Search engine optimization is an ongoing job, there is always more you can do to improve the ranking of your website in the search results. Once you have covered the basics of page title and descriptions as well as sorting out the content structure the next area you should look at optimizing is your use of images. The best thing to do is cover all of the bases when you are adding content to your website instead of going back and doing it all in one go – this not only speeds it up but ensures the SEO is more efficient.
Image file names
Something that many people miss when adding images to their websites is the chance to add key words to the image file names, this is an important part of a well rounded SEO stagey because it lets Google rank your images in its image search as well as giving you more ‘points’ for the page itself. All you need to do is rename the image before you add it to your website, while it is possible to use spaces in the file name I recommended using dashes or capital letters instead as they will be more compatible and Google will still be able to read the text.
Image Alt text
Next up we need to set the alternative text (more commonly referred to as the ALT text), this text is used to describe the image to people or programs that cant view the image, common reasons for using the ALT tags are when users are using a screen reader due to sight issues or when the image does note load. These both mean the user is unable to view the image and will rely on the ALT text for information on what the image is showing.
The benefit in SEO terms is Google read the ALT text for the images and will add ‘points’ to the page so adding key words to the image ALT tags is an important step when optimizing the page for SEO. With all things however its important that you don’t add to many keywords as Google will detect it and penalize you for it – this practice is also known as keyword stuffing.
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ALT tags are not the only thing you should use to improve the SEO for your images, you can also add Titles to your images. The image title will appear when users hover over the image, its a useful way of giving users more information on an image especially if the image is a link. The title tag provides us with another opportunity to add more keywords to the page however the same rule applies avoid keyword stuffing, a good rule is to make sure it is readable and flows nicely – if it does not sound right chances are you have to many keywords in try rewording it.
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Blog post by Alex Wells
Working as a Website developer I love nothing more then working waist deep in code, I have specific interests in PHP and WordPress development but mostly working with local businesses to provide them with a website that meets their needs. Contact me if you have a project in mind and would like to get an input from an experienced website developer.