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Up for Discussion – SEO for Photographers, Part 2

Here is Part 2 of the guest posts from Mary McAvoy and one that I know lots of you have been looking forward to.  This one is fantastic for those of you who wish to increase your visibility on the internet through your images, I hope I am explaining that properly. So, over to Mary, and I hope you will thank her along with me for writing these fantastic posts for us.

Thanks for you patience in waiting for Part 2 of the article about SEO. For those who missed last week’s post, please see Part 1 in Leanne’s earlier post if you are interested in this topic. I think it will make it easier for you to follow this post.

Before I get into Part 2, I’d like to make note that in last week’s post (Part 1), some of the images were out of order. Sorry about that. I think you were probably able to get the meaning of my instructions about editing your title. But please let me know if anything confused you.

About well labeled photos – It has become a given that good quality photos that are well placed and appropriate to the content of a site really appeal to people and draw visitors to a site. For that reason, photos have risen to near the top of the search algorithm in SEO.

Right now, I believe that images are second only to h1 in search power. Your photos have a lot of pull in terms of drawing visitors and followers. So, it’s really important that you label your photos accurately. By accurately, I mean two things:

1) the label on your photo should describe what’s seen in the image
2) the label on your photo should contain words that are in your post and/or related to the main topic of your site

If you don’t label well, your labeling can be seen by the bots as spamming and your site can be marked to become invisible to search engines – essentially your site is blacklisted – even if your spamming was accidental. I do think search engines are fairly lenient about labeling so don’t stress about it. True spamming is when someone labels a photo “caribbean cruise” but in fact the image is of belly fat or the site the photo is on is about weight-loss pills but they try to draw people in with popular image labels. That would be spamming – when a site lures someone to visit it through false labeling. You just need to be careful to be not viewed by the bots as a spamming site.

The label on your image should ideally be one to five words, separated by hyphens. No spaces should be in the label.

Here is a suggested way to label your photos –

1) after you download them to your computer from your camera, organize them into whatever your method is. I categorize my photos into folders and albums by a) year b) month c) location or topic.

2) choose what photos you will use in your post and make duplicates of those photos. (You want to preserve the originals.) I then put the duplicates in a folder on my desktop so they are easy to find as I work on my post. I label the folder with a name that tells me what post the folder belongs to.

3) reduce the size of the duplicate images you plan to use. I reduce to 800×600 or 640×480, the two smallest choices in Mac Preview. I batch process the duplicates to a smaller size in Mac Preview. Mac users, click on this link for instructions if you need them. The purpose of reducing the image size is that your site will load faster which keeps your viewers from getting frustrated and leaving the site, and also your storage space in your site account will last longer before you have to upgrade. Downsizing your photos also makes it more difficult for someone to steal them. If they can’t print a large image or get good resolution using it on a website or blog, then they are not likely to take it.

4) then, for each photo, I change the label my camera gave it (such as DSC_0010_.jpg) to a descriptive in words of the photo, remembering to retain the “.jpg” extension. So only change what appears before the .jpg in the image label.

5) when I’m writing my post, I upload the duplicate/smaller sized photos, which are now labeled, to the library in WP.

6) while in the library, I add the same words (as the label that’s on the photo) to the “Alt Text” space – -see image below which appears in the media library. Can you see “Alt Text”? – that’s where to add the same label as you gave the photo. You can add additional words but be sure the same words of the image label appear here. And don’t use more than ten words or so in Alt Text. Don’t “stuff” the Alt Text box with keywords or you may be seen by the bots as spamming.

SEO post adding alt text

Sometimes I add a caption, too. The caption is visible to the viewer alongside the image.
Then I insert the photo(s) to the post by clicking the “Insert into post” button.

7) I go back to the content area and there, if I have uploaded a single image into a post/page, I click on the image so that I have the edit (pencil)-delete(x) options showing, like this:

SEO post edit-delete screen

I click on the edit icon (the pencil as shown in the left black square in the image directly above) and from the edit screen (below) that pops up, I click on the box to turn on “Open link in a new window/tab” – shown near the bottom of this image:

SEO post edit image screen

By doing this, you retain the visitor after they look at the photo. When they X out after viewing the image, they will still be on the original page of your site, the page they left when they selected the image for viewing. If you don’t do this, when they X out of viewing the image, they also X out of your site (unless they know to and consciously choose to hit the back arrow).

