6 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Website Using SEO on Your Photos

Start using photos on your website and you’ll see an almost immediate difference in the amount of time people spend there.  But wait, your work is not done yet. Now the challenge is to take it to the next level of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and tag and label your photos with keywords and tags.

If you want to drive people to your site and keep them there with SEO optimized images, do these 6 things:

1) Find the best, most relevant images possible. If you’ve ever had to sit through a slide show of poorly focused and framed boring photos, you know what a turn off it can be. Spend a little extra time looking for and hiring a trained professional.  Or spend the time yourself creating that great image that’s so incredible readers want to send it to their friends. Make sure the photos are relevant and tied to the content in your blog or content. If you’re writing about ‘product assembly’ make sure the photo relates to ‘product assembly’ in some way. Great photos are easier to tag because they’re clear in what they’re about, and easier to describe when it comes to keywords, metadata and alt tags.

assembly line door and window screen, customized photo

Photo by Donna Santos

2)  Alt Tag your photo properly. Many business owners get confused between alt tag and title. “Alt tagging” simply means putting a description to your photo in the “alt tag” form on your website when you upload the photo. That way if the picture doesn’t load, or if the viewer has disabled images in their browser, people at least know what the image is a photo of. Search engines look for the alt tag because it is text and they search text, not photos.

Now Magazine No. 1 Dentist in Toronto 2011

www.yorkvillesmiles.com Photo by Donna Santos

3) The title is different from the alt tag. The title attribute is a link to another webpage. The rule is, always add the alt attribute to your images but include the title attribute only if the image is a link. If for instance you have a photo in a post about “whiter teeth” you can link the photo to another webpage on your site (or an outside site) by putting the link in the title box.  That way when readers “roll or mouse over” the photo they know to click on the photo for more information.

4) Complete the meta-data information on your photo file before you upload it. If you open up your photo’s “info” using software program Adobe PhotoShop (File/Info) or most other photo editing software, including Microsoft’s Pro Photo tools, you’ll see fields for filling out the “metadata” of the photo. This includes things like the photo caption, the version of the photo, keywords, your copyright notice, the title of the image and even the GPS location if that isn’t done automatically.  Fill out this information before uploading it to your website. Then complete the alt tag and other SEO fields as well once the image is uploaded.

5) Keyword your photos. Keywords are what people use when they’re searching for something. If you’re shoe shopping, keywords you might use when searching might include “shoes, feet, high heels, loafers, sneakers, boots, footwear.” Keywords help people narrow their online search quickly. Imagine having to sort through one hundred billion websites to find the 200,000,000 stores that sell shoes. Keywords help searchers narrow their options. While searching “shoe store” might get you several million websites that sell shoes online, searching on “neon green sling-back shoes in size 11,” will greatly reduce the number of sites you have to search.

Customers who are ready to buy will search for exactly the item they want. If you sell ‘neon green sling back shoes” and upload a photo of it, make sure your keywords describe it in five words or less. If you do, chances are your website will popup higher in the search results—especially if your customer is searching in Google images, looking for photos of neon green shoes rather than websites of companies who sell them.

6) Rename your photo. That great photo of an “exhibition booth in Metro Convention Centre in Toronto” is known as IMG_5617 in your filing system, but that name does nothing for your readers or the Internet’s search engines. No one is going to search on IMG_5617. They are going to search on “booth,” or “exhibition booths,” or “exhibit and booth.” Rename or name your photos so search engines can find them. Keep your name short and objective. Do not use adjectives like “beautiful” or “awesome.” Something like, “exhibition-booth-toronto-mtcc” is fine. Use the dashes, not underscores, between words. Google doesn’t recognize underscores or spaces and tends to join words together.

Exhibition Booth in Toronto- Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Exhibition Booth at MTCC Photo by Donna Santos

It takes more than just great photos to drive people to your site. Your images must be properly tagged and labeled. I hope these tips have helped you do that for your images. Did you like these practical tips? Get more! Sign up HERE to receive great, no fluff, no nonsense tips on how to use photos to generate traffic to your website.

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