Tag your images and other media with titles and ALTs to accurately represent their content and theme, ensuring they always match your page theme. Video content often gets searched, and is indexed sooner, plus your website’s site map should also include video locations. These are just another way that someone might come to your site and can be more important for certain industries.
- Media with meta tags get ranked.
- Videos aide faster indexing.
- Get referrals from image searches.
Images & Videos Contribute to Your Site’s SEO
Most website administrators neglect to properly label their media, meaning, the content of that media may remain undiscovered on searches performed and filtered by “picture” or “video”. This means that obtaining good ranking is easier for aptly labelled media. Search Engines try to index new Videos sooner than other material because it’s in the interest of the searcher to be able to find latest videos sooner than latest page texts.
Labelling images with ALT tags is often laborious and could be a huge job on large websites. Not all images need to be found in Search Engines.
Depending on your website’s genre, image search may make a big difference to your ranking, because some kinds of product or service lend themselves well to being searched by image instead of in text search. You can use Google Webmaster Tools to measure exactly how many search impressions your website is making in Image Search pages on Google. Use that as a guide to making some SEO and content decisions in regards to your use of images on the site.
Media ALT Tags How-To
Most website CMSs allow you to add extra information to the images you display on your web page. Usually this has to be done via some kind of image or media manager centre in your website, and the tag you added then is applied to the “live” image in the front end of the website. Be sure you are tagging the right image, and the right instance of the image. By ‘instance’, I mean that some website systems make multiple copies of your image depending on how you are using it. Usually each instance is for a different resolution. Check which one is being shown in your web page, and label accordingly. To check that you have the right tags on your images, just view your website from the visitor’s perspective (the front end view), then right click your mouse while hovering over the image. In the menu that appears there will be a “view image info” entry. Select that and check that the image is correctly tagged with an ALT and/or Title. The ALT and Title can be different, and don’t have to be the same as the image file name.
Usually, people upload images into their website with meaningless names (as far as the visitor is concerned). Typical examples might be: DCS001.jpg, or “gtls_pic.jpg” or something esle that doesn’t add SEO value.
It’s a good idea to use some of the keywords to tag your images appropriately. This means adding the ALT and the Title tags. These can be the same if you like. If you are an installer of Spa Pools, and your image shows a spa pool being installed, then the ideal image tag is “spa pool in-ground installation”. It accurately describes the image content, and uses keywords relevant for your business. Much better than “sp_pl_inst_pic001.jpg”.
Image titles are also evidenced when you hover your mouse over the image. The title pops up at your mouse pointer. This doesn’t work on all browsers though.
Image and media tagging is great when you want your images to get found in Google searches, and as a result, have that image attract a visit to your website. This works really well with highly visual products or services, not so well when images might be less relevant for searching.
Things to Note
Not all images need ALTs or Titles. There are some types of image or product that you don’t need to optimise. Typical examples are any buttons, icons, or image that is not relevant to your offer, but instead is just an ‘element’ on your web page, just like this page has the little orange bullets, the help button and the next step button. They are all images, but need not be optimised.
Other types on image that don’t need optimising are ones that poorly represent your product or service, unless you tag them as being such. That could be “before” images, i.e., before your work was applied to the subject for example. However, a great idea for “before and after” images is where practicable, combine the images into one single file. This allows you to show the before and after image in the single frame, and can be seen by your potential visitor in the image search feature in the search engines. Otherwise your “before” and “after” images would appear separated and have nothing apparently in common, making the difference less obvious, or not apparent at all.
Images need to use keywords specific for image searches. To determine what they are, look at your keyword list and work out the meaning of the words. Think about what you would do if you were looking for images of your product or service. What words would you use to search images? It’s probably different to words you use to search for whole sites.
Most people’s images are typically under-optimised. Image ALTs are a easy way to get ranked (but only in image searches).
Changes you make to image tags are not applied until after you reload the page your added them to. In other words, the browser saves the old image and shows you the version without the tag, until such a time as you tell it to grab the new image. This is done by reloading the page. Even then, some images may not reload. You can also clear your browser cache and recheck, or use a different browser to bring up the same page, which is seen as a ‘fresh’ pageload in the new browser.