A Guide to Using Photos for Social and SEO

Nothing Says it better than a pictureImages are easy to consume in an 8 second culture. That’s right, 8 seconds. It only takes a second to consume an image which makes it social gold. The fact is that images really should play a major role in your search engine strategy. People like to view art, people, and the world through images.

1.) Name your image files. This is an easy thing to do to add some SEO value to your images and to your social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. By naming your images on your blog and on social sites you can give your content an explanation of what are in your photos. Since search engines and social sites are blind this can help give social media and search engine sites what the images is about. If you’ve named your images similar to pages and blog posts of your website this gives added benefit to both your social and SEO value of your site. A must in SEO imagery.
Alt tags and title tags are html seo staples. The are short snippets of code that can further explain what an image is about. So providing a description of image when you upload one on your blog or website is a simple and easy way to help your images rank.

2.) Loading times can play a big part in SEO especially if it is between you and your competition. Start by sizing your images to web safe sizes. Photoshop can help reduce the image size so that it isn’t to large to include. Next, define the height and width of an image in your website/blog which tells the browser along with search engines how much space to leave for the image as it loads. This will greatly increase your load times especially if they are web optimized.

3.) If you are going to add text add it so that it is readable. Search engines have an algoithm to track to identify elicite photos which only goes to say that text might be readable as well. Although I can’t guarantee that it does the fact is if they don’t the likely will.

4.) Make it easy for people to share your images. Again, people like to view so if you help provide the share button then more people are likely to share. It is one less hurdle to getting your photos out. Go look at some major eTailers and you will find that they have social features for their images.

5.) Getting great photos. This is hard if you aren’t a photographer or graphic designer. So there are a couple ways to do this not that I can offer you sound legal advise so don’t take this as legal advise. You can ask your friends for photos as long as you know they have photos you can use. Also, buy some photos somewhere. There are subscription based photo sites that allow you to download photographs. Look for creative common licenses that allow you to share pictures taken by other people. Sometimes these are image attribution photos which means you need to credit the photographer when you share the image.

About Derek Hanson

Derek Hanson is a digital strategist and founder of Emprise Media, a digital web design and internet marketing firm. You can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin.
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