If the going rate of one picture being worth a thousand words is correct, then you get a feel of how important images can be to your blog.
Let's take a few moments to explore image selection and how you incorporate images into your blogs to maximize the contributions they make to your posts for your readers, and deliver the greatest punch in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).
Here are 5 steps you should take for every image you work into your blog:
1. Choose Or Develop Excellent Graphic Art
It starts of course with the images you select for your posts. This is critical to your readers. Does the image look like it came from the Microsoft office clip art gallery? There are some clip art images we have all seen about 100 times over. Try to communicate something with your image selection. Make sure it compliments or enhances your editorial content in some way.
If you cover several topics in your blog, you might develop your own graphics that incorporate your logo along with imagery that communicates each topic. Think about a television program like CBS' "Sunday Morning." They render the program's iconic "sun" image into graphics that communicate ideas like money, art and health.
2. Give It A Great Name
Now we're moving into SEO territory. If you're using an image you uploaded from your camera, the file might be called something like DSC00628.jpg. I don't think I need to tell you to change that file name when you upload the image to your blog, but I do want you to give some thought to the new file name. With today's search engine algorithms, you have an opportunity here to work one or two keywords into your image file name. Instead of calling it "cake1.jpg," you would be served better with something like "low-fat-chocolate-cake.jpg," if you were sharing a recipe in your "Low Fat Magic" blog.
3. Take Care With Your Alt Text
We've all had those moments whenfor whatever reason!a web page won't fully load. The alternate text you assign to your image can be important. It's your last ditch effort to let readers know what they're supposed to be seeing. If you fail to provide good descriptive text, some of your readers will be left scratching their heads. The alt text is also an important way to tell search engines what your image is all about, so again, work in some keywords. I should also mention that if your keywords are not relevant to the image you are using, why are you using that image?
4. Title Every Image
Confession time: I'm a hoverer. I love tooltips; they can be like finding buried treasure. Be certain that each image in your blog has a great title that will pop up when readers pass over it with their cursors. You have yet another opportunity to feed some keywords to the search engines. Take advantage of it. Also, remember that this is editorial content; don't let it become an incoherent string of keywords with a period at the end. Use image titles to reinforce important information in your blog.
5. Consider The Entire Page
Earlier I mentioned how you might develop iconic images that communicate various topics covered by your blog. That illustrates how your images should directly tie into the content on your pages. Make sure that everything lines up. Your title meta tags and h1 headlines should be relevant to the keywords you have selected for your images. Don't let there be a "disconnect" between them. When the keywords featured in your images, headlines, titles and descriptions are in harmony, they work together for the best SEO.
Following these steps should get you off to a strong start in your efforts to maximize the SEO of your images as well as the editorial contribution they make to your posts. Let me know if you've developed tips of your own. I'm sure readers will appreciate them.