SEO Optimize Your Blog Part II

Hello internet fans, it is Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Thursday, March, April, May, May 28th, I had to figure out which month we’re in. It is Internet Marketing Thursday, therefore I do have Virginie Dorn, the CEO of Business Website Center. Good morning, Virginie.
Virginie Dorn: Hello Ryan, how you doing today?

RP: I’m doing good. If I could just remember what month we’re in, I’ll be doing even better. I had the day figured out, but not the month, for some reason.

VD: You only have to remember it for a couple more days because then it’s June.

RP: Then it’s June, yes. If on the next episode I happen to mention May again, that’s why. But we’re not here to talk about days and dates. We’re actually going to continue a conversation that we started last week, in last week’s episode, of how to optimize your blog to get as much visibility from Google as possible using your targeted keywords. In the last episode, we touched on title and some other things. In this episode, we’re really gonna target on, I think, an area that a lot of people don’t pay attention to, and that is the alt tag.

VD: Yes, alt tag being one of the SEO technique to optimize an image, so we’re really focusing on images. As you and I have said many times before, this is not brain surgery. Just like dieting and exercising, everybody knows what they need to do, it’s just really discipling yourself to optimizing each image on every blog post you publish, so you can get the full benefit of good SEO techniques.

RP: Yeah, it really is. This is just one of those little tedious things that in order… Again, if you’re gonna put all the time and energy into something, you might as well try and maximize the value. And the alt tag is directly tied to the image and the reason why the alt tag is there is because the search engines do not know what an image is about. And so by putting specific keywords in that alt tag, essentially as the bots come through the website and they see, “Okay, I have written content, I know what that is. Here’s an image, what is this a picture of?” The alt tag is designed to tell the search engines, “That’s what it’s about.” And then the other side of it is that for people with low vision or no vision, have software that actually reads websites to them. And if they run into a picture, they don’t know how to describe that and they’ll pull that information all out of the alt tag also.

VD: That is correct. If you want your website to be ADA compliant, it is not required but it’s nice, especially if you’re in a field where you might have visually-impaired customers or visitors, you really want to be ADA compliant. And that’s one of the elements required, is to have all those alternative tags for each image of your website so then they can actually know what the image is about. So it has double benefit.

RP: Yeah, I was going to say, my step-mother lost her eyesight about 16 or 17 years ago, so she uses a program called JAWS and so she runs into those issues all the time.

VD: Excellent. So this is what we can do today, is actually show people first, how to add the image, that will only take a few seconds, and all the different fields they can utilize to optimize that image to its full potential.

RP: Okay, perfect. So you’re gonna start a screen share and on that screen share, go ahead and get that started. It’s not just about on your WordPress blog as far as just how do you manipulate or type thing in. It actually starts with the image itself and that’s where Virginie is gonna start this off for us.

VD: Correct. So this is a blogroll, which is all your teasers for all your posts, and then you can click more. Let’s go into the administration center for WordPress. WordPress… They all work the same in terms of optimizing images, so what I’m showing you is under WordPress, which is the most commonly used blog platform. So this particular test, it’s a test, it says “How to optimize images in a blog post.” But you have to remember, this is the goal of the blog post, that’s what the subject matter is. So now that we know that, we have to really cater all our images based on the title of a post. It all has to make sense to Google bots and Yahoo, Bing, and so forth. So for instance, if you wanted to add an image, it might look slightly different on your particular WordPress depending on your version, but you will simply click “add media.” If an image is already uploaded in your library, you just pick and choose which image you want. Let’s imagine we do not have an image, so you would click on the tab called “upload files.” Then you will select a file from your desktop or your computer.

VD: So I already prepared one for the sake of time, except that it doesn’t want to click. There. So I have this image here. As you can see, it has a blog image. But again, Google doesn’t read that, it doesn’t understand the value of the visual. But what it does read is the name of the image. So it starts with a good naming of the image. Make sure you don’t call it “bullet one,” “bullet two,” “bullet three.” Try to give it a name that relates to the title. So this one is “how-to-optimize-images-in-blog-posts.” So I’m just gonna click “open” and it’s going to upload it onto the blog platform.

VD: Now on the right, this is some of the crucial information. Now, you don’t have to, this is not required, but if you want your blog post to be optimized for your desired keyword search, this is what you’re going to need to do.

RP: Virginie, I see that you’re on the wrong image, for some reason. You’re on the one to the right, the one you just uploaded.

VD: Okay, that one. Well, let’s see if I can make it bigger, no. So, there are two things. The first one is the URL, which is the location of the image under blog process. You can see, I can see my image name here. And, WordPress will put it under the folder for the year and then the month, that’s the way it should be. The title is what we call the mouse over image, so when someone mouse over on an image, like this one, as you can see it says, “Website Design Company.” So, that’s meant for users, if they want to know what it’s about. A lot of people don’t read it but Google sure does, so you want to make sure you optimize this. So we could put down, “Blog Image Optim… ” A key factor here is you want all of those fields to be similar in nature, talking about the same subject matter but not identical. There’s no copy-paste, copy-paste here, ’cause that would be called keyword stuffing. You really want to do some slight variation, even if it’s just adding an ‘S’, that will do the trick. So, if my title is going to be “Blog Image Optimization Tips”, the caption if your blog is set up for that would be, maybe “Find out how to… ”

VD: Talks about the same subject matter but in a different format. The alt tag is that tag you were talking about, it’s crucial, this is the alternative tag. And a little bit of history about it, it used to be when the internet was so slow everywhere around the world and it took a while for the image to display, that’s back in the dial-up times, and the alternative tag would be the first line that appear. And if your internet was so slow and could not display images, you would get that text instead of the image. Now here, you could keep it all lowercase, you can even put bad grammars or misspell, because it’s truly now meant for the bots that search and crawl your website. So, we can do, “blog image… ” Three strong keywords related to the subject matter. The description’s a little bit… It’s almost like a caption, but it has the same value for SEO. Again, there are different ways to write this. So, sometimes what I’ll do, I will do this… Oh, not that. And I will change slightly, “learn to optimize images in WordPress”, could be something like this.

