Now everybody likes images, rightâ€¦
Sometimes an image can make a better impact on your visitor then just text.
But what on earth have Images to do with SEO?
Images and SEO
Look at the images you use in articles on your website.
How did you put them in there, and what else did you do with it?
Some people don’t think that what I am going to tell you is worth all the troubleâ€¦
I think you should work on providing the best content on your site for everybody, and make the most of it to get your site into the search engines.
Both can be accomplished by optimization your images and the use of them.
But first things first.
Naming your Images.
If you incorporated some images into your site, did you just uploaded your pictures from your camera, or what you received from your client?
Or did you rename them from DSC20071302.jpg or IMG_12548.jpg to something more meaning full like Keyword-Included-fits-the-picture.jpg
And please use â€“ instead of _ for your picture namesâ€¦
If you did the later, you have one point up from the rest of many websites.
The benefit not only goes to getting an extra keyword into your page, but its also much easier for the Search Engines to index your images on keywords searches.
Yes, people are more and more using these image based searches from Live.com, Yahoo and Google.
So you might get some of your visitors from there, although they might not be the real target visitors for your websiteâ€¦ unless you have a website with mostly images..
Optimizing you images
If you have images makes sure the have the right size for your website.
That means that, if you have an image that is 1600×1280 pixels you should not squeeze it into an 540×320 boxâ€¦, yes I know people do this all the time.
The image has to be loaded completely before it is rendered to the size you want it to display.
If you make the images in the actual size you want to use them, you have a much faster loading page then if you let a browser do it.
(A great free tool to do this irfanview, which give great result in maintaining sharpness)
The use of .jpg, .png or .gif depends on what type of image you want to use.
That is mostly a matter of trying several setting.
My choice for pictures is .jpg for icons and stuff its mostly .gif
Ground rule for me is: If there are a lot of different colours in the picture I use .jpg otherwise .gif
Putting in the Image Tags
Now you have come to the fun partâ€¦.
If you place images on you website, I also depends on to tools you use to make those pages.
Some of the tools you use on creating webpages, or online wysiwig editors do assist you in putting in the right tags and parameters.
For Joomla you might find the JoomlaFCK editor to be one of the best.
Otherwise you have go into the HTML coding to place them.
Here are the three key parameters for your images:
– alt tags
– title tag
Always give the size height=” ” and width=” ” tags with your images !!
This way the browser you are using can reserve space for the image while loading it, in the mean time it will bring in the text.
Your visitor can start reading while the image is loaded, so the impression is a fast loading page.
The Alt tag is used for two reasons:
One – the alt tag is displayed if the user has the image loading function set to off.
Two – a text based browser will show the alt tag instead if the image itself, just like a â€œnormalâ€ search engine spider would look at the content of your page.
Title tag is what is shown as info tip when you hover over a picture, thus providing also more information to your visitors.
A complete image tag then can read like:
< img title=”title tag” alt=”alt tag” height=”96″ width=”128″ src=”http://www.itmentor.nl/images/stories/articles.jpg” / >
Things not to do with Images and SEO
Here are a few pointers on what not to do if you are optimizing your images for SEO.
– Don’t use meaningless pictures, they should fit your topic.
– Don’t stuff you picture naming full of keywords
– Don’t stuff you â€œaltâ€ and â€œtitleâ€ tags full of keywords !! it will be noticed, provide meaning full descriptions.
– Don’t use large pictures if its not necessary.
Wrapping it up:
Use that littly extra time, just a few seconds to implement this for every image you use.
Make sure spiders can access your image directory by removing the disallow part form your robots.txt file if you have one.
Have fun taking an sharing your pictures !
And if you need inspiration, visit www.flickr.com, tons of great pictures…