how to optimise your blog images for search engines

A few weeks ago I told you how you can optimise your blog for SEO, and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from you guys (it’s been my most read post on the blog to date). I’ve also received a few emails asking me how you can optimise images for SEO, and I decided to dedicate one full blog post to this. As I have mentioned in my previous post on SEO, Google bots can’t really crawl images, so if you want your images to rank in search engines, you are going to have to optimise your images for SEO.
How to optimise your blog images for SEO
Firstly, if you are new to the SEO game, read my post on SEO for blogs before you read this one.

Now that we are all up to speed on what SEO is and how it can help drive traffic to your blog, let’s chat how to optimise your blog images for SEO. In other words: how to fill in those fancy boxes that appear when you add images to your blog post?

STEP 1: Name your images properly 

Give your images descriptive names. Before you even upload your images to your blog, decide on a keyword rich description for your image. Most cameras default all of the image names to something like IMG2435.jpg. That name means nothing to your readers and it means absolutely ZERO to search engines. The first step is then to change these names to keyword rich names. If your post is a review of the LA Girl Flat Finish Pigment Gloss, you would ideally want to name your images in your post something like la-girl-flat-finish-pigment-gloss-review.png and la-girl-matte-lipstick.jpg. These new image names are now optimised for SEO so when Google crawls through your content, it will crawl your image name and ranks your post in Google accordingly. Always remember to use hyphens in your image names. Search engines can’t really separate characters, so everything appears as a string to them. The hyphen (-) acts as a space, therefore creating a sense of sentence structure to your image name.

STEP 2: Use alt attributes wisely 

ALT stands for Alternative Text and is used to describe your images. If, for some strange reason, your images don’t show up in your blog post, text will be displayed where the image was placed. That text that is displayed is the alt text. Search engines crawl through these descriptions to determine what your images are about. Your alt tags should also be SEO optimised and filled with keywords so that Google bots can read through this with ease. WordPress has the ALT attribute option built-in, but if you are using a different platform for your blog, you might need to add these ALT Attributes yourself. Here’s how you do it:

Once you are in the HTML section of your blog post, add the following bit in pink to your image tags:

<img src=”http:….” alt=”optimizing your images for seo” />

TITLE ATTRIBUTE FOR IMAGES

Now, you have probably noticed the “Title” field when you upload images to your site. Image Titles are used to give readers and search engines more information about your images. You know when you hover over an image and text appears in the left hand corner of screen?  That is your Title Attribute. Search engines place a bigger emphasis on your ALT text, but it is still important for you to add your Title to your image. Do not use the same ALT and TITLE Attribute, focus on using different keywords for your ALT and Title Attribute in your images. When using the same copy for ALT and TITLE text, Google considers this as keyword stuffing and will penalise your blog by dropping it from Google rankings completely. Rather let one attribute compliment the other.

See? It’s as easy as that to optimise your images for SEO. Once you have all of these steps in place, you are ready to hit publish and search engines can start crawling through your content to determine its ranking!

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