Using images in blogs, as I mentioned last week in ‘Crucial Tips On Blogging for Authors and Writers‘, is highly recommended. Everybody loves a visual. They provide instant connection. They can grab attention. They can provide levity. They can inspire empathy. They can evoke emotion.
BUT GOOGLE – and other search engines – CANNOT SEE THEM.
As Google’s little bots scrawl the Internet to classify and organize what is on your blog page, that image you carefully chose, can only be classified by its file name and often the file name is not long enough to give you a good result. But it does count; so too do a few other things.
Use one that clearly identifies what the picture is about in the context of your blog post – what you want the picture to rank for. You might have a picture of a squirrel almost falling off a tree branch, for example, but your blog post is about teenagers that take risks. Use a filename like teenager_takes_risk.jpg.
Wordpress and Blogger both provide the ability to add a caption under an image. Use it. People are busy. People click around the Internet like a patient waiting at the doctor’s office flicking over old magazines. What do these browsing readers actually read? Small sections of information – like captions under images. Give them a carrot in that caption that says – read more, this is good stuff. Captions do not factor into SEO, but they’re useful to grab readers’ attention.
When you upload an image to WordPress or Blogger, or after you have uploaded an image, you can add ‘Alternative Text’ in the properties of that image. THIS IS WHAT GOOGLE “SEES”. Here is a case in point:
What word do you think this image comes up in a Google search for? It’s ‘skilful’. Why? Because the Alternative text for this image is ‘skilful’. Use up to seven words to very specifically describe what you want the image to represent in the context of your blog post.
Be specific. Be brief. Be SEO image aware.