px wide max and 72 dpi

use dashes between the words (not underscore), lower case only

NO: logo_montagueTimber_frames.png
YES: logo-montague-timber-frames.png

Image Title:

The title is what WordPress uses to track your image, so it’s a very good idea to set the title to something that makes sense.

Image Title TIP: Use keywords in the title and the file’s name.

NO: 01_img_2435.png

YES: logo-montague-timber-frames.png

Image Caption:

The caption is the text that will appear underneath the image. It’s optional, so only fill this in if you want words beneath your photo.

Image Caption TIP: You can also add links to your captions if you want visitors to link back to the original source, or you want to give further information.

Image Alternate Text / Alt Text

This is required by Web Standard: if the image does not appear, the alternate text will appear in its place. Not everyone who visits your website will have the ability to see your images: It might be because their device or their browser doesn’t display images, or it could be because they are visually impaired.

Alt Text TIP: Alternate text should be a description of the image, and it will only appear if you can’t see the image.

Alternate text should be a literal description of your image.
Example: “tree and timber frame fillet silhouette – logo for Montague Timber Frames”
Use no more than 70-80 characters, including spaces.
Image Description

WordPress also gives you the opportunity to describe your images in greater detail, which is important if your images are relevant to who you are, what you do, or what you’re selling.

Example: “Logo brand identity designed for Montague Timber Frames, Montague, MA, USA, by Fields Graphic Design, Leeds, MA: For use on website, company vehicles, business cards, stationery and promotional materials.”

Final Image Optimization Tip

Background images and other non-relevant graphics should be ignored by Google, so just title them with a number (i.e. 05.png; 06.png., etc.) and omit the text fields.