When writing blog posts, it’s easy to make images and illustrations an afterthought. You might add one or two photos to jazz up the post or because the theme requires a featured image to display on the home page.
Did you know that carefully selecting images and tagging them properly can improve your search engine results and boost your ranking? By adding additional text to your images in the form of titles, tags and descriptions, you will provide additional data to Google and other search engines when they index your post. In turn, this will add rich content to your post or page, as well as allow the image itself to appear in search engine results for the content you’ve included.
To boost your SEO, you will want to pay attention to your image details whenever you upload a new image to your WordPress site. Things to watch are the following:
- Your image title and permalink
- Your image caption text (if any)
- Your image alt tag
- Your image description
How to add data to an image
Let’s examine the following information in the Media Library for the following image:
Image Title and Permalink
This is the first field that appears in your media library. Here you will want to use a title that is descriptive of the image at hand. Don’t upload images with IMG15913.jpg or whatever your camera/phone gives as a generic title. Instead, rename the files before you upload them to a useful phrase, or retitle them here. Note that the title is carried over into the permalink, which is the location for the image’s attachment page. The attachment page is the stand-alone page that displays the image on your site. The image title is important for search engines to use to identify the general content of the image.
Captions are optional, and the caption text will be displayed within a box or border surrounding your image, or in a separate type face (depending on your theme). If you decide to use captions, they can be a great way to convey additional information about your image, including the content, identifying people, and/or citing the source of the image. All of this information can then be used by search engines to understand what information is included in the image.
Image Alt Tag
Alt tags are very important and should be included on all images. This information is what will be displayed if your image is not viewable on your site, such as when someone with a visual impairment goes to the page with a screen reader. However, alt tags also provide critical information to Google, which is also blind and cannot ‘see’ your image.
When creating an alt tag, be descriptive but concise. Explain briefly what the image is, within the context of the site. Do not write sentences or ‘keyword stuff’ your alt tags.
The description is what will display on the stand-alone attachment page (the permalink noted above). You can write anything you want here, so you can get creative and include an entire paragraph or more of information if you wish. The key here is remembering that again this is providing data to search engines.
By including some or all of this information with each of your images, you will increase your post or page SEO and increase the likelihood that someone will find your site in a Google Image Search as well.