RP: Right. Now, the one thing that I am noticing is that if you’re filling that out, that description is actually gonna show up on the image in the blog post also, correct?

VD: The caption does, it depends how you… There’s different ways you can set up your WordPress blog. Like you could make the caption hidden to visitors, there’s a lot of those things could… Well, for caption a description could either be visible or hidden. But regardless, even if they are hidden to the visitors, they’re not hidden to the bots.

RP: Right. The only reason why I bring that up is that if a lot of time… I know for me I like the clean look, I just like to have my image there and then my text for my blog. If you have… I forget if it’s a caption or a description underneath the image itself, whatever you typed in, it will show up.

VD: Yes. So, that’s the caption that typically shows up. Just like this one here.

RP: Okay.

VD: So, well, let’s take a quick look. We’ll do a preview. So, as you can see there’s your image here. If we take a look at it, “how to optimize images in blog post”, you can see a caption here. I inserted two images by accident. But the description, I believe, if I click here… It depends again how it’s set up. Like, some clients like the SEO value but just like you, they like the super clean look. They don’t want it to show, so we hide it to the visitor. But nonetheless, this is crawlable. I’ll show you. So, here, it would still be part of the code, then Google will read. So, there’s value in filling up all the… You can see my alt tag here, “blog image SEO.”

RP: No, I just got a white screen.

VD: Oh, sorry. Multiple screens, so I’ll go back to it. But again, Google will read the code, it’s not interested in the visual. So, as long as this information is visible in the code, which it will be, you get all the full SEO value.

RP: Right. And the other thing is, when you tie this into all the other SEO optimization that you do, as far as the title, putting it into your description, it’s going to… Also your categories and whatnot. It really gives a very defined piece of information to Google when it goes through an index. The other thing I wanted to mention, is that a lot of time people do image searches. And so, they may find your image and then click on the image which will link back to your website. So, a lot of times geo-targeting also. If you’re in a specific city such as Petaluma and it might be you’re trying to be found for events or activities in Petaluma. By geo-targeting those alt images, a lot of times those images can show up in the search engine results, people will click on them which can lead to your website. So, it’s another way for people to find you is through your images.

VD: I totally agree, that’s why I think it’s such an easy way to optimize images and so many people are not utilizing that. Another thing is once you have your image, you can click on it. Again, depending on what version you have, you can click on the “edit” button and you can actually link this image to another place of your website. You could give it different names. If you’re going to link, it’s always nice to… You could link it this way, and make sure there is a title here, “To learn more… Blah, blah, blah.” So that way when people click on it, it’s another indicator for people, as well, “If I click here, this is what’s going to happen.” It’s also good for SEO. And I know we kind of running out of time but there is also a set feature in a lot of WordPress template and you can click a set feature here. And the set feature for me, for instance, it’s primarily the one at the top. So if you have a blogroll and you have a teaser image at the top like those, that’s where the featured image will be, so it’s always good to optimize it as well. So if we look at this one from last week, it’s called “blog SEO.”

RP: Right, and the one thing I would recommend is that if you do have a featured image, on most, not all, but a lot of blogs, not only does it show up in the blogroll, but once you actually click on that individual blog and that blog page opens up, typically, that featured image will show up at the top. And so a lot of times you don’t need to actually incorporate an image into your blog, but you do want to make sure that that featured image is SEO-optimized.

VD: Yes. There’s also something you can ask you webmaster is, if you’re saying, “I do so many blog posts that I don’t have time to custom graphic-design a featured image each and every time,” you can have a default image in place. So if you don’t add it, it automatically puts one.

RP: Yeah, and I noticed yours, you actually have a very specific size that you’ve created it.

VD: Correct, that’s based on the styling. But if I go back to 2013, this is the default image, as you can see. So if I don’t put something, at least it has something of interest. And when I go into the blog post it has a secondary default image, which is that orange, again, matching the color scheme.

RP: Yeah. We just hit the 10 o’clock mark, so if you can kind of recap real quickly the highlights of what people need to do in order to optimize the image, starting with the actual image name.

VD: Sure. First, name your image appropriately to the blog post, make sure it matches. Second, make sure you utilize all the four fields of WordPress or other platforms will give you, such as the title of the image, which is the mouse-over, the caption, which typically goes underneath the image, the alt tag which is for the bots and visually-impaired customers, and then the description of the image that explains what the image is about. And…

RP: Okay, perfect. I was gonna say… I’m sorry, go ahead.

VD: If you do all of this, you’ll have a fully-optimized image and it will help find your blog post on the searches.

RP: Alright, perfect. And if you’ve been blogging and this is new to you, feel free to go back and optimize your old stuff. Google likes to see changes to the websites so it could have double value. One, Google like to see the changes and then B] the fact that its actually optimized could help additional ranking for that blog post.

VD: Yes, I agree.

RP: Alright, perfect. Well, with that, Virginie, I believe next week you’re gonna be out of town, correct?

VD: That is correct. I have family visiting and I’ll be playing tourist.

RP: Alright, well, very cool. I have a special guest speaker from Canada who is gonna be filling in while you’re out having fun. So, do have fun, enjoy your family, I know they traveled quite the distance to see you. So I know… Y’all have a good time.

VD: Well, thank you. We will.

RP: Alright, we will see you in two weeks then.

VD: Sounds good. Bye Ryan.

RP: Bye.



About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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