How To Get Images To Show Up In Search Engines
Day 9 of the A-Z challenge.
I is for Images
Most bloggers include at least one eye-catching image in each post, usually at or very near the beginning.
You carefully select the image that best complements your content (making sure you’re not breaking copyright law) and manipulate it so it’s the right shape and size. Upload it to your media library, insert it into your post. Job done.
Or so you think.
There’s one key step that you’ve missed. A step that could improve your chances of being discovered by a search engine.
It involves adding “Alt Text” to your images.
Alt text (also referred to as alt tag) is a short description that a website or a blog can assign to any image on the site. The alt text attribute is way for a search engine like Google to understand what an image is about so it can include it in search results.
If you use Google regularly you know that you can search either across all types of content or just within the images section. Either way, if Google finds an image that matches the search term, they will include in the page of search results.
There are two benefits of using “Alt Text”.
One benefit is that it helps search engines discover your images and display them in image search results – so it can drive visitors to your site. . The other advantage is that these tags improve the accessibility of your site and explain your images to people with special needs.
And the beauty of this is that it’s quite simple to do.
Add Alt Text To Images : Step By Step WordPress User Instructions
There are two stages at which you can add alt text to your image in WordPress.
1 Within the Media Library
Depending on which version of WordPress you are using, it could look like either of these two screen grabs.
Just enter your text and hit save.
2. In Your Post
If you forget to add the alt text at the first stage, it doesn’t matter. You can also do it within the post (or indeed the page) you are creating.
On the right side of your draft post you’ll see a dialogue box like this.
When you save the post, the alt text will automatically be saved.
Add Alt Text To Images : Step By Step
Blogger User Instructions
For users of the Blogger platform, the process is only slightly different.
First insert your image into your post. Then click the image and you’ll be presented with some editing options
Click on “Properties” and you’ll see this dialogue box where you can enter your “Alt Text”
Writing “Alt Text” Information
An “Alt Text” is not the same as an image title which is more akin to a label and generally used by WordPress or Blogger to handle your media files. Alt texts on the other hand describe the image.
The maximum character count is 100 characters so don’t waste the space by including “image of” or “picture of” .
The advice is to write in a natural voice but bear in mind you have a maximum of 100 characters so use them wisely. An alt text for the above image which simply said “Labrador dog” would not be descriptive enough. An alt text which said “Golden Labrador dog lying on grass with tree trunks in the background” would be too detailed. A more effective tag would be “Golden Labrador dog lying in grass.”
For a book cover image you could use something like “cover image of Pure, historical fiction novel by Andrew Miller.”
If you’re trying to boost your blog’s presence, it would be worth using “Alt Text”. You don’t have to do this for every image – I probably wouldn’t do it with the AtoZChallenge logo at the top of this page for example – but certainly for the key ones.
In case you were wondering you can edit the images to add “Alt Text” even after the post has been published.
Join The Discussion
Have you ever tried using Alt Text? Leave me a comment below to share some of your experiences.