Tip: You should always check the “Open link in a new window/tab” for links you add to your text, too. Always click the “Open link in a new window/tab” box pretty much whenever you see it as an option.

The “open in a new window/tab” step isn’t necessary if you add a gallery since when the visitor X’s out of the gallery, they remain in your site.

Here is an example of labeling a photo:

Great-blue-heron-in-pines

The label on this photo might have originally been DSC_0232_.jpg
I re-labeled it
great-blue-heron-in-pines.jpg

For the Alt Text I might say,
great blue heron reflected in pond water and among the branches of a pine tree

So, if someone searched for a photo using the search terms
great blue heron in a pond
I’d hope this picture would be in the search results.
And that would bring the person to my site that has that image within a post.

So, that’s it for labeling photos!

Here’s a quick list for you to keep handy as you get used to best practices:
– download your images from our camera to you computer
– organize into your files
– edit and then set aside in a desktop folder those you plan to use in a post
– create duplicates of the images (unless the full size originals are safe in your files already)
– reduce the size of each image, batch process this step if possible as it saves much time
– label the photos (with hyphens and no spaces)
– upload to your media library in WordPress as you prepare the post
– fill in Alt Text for each image
– for photos inserted individually select “open link in a new window/tab” from the edit page

Here’s one more tip about SEO –

SEO and Inbound Links

After h1 content and well-labeled photos, inbound links to your site is the next strongest item on the search algorithm hierarchy. It’s not the quantity of links to your site that matters, it’s the quality of the links to your site.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of your own linking from one post to another within your site. These links show the bots that your site is a busy site. It tells the bots that you know what you are about and that you value your own previous posts. So when you say, “Last week I wrote about….” you should link that phrase to the post you are referring to from the prior week. Same with “I’ve written before about…” – link that phrase to the best example of whatever it is you are referring to.

WordPress is so awesome that when you select text to link and then you click on the link icon, WP displays all your prior posts in the window so that all you have to do is click on the post you are referring to and, voila, the link attaches to your text.

WordPress is so awesome that when you select text to link and then you click on the link icon, WP displays all your prior posts in the window so that all you have to do is click on the post you are referring to and, voila, the link attaches to your text.

Be sure to realize that “ping-backs” appear in your WordPress comments and are are there as alerts that tell you that someone has linked to your site from theirs. Sometimes the ping-back has been generated by you as you put a link in one post to another of your own posts. (You can de-activate notices coming to you about your own ping-backs. WP will automatically authorize those ping-backs for you.)

Always check these comment/ping-backs and approve them only if they are from a legitimate and reputable looking site. Go to the site that originated the ping-back and check it out before you approve it. If it’s a spam site, it can negatively impact how the bots view your site. Approve your own ping-backs as they are legitimate!

Finally, your goal is to pop up on the first page of a search whenever anyone types in a search term that you have posted about. Label your photos well and include the label used on a photo in the content of the post that includes the image. Try to repeat the label/search term at least twice in your first paragraph and then again within the body of the post.

If you feel confident doing so, go to a search term generator and carefully choose the current search terms that people are using in real time that match your topic. I’m going a little beyond what you might want to think about now, but for those who are ready – please note that the most popular search term is not always the best to choose. The most popular term means you’ll have tons of competition if you use it. So maybe go down the list a bit and pick a popular term that isn’t used so much that your site gets lost in the competition.

Following good SEO practices will help your site’s ranking in all search services. And, the word on the street is that Google favors its own…so consider participating in Google+. Yes, seriously…

There are many sources for you to reference about SEO. But please remember that before you read an article about SEO check the date of it! If it’s older than six months, it’s outdated unless it’s a very general article.

Here’s a current (as of June 2014), good article about SEO for photographers:

Search Engine Optimization for Photographers – SEO Basics

Please let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Mary McAvoy-Syntax and Style

Mary McAvoy is an author and photographer. She owns Syntax and Style, a business that specializes in the web presence of writers and photographers. Mary’s been blogging since 2007.

