Earlier this week I mentioned using the img alt tag to boost your SEO prior to hitting publish. Today, I'm here to explain what that means and show you how to do it.
Image searches make up a significant amount of incoming traffic on my site, and this is a combination of two factors: naming my photos SEO rich titles and using the IMG ALT tag when posting them.
One of my most trafficked posts on Dramatis Personae is Staying Strong, Staying Silent: Male Body Image. While I'd love to tell you that the success of this post is based on people seeking advice on male body image… it's not. It's people looking for photos of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling. Shirtless.
…photos end up on Google somehow. And that's through SEO and (many times) the img alt tag that they make it into those results.
The fact is, many people are looking for images online. Whether it's a pair of shoes & how they look on the foot, photos of cupcakes, or Ryan Gosling shirtless, those photos end up on Google somehow. And that's through SEO and (many times) the img alt tag that they make it into those results.
Example 1: Ryan Gosling Shirtless
Below is how the image may appear on your site:
If you were to look at the HTML view of your blog post, the image code may look something like this:
<a href=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ryangoslingryanreynolds.jpg”><img alt=”ryangoslingryanreynolds” src=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ryangoslingryanreynolds.jpg” width=”599″ height=”409″ /></a>
By default, the upload tool may fill in the img alt text with the title of the image (see bold above). You can modify the image tag so that it is more keyword rich:
<a href=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ryangoslingryanreynolds.jpg”><img alt=”ryan gosling crazy sexy love, ryan gosling shirtless, ryan reynolds shirtless, ryan reynolds body, ryan reynolds abs” src=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ryangoslingryanreynolds.jpg” width=”599″ height=”409″ /></a>
Example 2: Your Outfit of the Day
Maybe you aren't showcasing Ryan Gosling shirtless on your site though. Maybe your site is primarily outfit photos. You can still use the Img Alt tag to tag your outfits.
The code on this outfit post looks like this:
<a href=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ashetop.jpg”><img alt=”ashetop” src=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ashetop.jpg” width=”599″ height=”465″ /></a>
Again, the img alt tag defaulted to the image name — but I can help search engines by tagging this outfit: with the brands and styles I'm wearing, that I'm a plus-size blogger, etc. The tags could end up looking like this:
<a href=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ashetop.jpg”><img alt=”Old Navy Rockstar Skinnies, plus-size fashion blogger, eShakti beaded top, Seychelles Carriage Shoes, Foley & Corinna Mid-City Bag, House of Harlow Robyn sunglasses” src=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ashetop.jpg” width=”599″ height=”465″ /></a>
This way, any one on the internet searching for these brands or products may find my photos, and ultimately my post on the items.
Example 3: A Review/Brand/Item/Shopping Post
A third common way to use the img alt tag is by tagging the images in all of your posts — whether it's a beauty review, a shopping wishlist, the random food, home decor, or book review, or a roundup of the best summer trends.
Above is a roundup I did of my favorite beauty products for the face. I'm sure you can guess by now what the original img alt tag looks like, so here's how you can tag this post:
<a href=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/favoritefacebeautyproducts.jpg”><img alt=”favorite beauty products, favorite powders, favorite compacts, best primer, smashbox photo finish primer, smashbox high definition foundation, laura mercier powder” src=”http://heartifb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/favoritefacebeautyproducts.jpg” width=”598″ height=”525″ /></a>
And there you have it! The basics of using the img alt tag to improve SEO on your posts. This is a simple, but super effective way to bring more traffic into your site.
Visitors who are looking for Ryan Gosling shirtless and finding a post on male body image may end up a little disappointed (or maybe not– he's still sans shirt), but those who are looking to see how a particular pair of sunglasses fits or how skinny jeans looks on a plus-size body may find just what they're looking for.
Have you been using the img alt tag to help improve your SEO? Do you have any more advice to share on using these tags?