Photos and Search Engine Marketing

Most of us are familiar with the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In today’s digital world, pictures are worth a whole lot more than that.

Pictures, or more appropriately called images when placed online, are a key part of any good search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. With more people of all ages using sites like Google, Facebook, YouTube and most recently Pinterest to access information, images – logos, photos and video – are not critical ingredients for improving your business or organization’s visibility and page ranking.

But just uploading photos to your website or Facebook page is meaningless when it comes to SEM. Why? Search engines like Google can’t read your photos unless you tell the search engine what the image represents. To get the most out of adding photos, videos, and other image to your website, blog, or social networking site, each image or video you upload should:

  1. Use a key word in the filename. For example, instead of naming the image “img000,” rename it “red-pottery-bowl.jpg” if you’re selling pottery bowls.
  2. Add an “alt tag.” Have you ever received an email or visited a website and instead of an image, you see an “x”? Alt tags are simply brief descriptions of the image that give a visitor a hint of what they will see if they click on it. Search engines also “read” these alt tags, helping with search engine ranking.
  3. Add a description. Most websites, blogs, and photo sharing sites allow a description. The recommended length is generally about 150 to 200 characters but should contain keywords that customers might use.
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