Her sites are:

sublime days – where Mary writes about all sorts of things and shares about her writing and her books

The Ripest Pics – Mary’s photography site

MaryMcAvoy-Photography – Mary’s photography-for-sale site (hosted by Fine Art America)

SilverLining-MaryMcAvoy – Mary’s photo-blog about a pond in New England

100 Comments
  1. thanks for thisit was very informative and useful!

    June 17, 2014
  2. Gary Lum #

    Thanks Leanne and Mary for sharing your SEO advice.

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re very welcome, Gary!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
      • Gary Lum #

        Hi Mary
        I do have one question. I tend to allow DropBox to name my image files but in WordPress I change the title rather than the file name. In the context of SEO, is that okay or do I still need to change the file name of my images?
        Thanks
        Gary

        June 17, 2014
      • Everything I’ve ever studied or read about SEO says that photos should be labeled before they are uploaded to the internet. The title in WordPress is something else altogether. So, yes, I’d say you should change the image label before you upload it.

        Please let me know if other questions come to mind.

        Mary

        June 17, 2014
  3. Useful stuff, thanks! 🙂

    June 17, 2014
  4. Very helpful, thank you so much to Leanne and Mary! I need to do some homework… 🙂

    June 17, 2014
    • It’s a big learning curve!
      Glad the post is helpful to you.
      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  5. That’s terrific information, but I must absorb and apply it. Thanks.

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re welcome. It is a lot to absorb…take it one step at a time!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on Art Edutech and commented:
    Nice Photography!

    June 17, 2014
    • Great! Thanks for the reblog and comment!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  7. Excellent two part series post ladies! Hopefully, I can remember all of this and put it to good use!

    Tamara

    June 17, 2014
    • Thanks, Tamara!
      I put the short list in this post to help guide people as they begin to establish best practices.
      It takes time to make it second nature!
      Maybe tackle one thing at a time.
      If you run into questions, please feel free to contact me.
      A link to my Syntax and Style site is at the end of each post.

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  8. Thank you Mary and Leanne – very interesting – useful and straight forward – easy to implement too. Now I just have to make all these tip second nature when doing my posts 🙂

    June 17, 2014
    • Thanks, infraredrobert!
      Believe me, I can write about these tips, but I’m not perfect in them all the time!
      Take it on slowly!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  9. Great info Leanne! I do practically the same thing oddly enough. What’s amazing is that one time a long time ago I uploaded a “happy birthday” image and almost every single day I notice that it comes up under top posts & pages in my stats either 3rd or 4th in the list! That shows how powerful naming photos is.

    June 17, 2014
  10. Great example, lauramacky! Thanks!

    Mary

    June 17, 2014
  11. Thank you Mary and Leanne for this folow up on SEO. I can see there is allot of homework to follow up on. I’ve never used the Alt Text but have filled in the description, does this area affect SEO at all? One uploaded, does going back and filling in Alt Text help? Thanks again for all your work into this very useful post.

    June 17, 2014
    • Oops, sorry paul richmond…I got my reply to you out of order I think…please look below!

      June 17, 2014
  12. Leanne, thank you for all your tips. Just wondering whether I resize to 500px width is okay? Because it is always according to the wordpress theme site? If more than 500px width, it will look out of the scope.

    June 17, 2014
    • Hi Tienny The Storyteller,

      I think you might be referring to the image you upload for your header. Yes, size that to the dimensions the theme specifies. The size suggestions in the SEO post are for images that are put into the content of a post or on a website page.

      Please let me know if this answer isn’t clear to you and I’ll try again!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  13. Beth Johnson #

    I poked around here and there and found several sections to be great resources. Thanks for this posting. I do appreciate your work very much.

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re welcome, Beth!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  14. excellent advice for someone a tad disorderly like me!!

    June 17, 2014
    • I’m a person who needs lists to keep things as neat and tidy as possible! That’s why I added a list to this post!

