TAG | ALT tag
When web designers publish a web site it is often only after many, many, client project reviews and page edit after page edit with a focus, a sole focus, on how the web site will appear in a browser. Few clients have any interest other than how the web site will appears in a web browser and they just assume that everything else is in place that will make the web site perform on search engines.
However, in the months that follow publication the client observes that the web site simply is not performing well on search engines!. What to do!
One of the first steps is to understand how a search engine reads you web site.
A great, efficient and simple way to evaluate your site is to look at the site in the same way that a search engine spider would… checking each page with a text browser using a Lynx Browser. This tool reads all the text on a web page including the ‘Alt’ text assigned to images.
It is quite common that web sites that look spectacular have little-to-no content and this occurs because of a dependence on images and flash files and very little use of text. Spiders read text.
If your web site must be image intensive then please read this blog entry for advice on image optimization for search engines…http://webdesign-ri.com/web_site_design_and_SEO_blog/2009/09/18/how-to-search-engine-optimize-images/
A commonly missed opportunity when building web sites is the failure to search engine optimize images. In a competitive world, any edge that you can gain over your competition should and must be taken. If you fully optimize your images it is more than likely that your competitor has not, because seldom do, and you will gain an edge and this edge may push you higher in organic search rankings. We need focus our attention on two attributes: the file name and the HTML ALT tag.
FILE NAME: Most images on web sites have generic names either the nomenclature which is assigned by the camera (IMG_1234, DSC_7897 etc) or are assigned the generic name of a web template e,.g photo1, photo2, image1, image2 etc. While these are extremely convenient that are useless from an SEO perspective. How many people with search for IMG_1234? It is important to rename all of your photos which include the primary search keyword. For instance, I am sports photographer and as such it is important that I include the name of the event in each photo. So, if my camera outputs file# IMG_1756, I will rename that to CVS_Downtown_5K_09202009_IMG1756.jpg now we have a file name that makes sense to a search engine by carrying the event name and I retain the file name for my library purposes (which is very important, trust me!) If you can be more specific with your file name, you should be, but as I may shoot 1,000 to 4,000 images at an event, I have to take a more general approach.
ALT tag: this allows you to assign description to an image in the example above – CVS_Downtown_5K_09202009_IMG1756.jpg – I would add a more specific description e.g ” Shalane Flanagan winning the 2009 CVS Downtown 5K in Providence, Rhode Island”
Now, we have both our image name and image ALT tag with descriptions which include search terms.
Also, make sure that you turn on the search images attribute in Google.