The Best Ways to Optimize a Photos Blog for SEO
Photoblogging is growing more and more popular today as web marketers find better and newer ways to promote their products and websites and some bloggers just love to share great pictures they took themselves.
Promoting a photoblog is quite tricky, mostly because the traditional rules of search engine optimization may not apply wholly. There are a number of dimensions to optimizing your images or your photoblog for search engines that you need to know to reach the right audience. To make it simpler, make optimizing an image for search engines more of optimizing a small web page within your website or blog and make use of all usable SEO tools including tagging, anchor texts, url structure and others. I am going to highlight these factors in this post, I hope you find them beneficial.
1. Use the right keywords in the image filename
Using the right keywords in a post is crucial for search engine optimization. It is equally important that you give the image you are uploading the right name because the name helps search engines determine just how relevant the image is to a related keyword search. For instance, if you were on holiday in Paris, you would name an image you took there “South end of the Eiffel Tower” rather than “Paris-Image-032.jpg”. If your image accompanies text, make sure that it is descriptive enough but brief and relevant to the post.
2. Descriptive text is just as important
Your image needs to have a description, even when the description is not visible to visitors by default. Search engines cannot determine what the contents of your image are unlike with traditional web content. You have to make the search engine crawlers know what the image is about by describing it with the relevant keywords just as you would if you were to describe the image to someone without the actual image. Search engines rely on the captions around the image, tags and the descriptions to properly classify images and it is up to you to provide this content.
3. Use alternate text
When you upload images into your blog, you have the option to enter alternate text which often appears on the image placeholder when the image cannot be loaded. Alternate text, or Alt tags, are also used by search engines to identify and categorize images. It is very important that you use the alternate tags of your image and not leave it blank – you can enter the keywords describing the image as well as the contents of the image since search engines do not ‘see’ what the contents of the image are. Besides this, according to Google, it is wise to place your images in one folder on the blog or website and not upload them in random order anywhere on the site or blog.
4. User the images’ EXIF data
EXIF is an abbreviation for ‘Exchange Image File’ format, a format whereby image’s metadata are stored within the image file. Although the search engines will not use the metadata directly to rank your image and present it when users the particular keywords in the metadata, the search engines use this as extra data to present more accurate image to the user. Combining this strategy with descriptions, tagging and uploading the image to Flickr certainly helps it improve its search engine ranking.
5. Make sure the image matches the content
Are you uploading the image to accompany web content? Well, how does the image relate to the content? As I mentioned above, search engines rely on almost anything around a text to classify it and index it because users will search for images using text. The content in the page an image influences the search engine ranking and its relevance, you should therefore ensure that the image is placed not only on the right page but also the right section on the page. In line with this, it is also good to ensure that you enter the right anchor text before publishing the image.
As a final point, avoid stuffing your images in one page or section of the website and if you got the images from the internet, make adjustments to the image properties to match your content and if possible adjust image size to make it different from the original if it is not copyrighted. If you are uploading images you took yourself, you may consider uploading varying sizes to image directories such as Flickr, iStock and Picasa and link them to your photoblog or website.
Charles Dearing has worked extensively in the web hosting and SEO industry and wrtites for SEO Positive. He is also an avid blogger and he enjoys sharing his insights on various blogs like Howto Spoter