      June 17, 2014
  15. Great information again Mary and thanks Leanne for sharing this. I do have one question, in seo where does keywords added to the metadata of an image rank in searches?

    June 17, 2014
    • I would say that metadata attached to an image doesn’t have ranking of its own. In fact, I think that keywords imbedded in metadata could be of no positive SEO consequence unless the keywords are mirrored in the image label and the Alt Text and within the textual content that surrounds the image in the post or on the page. So, in addition to the keywords that you imbed in the metadata, you should label the photo with the same keywords and also put the keywords in the Alt Text. And, as well, it’s important that the same keywords appear within the content where you’ve placed the image.

      I’d be concerned that if you only put the keywords in the metadata of an image, and the keywords appear nowhere else, it might look like spam.

      I hope I’ve answered your question, and it’s a good one. Please let me know if I missed the mark in understanding your meaning!

      Mary

      June 17, 2014
  16. Hi Paul,

    The label on the image and the Alt Text are the two things that impact SEO. I think both the caption and the description are more for the visual benefit of the site visitor when they look at the images.

    Yes, I do think it does help to go back and fill in the Alt Text. But I would then click on Update of the post that holds the photos you add Alt Text to. By clicking on Update, you are sort of resubmitting the post with the new information that you’ve added, just as you’d do for any other edit.

    I’m glad you found the posts on SEO helpful –

    Mary

    June 17, 2014
    • Thanks Mary – which leads to my next question. I have very little text on my site (one blog page – no photos) and the remaining 18 pages are all photo spreads. Most are in galleries or slideshows. Would I need to update just the page with the media, the gallery/slideshow itself, each individual photo or all of the above? Thanks again for your info on this. So nice of you to share.

      June 18, 2014
      • Hi Paul Richmond,

        If I understand your site scenario correctly, I’d say:
        – each individual photo, meaning:
        – the label (this would be a huge project – deleting and then labeling all your photos and then re-uploading them)
        – the Alt Text
        Note: if you do just the Alt Text, it won’t match the image labels (unless you do each label too) and this might not look so great to the bots as there would be a mismatch of label and Alt Text.
        Maybe, going forward label your photos and add Alt Text, and then perhaps work bit by bit on the photos you’ve put up in the past that you hope to draw attention to your work.

        It’s really a matter of how important it is to you. I just looked at your site and it would be an enormous undertaking. You’d have to delete each photo, then find the original, then duplicate it, then label the duplicate, then downsize the duplicate, the upload the duplicate, then add the Alt Text – recreating your galleries and slideshows.

        I’m presuming you’ve added categories and keywords with each gallery and/or slideshow. I didn’t look at that. But you really should add categories and keywords to every post.

        PS You have a good looking site. Clean and full of fantastic images.

        Good luck! 🙂

        Mary

        June 18, 2014
      • Thanks again Mary. Figured it might be some homework. actually wouldn’t be as bad as could be, as I have duplicates of original raw and resized jpgs in file by catagory and published already, Think I could just reload with new name from LR to file and then upload. The time would be to reset galleries and slideshows.
        If nothing else, it gives me a new base to start from with the SEO thoughts in mind.
        Thanks for the comment on the site and images. I have no web training at all so appreciate all the help people like you offer. As intuitive as WP is, without the passion allot of you have, many of us would never get off the ground. Thanks again.

        June 19, 2014
      • You’re welcome, Paul.
        I’m glad that moving forward you can work out a routine.
        Good luck if you go back and redo what’s there now!
        Mary

        June 19, 2014
  17. Interesting post Mary/Leanne….thanks

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re welcome, Mark!

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
  18. Thank you for this Mary and Leanne – very informative and very clearly explained! I upload photos all the time but have never really thought about SEO and image labelling… I definitely don’t want to be blacklisted as a spammer on my own site, so will change my labels from today – thanks again, great post! 🙂

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re welcome, Ruth!
      Glad you found the post helpful.

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
  19. Great article! Thanks so much to both of you! I have one question, how important is the renaming of the files? I am a bit lazy when it comes to that 😉 But I will definitely start with giving titles to my pictures from now onwards!

    June 17, 2014
    • This is similar to permalink. Having keywords in image file names boosts your image seo.

