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Images are very important to your site for a variety of reasons. The obvious being that readers can get a better picture of your topics (pun intended!) and the things you’re posting about when you use images to help. In addition to this, images can help break up space between a lot of text, making things easier to scan and read online and they can also help increase your SEO if done correctly.
Most people who run a website or blog today know the importance of SEO, or search engine optimization. However, not everyone knows that it’s also important to do for your photos and images. All images and graphics on your site should be optimized for search and there are some very simple things you can do to make this happen.
How to optimize your blog images for search engines:
Always name the images properly
You should name the image with keywords in the file name and also use keywords in the alt tag for the image. Never use the generic name your camera or device gives for the image, or the default name for stock images. You should always take the time to rename the images.
Fill in your alt tags
The alt tags are just as important as naming the image. Some people leave them blank and others name them something that doesn’t logically make sense. Alt tags are the text alternatives to images that appear when the browser cannot properly load the images. You can also see the alt tags when you hover over an image that has rendered on a page. The alt attribute does add SEO value to your website and should be carefully chosen.
Don’t keyword stuff your alt tags
One keyword that accurately describes the image and the page or post it’s on is all you need. Don’t add multiple keywords or phrases, or stuff keywords in here or search engines may penalize you.
Optimize your image sizes
You will want your images to fit well on the page but also fit well for social sharing. You can optimize them for social sharing, or to make them more Pinnable, for example, and this will also help your SEO.
When choosing your images with SEO in mind, you should try to use your own images as often as possible. Just like unique content is preferred, unique images are also preferred. When you must solicit an image from somewhere, consider using Flickr.com for creative commons images. This is explained in this article: How to Use Creative Commons Images from Flickr.
You can also use stock images when you are unable to find images elsewhere but be sure to edit the alt tags and title tags for your purposes and also try to pick stock images that look more genuine, versus the ones that are obvious stock images. Check out these 23 sites where you can get free stock images for your blog. Optimize the stock images for SEO and you will have a win-win all around.
Now that you have these tips for how to optimize your blog images for search engines, you can start applying them right away. If you make a new page or post, you always want to take the time to optimize your blog images for search engines. If you have existing images on your site, you will want to schedule some time to go through them and edit them. Even if you have many images, it’s worth the time to go back and fix them. Taking a few minutes each day to optimize a few images will greatly improve your SEO so be sure to put this on your to-do list ASAP!
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