In this blog post I’d like to share a small tip regarding SEO for photographers. But before we start I like to say – that by no meaning I’m an SEO expert, all of the information I’ll be sharing here is from personal experience and communication exchange with a very good SEO expert, who recently optimized my website.
To begin with let’s analyse what sets professional photography websites apart from other websites, as this is one factor that is crucially important, and related, to the topic I like to discuss. The main difference, regarding Google and SEO, is that if you are photographer your website is likely to contain way more images than text, you may ask why is this so important. It is important because Google uses algorithmic bot/spider to scan and try to understand, like a human, every website and its content – the only problem is that this algorithm feeds on text, not on pixels.
So in order to help Google’s crawler understand better all the images on our websites, and incorporate them with the other content, we need to do some Optimizing work. Here is a crucial point I want to make by saying “Help Google understand” – yes Google algorithm has evolved quite a lot, up to the extent that now days is making sense of all the data, and the way it is presented/structured across the website. The better your website, structured content, is optimized and put together, the greater is the chance of Google to push it further in the search results, because of its relevance to the search inquiry. I know that I’m just scratching the SEO surface here but this is really the basic you need to know, in order to make your website better.
Before I dive into image optimization, I like to cover very common mistake, which I was also doing while optimizing my images. You may have come across many “SEO masters” blogs, advising how and where to insert as many keywords, related to your niche, as possible. Well if this was working sometimes ago, now days is no longer the keys, as I mentioned already the crawlers are much more intelligent and now are looking for content that makes sense, not just stuffed in a way to build on volume of “keywords”. But don’t get me wrong keywords are still important, the only thing is that they need to be placed, within the content through the whole website, in natural way, again, in a way that make sense. The same principles apply for the images, the better you explain what is on this image, as you are explaining it to a blind person, the easier will be for the algorithm to make sense of the image content and where on the website this image belongs.
Ok how do we better OPTIMIZE our images for SEO?
The most important part of the optimization process starts in Photoshop, yes I know this is not something that the “SEO experts” were advising in their blogs, well before we upload our images on the website. So let me give you an example, the images bellow shows how one of my pictures is optimized:
And if you are WordPress user, like me, you can still use all of the image attributes, after you do the most important steps as explained in the video, provided by the platform – but instead of just stuffing keywords, use them in a clever way as to provide better user experience by providing some helpful information about the image and how or where was taken, as long as it is relevant. This way we can still build enough, key worded, content – but in natural and readable friendly way, without annoying almighty Google.
And don’t forget, when in WP, to fill/explain in the ALT attribute for each image, as this is the most important one regarding how crawler sees an image.
And as finally to this post, I like to share few screen captures from research I was doing on my own images, while trying to understand how Google index them. And as you can see, by the pattern in the dark filed where the image is displayed, that Google shows images relevant to their content and place within the website.