Improve Your SEO with Alt Tags & Image Tags | Prickly Pear Design Co.

So a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, what if the images you use on your blog could help you boost your SEO and even get 1000+ Likes, Tweets or Pins? If you spend much time poking around the internet and reading about blogging and building  an online business you’ve probably heard about SEO. I’ll be honest, SEO is about the hardest thing to grasp and get right – it’s constantly changing (thanks to search engines like Google) and it feels like it adds a ton to your to do list. But the best thing you can do is treat SEO like the ever-changing beast that it is, and just jump in and get going.

Today we’re going to cover how to boost your SEO through the images you include on your site. But first, lets make sure we’re all up to speed.

Where’s the SEO stuff on WordPress Backend?

When I turn over a new WordPress website to a client, I have a few basic tutorial videos that I send over for them to watch. Many have never been on the backend of a website before and they all feel a lot better when they get a customized tour of all the great features (child theme, frameworks, SEO) that they’ve chosen to include.

Just in case you don’t know where you might be able to access the SEO side of things for your posts, lets make sure you get to the right place.

If you’re currently working with a child theme that has SEO built in (for all you Genesis Framework users – it is), you’ll find the SEO options in two places. There’s one off the backend’s main sidebar – Genesis>SEO Settings – but leave this one alone unless you know for sure that you need something tweaked. The other place to access SEO is within the individual posts and pages on your site. Simply go to a  new or existing post and scroll down past where you input the text for your post.

If you don’t have a fancy child theme or any SEO help to speak of, never fear. Simply download and install Yoast SEO, a free WordPress plugin, and you’ll be up and running in minutes. You’ll find Yoast SEO appearing in the same general places – remember, main settings (which usually have a default) should be left alone, just work with the individual settings for your posts and pages.

One More Place You’ll Find SEO

But there is one more place you’ll find a chance to influence your SEO, and that’s with each and every image that you put on your site. Alt Tags and Image Titles are included for each photo and are most easily accessed within individual posts. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Upload your image to your media library
  2. Insert the image into your selected post
  3. Click on the image to access the toolbar & select the pencil icon to Edit. You’ll see a screen similar to the one below.

Image Details for Alt Tags & Title Tags on WordPress Backend | Improve Your SEO with Alt Tags & Image Tags | Prickly Pear Design Co.

So now that you’re in the right place, lets talk about Alt Tags and Image Titles.

Alt Tags & Image Title Tags

Just so we’re clear, these little beauties are commonly referred to by several different names, you might hear them called Alt Tag, Title Tag, Image Title, Alternative Text, or Image Title Attribute. But no matter their name, it’s all the same thing.

The alt tag or  “alternative text” as it’s called on WordPress is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The image title or “Image Title Attribute” shows a tooltip when you hover over the image, and can work as an extra call-to-action. Because we know that search engines are crawling our website looking for key words in our text, wouldn’t it be awesome to have the keywords attached to our images as well? Not only will adding these to your image help those that are using screen readers, but it helps the search engines (which don’t have eyes either) know what’s on the page.

The alt text will simply default to the file name of your photo. If you’re uploading with an obscure file name, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Best case scenario, you rename your photos to something meaningful before you upload them, then fill in the alternative text tag shown above on the backend of your site. The title tags isn’t required, but it’s useful so why not include it? Keywords friends, anywhere you can put relevant keywords… you should do it.

How Alt Tags & Title Tags Influence SEO

Google, and other search engines, place a relatively high value on alt texts, because it’s an easy way to determine what is on the image and the topic of the surrounding text. So make sure that your alt text is great. Don’t spam every keyword into these two tags, but make sure that the keywords you include with the image actually relate to it – and if you’re doing your job right when it comes to images, the keywords you use should also relate to the text that surrounds your image.

Where to Start

This whole thing can seem overwhelming, but it’s really not too bad. If you’re new to blogging, you’re just adding an extra step to your posting process. if you’re fairly established and have quite a few posts under your belt, well… you’re still just adding an extra step to your posting process.

My recommendation is to start with your current posts and add the alt tags and title tags. Every time you put up a new post, go back into your archive of old posts and fix these on a post or two. You’ll be making your site more SEO friendly in no time.

Want more great tips and tricks on photography for your blog? You’ve come to the right place. I’m currently working on a Photography for Bloggers class that will be releasing soon. You can sign up to be the first to know when it’s released as well as get a “early bird discount” by signing up below. 

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