Blogging Basics – Is A Photo Important?
A Picture Is
Blogging Means Finding The Perfect Photo
More than anything else, a blogger can spend most of their time working on writing a quality post. Photos are one way a person can enhance the effort they put in their writing skills. One of the biggest mistakes that any blogger can make is not to emphasize their photos on their blog. It can help readers to imagine or conceptualize your written communication. Photos can even help promote blog traffic to your site through the Google search engine.
Last week, in my Blogging Basic Series, I wrote about ways to find your voice again when a person has a hard time writing (see Blogging Basics – You Must Write!) In the post, I discussed the difficulties I had faced in writing my blog over the past month. One of the things I did not talk about was that my blog was still receiving significant daily web traffic (through photos I had published in the past).
As a blogger, I realize photos are an important part of writing. I try to make sure that I use the full potential a photograph can have on my blog.
5 Photo Tips
1. File Names – The file name of the photo matters. When you upload a photo you need to think about optimization for search engines. A descriptive name for your photo is what search engine spiders are looking for (preferably with the key word you want to rank within the search).
Non-optimized File Names
Optimized File Names
2. Alt text – It is easy for any blogger to forget how important it to use a descriptive alt text for a photo.
The two main purposes for alt text are for search engine spiders and for ease of access to your site.
- Alternate text that is descriptive and full of keywords helps a search engine spider to interpret an image and its content.
- Alternate text makes a website more handicap accessible. It makes an image readable to a person using “screen reader“ technology.
3. Image size – When I began blogging I didn’t realize that the size of the file actually matters. The primary reason that the size of a photo matters is because the larger any picture is the longer the load time for your users. Make your images as small as possible without sacrificing quality. I am slowly working back through my older photos to reformat their sizes.
- Pic Resize and Image Optimizer are both free websites that can re-size your photos for ideal blog usage.
- One of the abilities of many photo editing programs is to save your photos in a “web” ready format (compressing the picture). If you use Adobe Photoshop (my personal choice) start making it a habit of saving all of your photos with the option “Save For Web.” (no need to compress a photo then)
4. Featured Image – It important that you set-up a featured image for all of your posts! Many themes today use a featured image to find the thumbnail it needs to use in archives and categories for the excerpts of your posts (possibly on your home page too). If you are using sharing options on your blog, such as, Facebook or Google + a featured image is the default photo it will share (the photo you picked as your featured image).
5. Captions – If you have taken the time to make sure your photos are blog ready go one extra step and make sure it conveys a message (caption). Having a caption on all photos is important but not required (there is no known effect on SEO and not using a caption). A caption is the way that you can tell others what is noteworthy about your picture (a phrase or idea). A photo that does not use a caption can mean less to a reader.
Most bloggers consider themselves a writer and can forget that they are the sole creative entity in all aspects of their work. Taking the time to make sure a post has photos that are user-friendly can make any article that much better to a reader. Never forget that other people want to share in your success and hard work on your blog.
It doesn’t matter if you think of yourself as a photographer or not. A properly placed photo can add value to any blog. Do you take time to make a photo reader friendly (and search engine ready)? Is there one aspect you consider more important that the others? Please tell me more in the comments!!
You can read Part 1 to this post here Using Perfect Photos – Blogging Basics If you like this post you can follow me on my twitter @dadblunders.
Tags: alternate text
, jpg photo
, search engines