Your perfect copy does you no good if your site’s visitors don’t stick around to read it.
Your excellent Google page rank brings you no more business if your visitors do nothing more than glance at your page before reaching for their browser’s back button.
You’ve got just seconds – at best – to grab the attention of a new visitor to your site and convince her to read all your carefully optimized and edited content. Just one or two interesting pictures is enough to connect with a casual visitor long enough for her to turn her eye toward your text.
Appealing to the people that visit your site is easy: clear, high quality images of yourself, your office, your local area or anything else unique and relevant to the content on your page will do. Appealing to Google with those images is a little trickier. Google, after all, can’t see your your images.
To ensure that those images are optimized for search engines just as much as the rest of your content, you’ve got to help Google figure out what your images show.
- File Names. Take a look at your image file names. If you pulled the image directly off your camera, it probably has some generic file name like the time and date the photo was taken. Give it a good descriptive file name. If possible, include one of your keywords.
- Alt Tags. When adding the image to the page, use the Alt and Title tags. The alt tag text will display whenever the image cannot be loaded. The title text will display when your mouse hovers over the image. Like your file name, use a keyword here if it makes sense.
- Keywords. Google considers the context of the image, so be sure that your keywords are represented in the text surrounding the image. A page full of images may be fine for your human readers, but it doesn’t help Google much. Give Google something to read.
- Updated Your Pictures. Update your images occasionally. Google loves fresh content and images are no exception. When you update your content, bring in some new images too.
- Relevance Is Key. Relate your images to your text and your text to your keywords. Provide what people want to see, and Google will find it.
In short, think about your images the same way you think about optimizing your text for search engines. Make your content relevant, helpful, and attractive to your readers, and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your search results from Google.