Thursday, October 15, 2015

Beginner SEO tips for pet bloggers: How to keyword pet photos

Liam the pug with his camera learning SEO tips

A pet blog would not be complete without adorable photos. We all know that, so as pet bloggers, we cram our posts with photographs. The images are absolutely vital to our success.

But here's the thing: Google is a search engine that can read words, not images (at the moment). That means all of the cute pug photos I take and all of the amazing Boston terrier photography I color correct and perfect is completely hidden to Google.

And that could mean that my posts don't get the SEO boost they need. A post filled with photos and no text could be almost invisible to Google, and it will never show up in search results.

So what's the answer? Image keywording. By putting in a few key terms that describe what your photo is about, you can help the Google spiders to find your entries and put them up in search results at the proper time.

There are three ways to do this.

1. Rename your images. 

Your digital camera probably uses numeric terms as a naming convention. Mine does. So this photo of Liam with his camera comes with the decidedly uninteresting name of "IMG_6209."

That tells Google nothing.

Renaming the image to something like "Pug_SEO_camera" allows me to smash a keyword in front of the spider, and it gives Google a hint about what my photo shows.

2. Fill in the "title text" box. 

This little box is designed to show up when people hover over your photo or when your photo won't load. So it's a great thing to fill in if you have a lot of photographs and you're not sure that all of them will come up in a browser right away. And, it's another great place for a keyword.

3. Fill in the "alt text" box. 

This bit of code is made for people who have visual impairments. They (obviously) will not see the photos on your blog, but they might like to know what the photos are all about. Filling in the text in this box is a helpful way to allow them to benefit from their blog visits, and it's another keyword opportunity for you.

How to keyword those photos

Now you know what you should put in those boxes. Let's show you how.

In WordPress, you get a tiny dialogue box every time you enter a photograph on the page. Usually, it's off to the right of the screen you get when you've chosen a photo to upload. It looks like this.
See the "Alt Text" and "Description" boxes? That's what you'll fill in with your clever keywords.

Blogger is a little different, and for a long time, I thought you simply could not keyword photos you pop up with this site. Turns out, there is a workaround. Here's a step-by-step:
  1. Upload your photograph. 
  2. Click on the photograph on your page. 
  3. Click on "Properties". (It's all the way to the right, next to the word "Remove.")
You'll get a dialogue that looks like this.

This is what a Blogger image properties box looks like
You have the two options you need, right there. (And this is my dialogue box for the top image, BTW. You can see that I practice what I preach!)

So that's it!

And for the moment, that concludes my SEO series. If you missed the earlier entries, you'll find them here and here and here. And if you have any burning SEO questions you'd love to get answered, leave me a comment! Maybe I'll bring this series back in the future.

1 comment:

  1. It took me months after starting my first blog to realize the importance of adding keyword to pictures. After I learned the lesson, I do it to every single picture :)