      June 17, 2014
    • Hi Sariscorner,

      I think you are asking “how important is it to go back and rename your image files that you have already uploaded?” Is that your question?

      If so, it’s only as important as your desire to have better SEO results from those posts or pages.

      If you decide to go back and rename/re-upload your image files, be sure to update your Alt Text too for best results.

      Good luck!

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
  20. Been looking forward to this post. I like the tips about re-sizing the photo when posting. I do this for my WordPress photos for the same reasons listed in the article. To save on space and defer people from wanting to download the photos. I do link the photos to the full res copy on my Flickr account though, which I have my signature on. I also find that Flickr is cheaper to pay for than WordPress so it saves me some money in the long run. Thank you Mary for taking the time to create these two articles to help others out. 🙂

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re welcome, Justin.
      And thank you for adding valuable information in your comment.

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
  21. Thanks for these very helpful SEO tips. I need to utilize them ASAP!

    June 17, 2014
  22. Thanks again Leanne. 4) “or each photo, I change the label my camera gave it (such as DSC_0010_.jpg) to a descriptive in words of the photo”. This is something that I have not done and it hurts to think that of the over 380 blog posts and possibly thousands of images I did not think to do this. Appreciate you sharing this with us!

    June 17, 2014
    • You’re not alone in this, Marcus! Lots of us are either going back to change image labels and re-upload or just doing so from here on!

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
      • Thanks Mary! It’s funny as soon as I got home from work I was in my office labeling my images in my galleries on my website. Also adding keyword info, captions, renaming files etc ☺. Really do appreciate the information and going forward I won’t post images publicly without thinking about these things.

        June 18, 2014
      • Yay! Good for you! Now and then, reread the posts I’ve shared here. As you become more adept with the various steps, you’ll glean more. I can assure you that writing the posts reminded me of a few things I’d become lax in or had sort of forgotten. So, even for me, this has been a good refresher course!

        Best of luck! 🙂

        Mary

        June 18, 2014
  23. Very useful advice! Thank you Mary and Leanne for this mini-series!

    June 18, 2014
  24. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    This is good information for other photographers. I like the explanation on organizing images; I’ve found that spending a moment or two extra to assign a location in your hard drive will make life easier when you are looking for something. Mary McAvoy’s info is very helpful. 😉

    June 18, 2014
    • Thanks Jackie – it was a pleasure to participate here at Leanne’s site.
      Happy organizing! 🙂
      Mary

      June 18, 2014
  25. This is so useful. I hope you don’t mind I posted it on Google+.

    June 18, 2014
    • Don’t mind at all, in fact thank you!

      Mary

      June 18, 2014
      • No, thank you for sharing.

        June 18, 2014
  26. I thought I’d post a comment myself!

    In the post above and last week’s, too, I’ve tried to emphasize how rapidly things change when it comes to SEO.

    Today, I’ve received an e-newlsetter article from Website Magazine that exemplifies this.

    The article talks about how it is expected (by Google) that by the end of this year (2014) most web searches will be conducted from mobile devices. So, it’s advisable that your blog or website be mobile friendly. Fortunately, for those of us using WordPress, this is fairly easy to achieve as so many of the WP themes are mobile ready.

    Here’s the article for any of you who might want to read it:
    http://tinyurl.com/n2zx7lb
    (PS For those who wonder about the “tinyurl” in the address shown directly above…Tiny Url is a free service that converts long urls into tiny ones 🙂 so that they are easier to capture and share. See TinyURL.com if interested.)

    Mary

    June 18, 2014
  27. This is an incredible article! Thank you both!

