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 your blog’s search rankings. But if you aren’t making use of the Alternate Text box for each image, your images aren’t helping your site’s rankings.
Using Alternate Text, or Alt Text, with your uploaded images helps search engines 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 or travel blog.
Avoid “keyword stuffing”, 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 alt tags, make sure the text on your page relates to the images and gives them context. If your blog is image-heavy, include descriptive text in the body of your post that incorporates your keywords naturally. Combining relevant text with relevant Alt Text helps increase your blog’s search engine rankings 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 time permits, you can go back and add Alt Text to previously posted images to improve your blog’s rankings.
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.