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August 14, 2013 / christinazuniga

Optimize Your Images – Example: This blog!

Image searches can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, e-newsletter opt in page, or blog. Although this blog is intended to demonstrate real life examples of best practices surrounding email marketing and non-profit administration, I discovered that I’ve been missing a crucial best practice: optimizing my images! Here are some tips to help make your blog post images searchable:

Descriptive Naming
One of the factors to matching your image with a search is making sure the file name is accurate and descriptive. Here you see that one of my posts had an image called “ism_it”. This made sense to me – it was an image for my Internal Social Media example. However, no one else, especially an algorithm-based search engine, would intuitively understand my naming convention. I should have named it “Internal-Social-Media-Example”.

SEO Descriptive Naming Example

File Formatting
The best way for a search engine to find your files is to name them with dashes in between words (name-it-this-way.jpg), not underscores (do_not_name_it_this_way.jpg) or as one long word (donotnameitthisway.jpg). Make sure that your file doesn’t retain the original name your computer gave it, such as IMG00300032.jpg or Image1.jpg. Stay away from spaces in your file name which can be converted to “%20” in the file URL, such as “best image.jpg” turns into “www.domain.com/best%20image.jpg”.

Alt Tags
When an image cannot be rendered, alt tags are text that appear to describe the image. Use this area to describe what your image is, not a list of keywords, but make sure it is short and to the point. In this example the name of my image is the same as my description, so anyone searching “Volunteer Retention Graph” will see my images first.

Perfect SEO - top of the Google Search Engine!

High Quality
Make sure that your images aren’t pixelated or of low quality and ensure that you are not re-sizing within the browser. This is a two-fold problem. First, if you try to make the image larger within the browser it will cause the image to stretch and look bad. Second, browsers download the original image size and then re-size it to whatever is specified. If your image is too large, it can take a while to load and re-size properly, slowing down your loading time.

Context
Adding a photo caption will help the image to appear in search engine results. In this case “content” is a very short name with no caption to help explain my point. “content-is-king-here-is-why.jpg” probably would have brought more results, especially with a descriptive caption to explain what the intention of my blog post was.

SEO optimization - context is king

I’m making a new-blog-post resolution today: better SEO for my blog post images!

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