    June 18, 2014
  28. Hi Mary, great post! I followed your instructions exactly for my latest post but once it was published I felt like some of the images weren’t as clear or detailed as they had been before I resized them (a couple of them I removed and replaced with the full sized image). I resized them all to 800×600 as suggested. Does this usually impact on the quality of the images, or have I done something wrong? Your advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

    June 18, 2014
    • Hi, no the quality of the photo should not be impacted at all. In print it would be, but inserted into a post or web page it shouldn’t be. Hmmm…I’m puzzled. I really don’t know why that happened for you.
      Had you cropped the photos that seemed to lose quality? That’s the only thing I can think of. If you had cropped them then maybe the resolution was challenged anyway and in reducing the display size maybe it became more obvious, although I would think the reverse would be true – increasing the size would cause you to lose quality.
      I really don’t know.
      How about once you were in the media library. Did you choose the largest size for the display of the image? Maybe that would “stretch” it beyond what the smaller size image could handle. Maybe try to pick medium as your size and see how that looks.
      I’ll keep thinking about this and let you know if I have any further thoughts.
      Can anyone else think of a reason why this would have happened?

      Mary

      June 19, 2014
      • Hi again, Chez,

        I just posted on my site and a screen shot image that I used was not well focussed. I thought of your issue (above) and wondered if maybe the images that were out of focus for you were screen shots. If so, I’m not really sure what you can do about that. I kind of expect screen shots to not be great quality and accept it!

        Just a thought…

        Mary

        June 19, 2014
      • Hi again Mary, I appreciate you giving this some thought! No the photos weren’t screen shots. I had cropped two of the images, but surprisingly, it was those two images that looked perfect while all of the others were more or less affected. I’ll follow up and check what I did with the media library display size, as that could be it. I also did a little of my own research and I’m wondering if I resized incorrectly. It seems to be important to know which side of the image is the “long side”. It was the two photos in a portrait orientation that were the most badly affected. Anyway, I’ll keep playing as I need to get this sorted – I’ve used up so much of my WordPress MB allowance since upgrading to a Canon 7D and uploading full sized images! It has to stop 🙂 Thanks again Mary, appreciate the support 🙂

        June 22, 2014
      • Hi Chez,

        I use Preview, software on my Mac, to resize my images. There is a box to check in the Preview screen that turns on “scale proportionally.” It may be that you need to do something like that in your resizing. The dimensions I gave as suggested sizing were taken from Preview. Whatever software you use may suggest other dimensions when resizing your shots. But scaling proportionally should help your portrait shots to not get stretched out of shape when resizing.

        Hope this helps! 🙂

        Mary

        June 23, 2014
  29. Hi Mary,

    I am anxious to read your post more in depth, it sounds like when you tag your photos that the same thing applies to tagging a post in in WP, words separated by commas. I need to look at how this is all done pertaining to photographs I use Microsolft Live Writer, as I find it much easier to use than the WP editor. I started using it years ago mainly because when adding pictures to posts in the WP editor you would have your post and pictures all set up the way you wanted the post to look and hit publish and guess what the pictures and the words always came out askewed from what it it looked like in the editor. Using MS Live Writer, when it publishes everything is is a s perfect as it was in the editor.

    I really want to go back and read and and make certain about labeling, tagging pictures so that the bots can find the easily, I love these posts of yours and hoep that we an see more of them as time goes by they are very helpful! Especially to me as i am in the midst of building a WordPress.org site for both basketry and for photography and this will be very important information for me to understand from the beginning.

    June 18, 2014
    • Hi hbs1991,

      I’m glad the posts were a help to you.
      I’d love to post here again!

      I want to be sure you know that in one way the label is NOT like the tags. Tags are separated by commas, label words are separated by hyphen and there should be no space anywhere in the label. But, yes, in concept they are similar.

      Also note that tags capture the keywords of the content.
      Tags might be,
      photography, images, roses, fence, red-roses, garden

      Labels actually describe what is seen in the image, very specifically. So,
      red-roses-along-picket-fence

      Hope this helps/clarifies!

      Mary

      June 19, 2014
  30. Great tips. Will have to get into the habit of giving my photos useful file names from now on.

    June 18, 2014
    • Glad the posts were a help!

      Mary

      June 19, 2014
  31. Thanks for the amazing advice 🙂

    June 19, 2014
  32. Thank you, Mary and Leanne. I practice pretty decent SEO for my posts, but I never thought to apply the same to the photographs. I’ve picked up some useful tips here!

    June 19, 2014
  33. Great post. I think that it highlights the focus on how I manage my photos at home isn’t necessarily the best way for my photos to be found via my site on the web.

