Creating High Quality Images for SEO Optimized Blogs
So you have a website, one that includes a blog. You are happy with the content of the blog post you just wrote, but you know adding an image or two will improve it visually. Having a great looking image – one that both compliments your blog’s content and perhaps even adds to it – can be just as important as the text. After all, as we all know one image is worth a thousand words. Unless you happen to have a great professional photographer in your hip pocket, finding the right image can take a lot of work. But even having the right image isn’t the end of the story.
In addition to having just the right image to compliment your blog’s content, you also will need to be sure that it helps your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) component. Since you plan to write a blog at least every week, finding suitable yet optimized images can be a challenge. But there are a few tricks of the trade we can share with you to make this task easier.
The Zen of SEO for Images
Before you even begin to look for the right images, it would be helpful if you understood how these images can help your website improve its optimization. Most of us have at least heard of SEO or search engine optimization, but what does it actually mean? Basically, it involves making your website easier to find on search Engines like Google by appearing as higher as possible ideally on the first page of search results. Optimized SEO images can be displayed on top of Google search results (consider it a positioning shortcut) and also expand your exposure by getting listed on Google images. Check the example below, for a Google search of “SEO images” there are a bunch of images displayed on top search results, before the classic view of top 10 sites ranked for that search term.
One way to optimize your blog’s images is by inserting the “Alt Tag”, which is essentially a keyword or description of the image. It’s very easy to do as any major content editor nowadays will allow you to include the Alt Text on the spot, otherwise you can find more information here.
Because a search engine can’t see your image, it needs a description, so called the Alt Tag. Every image on your site should be alt tagged as they help you position on search engine searches either by images or web search. But before you map out your tags for your images you need to find the image. Where you go to look for images is very important for SEO as well.
Why Google Images Is a Bad Choice
For most novice bloggers, the first choice when looking for images is Google image search, where is easy to find the perfect picture to accompany their blog content. There is only one big problem with this approach: Google Images shows you all web results, including images that are copyrighted and charge royalties for the use of them. By using those images bloggers can face litigation or in the best-case scenario be requested to remove them, which brings them back to the beginning.
Finding the Right Image
But if you can’t use Google Images, where can you go? Sure, you have heard of stock photo sites, but these are run by fancy companies that charge high prices for their photos, right? Actually, while there is indeed a wide array of stock photo companies, not all of them charge big bucks for the images. That is because different stock photo companies supply images in different ways and for different purposes.
For major corporations looking for the perfect image to convey their brand, there are high-end stock photo sites that represent the cream of the photography world. But that is probably not what you are looking for when it comes to your blog. You just want an image that compliments your blog without costing you more than what you paid for the entire site. That is where photography communities come into play.
Community Sites Deliver
Websites like Dreamstime are a community of photographers who make their work available online for people like you. Their prices are low because they work directly with you through the web. They are a royalty-free website so you only pay for the images you want, and many are even free. You can create a free account and try it out here.
Another great site to find images is Dollar Photo Club. Just as the name says, you pay only one dollar for each royalty-free high-resolution photo. Like Dreamstime, this is because it is a community of photographers that have banded together to create a portal for professional images that even small time bloggers can afford.
Blogs Thrive with Great Photos with Alt Tags
So now you are armed with the right information to add some SEO-rich photos to that blog. Adding regular content to your website with a blog is an important step in keeping it relevant to Google and other search engines. Making sure that those blog postings include plenty of great royalty-free images that are tagged helps them to look great and enhance your online visibility. In a world where looks are king, having the know-how to create colorful image-rich content will simply make your whole site look more professional and appealing.