We all know that we should put images in our blog posts, Facebook pages, Tweets and so on. People like content with pictures in. But what about #SEO? People often forget that images need to be optimized for SEO too. Here are some tips and tricks for making sure your images are fully optimized for search engines from the people over at Search Engine Watch.
You’ll definitely want to resize your photo so it’s not such a massive file. It’s very easy to overlook the fact that most iPhone photos can be in excess of 3,000 pixels wide (which can be 2,500 pixels bigger than you really need).
Huge image files can drag the page-load time of your site down and directly affect your rankings on search engines, so be sure to resize them before you upload.
If you’re using a Mac, it’s easy to resize, just open the picture, navigate to Tools then select Adjust Size.
Before you upload the image to your site, make sure you give it an accurate file name.
Again to use the iPhone photo example, these tend to be called something generic like IMG_6056.
So do yourself a favour and rename it, this won’t necessarily help your SEO, but it will help if you ever need to search for it in the back-end of your site.
In WordPress and other sites, the image’s file name will automatically be used as its title.
Most important of all is how you describe your image in the Alt section (can be known as Alt-tags or Alt-text). #Google can’t ‘see’ your images, but it can ‘read’ them and what it reads is what you write in the alt-attribute.
Alt-text should be clear, descriptive, concise and not stuffed with keywords. Alt-text is also what’s used by screen reader software to describe images to people with visual impairments.
In fact the one rule I always use when it comes to alt-text is write as if you’re describing it to a person with a visual impairment. So the above example I would write ‘black and white cat asleep on a purple pillow’
.The alt-text is also what shows up in the text box that appears when you hover over an image.
Description & Caption
In WordPress you will also see fields for Description and Caption. These don’t necessarily add any SEO value to your images, but they can be useful for other reasons.
The Description can be used to add a lot more extra detail, such as how the picture was taken, when it was taken and any other interesting elements.
The Caption will show up underneath the image on the live article. It’s up to you whether you use one or not. It can be helpful to describe or comment on the image.
Now there is no excuse for leaving your images out of your SEO efforts! Check out the full article from Search Engine Watch