    June 19, 2014
    • Thanks, hope the info helps.

      Mary

      June 20, 2014
  34. More great tips! thank you!

    June 20, 2014
  35. I loved this small series. Thank you Leanne and Mary for sharing. I have started changing how I blog after nearly three years of doing pretty much the same thing. It is great to have a new outlook into what I am doing.

    June 21, 2014
    • You’re welcome.

      I’m so glad it’s been a help to you. I’ve visited your site and your photography is fantastic! I hope these tips in SEO bring more people to your site to enjoy your work.

      Mary

      June 21, 2014
  36. I do all of these things to my photos except for re-labelling them and adding the alt text in the library. I will have to get into the habit of doing that. I like to reduce the size of my photos down as much as possible. Thanks Mary and Leanne…very informative again.

    June 21, 2014
    • You’re welcome!

      As you label your images (before uploading them to WordPress), use a label of up to five words, separated by hyphens and make the words help the search engine “see” what’s in the image – just as you’d describe it over the phone, for instance, to someone who can’t see it. So, label with words like:
      laughing-child-in-baby-pool
      male-cardinal-on-branch
      bicyclist-crossing-finish-line

      Hope this further explanation helps you and others!

      Mary

      June 22, 2014
      • Thanks Mary. I will start doing that. Another reason not to do too many photos in a post.

        June 22, 2014
  37. I think you’ll all recognize the above message as spam! It must have snuck by WordPress! It can happen so always read your comments before approving!

    Mary

    June 26, 2014
    • Thanks Mary, I wasn’t paying enough attention when I was approving comments, I’m away and trying to do things quickly.

      June 26, 2014
      • No worries! The syntax was good so it looked legit!

        June 26, 2014
      • I’m usually good at working it out, I just didn’t read it properly, thank you for picking it up.

        June 26, 2014
  38. Mary, another wonderful offering on SEO! And shout out to Leanne for hosting Up-for-Discussion!

    I’ve read that alt text should be no longer than 160 characters. I suppose 10 words probably average out to about that, but for those who are sticklers, this may be additional useful information.

    Pingback questions:
    1. I have always sent my self-generated pingbacks to trash, as I didn’t like having them appear on my posts and I thought (with no real knowledge whether I was right) that related posts served a similar function. Is it worth regenerating hese, by removing and reinserting links, then updating the posts? (Note: I primarily link within my blog to multiple blog posts for the same weekly photo challenge.)
    2. What is your view of approving pingbacks from a site that, for example, has you and 99 other posts listed as “see some other examples from this week’s photo challenge”? I can understand someone picking their top 10 favorites and I’m happy to recognize such a listing. But the other seems spammy to me and, I’m figuring, not great for SEO?

    Thanks so much for any guidance!

    July 1, 2014
  39. Thanks! You can never know enough about SEO, and like you say it is constantly changing.

    I ingest photos from the camera to a specific folder on my hard drive via Adobe Bridge. There you can give the image files a custom file name and add ITPC information, copyright, and other general terms from a template. Then in Bridge, you can go in and add specific info such as title, alt text, keywords, etc. If you are uploading hundreds images, this really speeds up the process. Now you can create a sized JPEG from any original for your blog and all the information from the original will follow. You can also do this quickly and easily with Adobe Lightroom. Now when you add your image in WordPress the title and alt text are already filled in and there are keywords attached to the JPEG that search engines can pick up on.

    July 4, 2014
    • Thanks so much for this added info. I have Bridge and recently bought Lightroom 5. I haven’t used either, I hate to admit! I started off with iPhoto and I’ve just stayed with it out of familiarity. I really should give them a try. Thanks again.
      Mary

      July 8, 2014
      • Mary, Bridge and Lightroom are fantastic. I love using them.

        July 8, 2014
      • I just bought Lightroom about two weeks ago and have watched the first in a series of tutorials I found. So, I’m off to a start there. I guess maybe I’ll get familiar with Bridge at the same time. My images automatically go to iPhoto (where there are some great and simple editing features) when I upload them, so I always thought that using Bridge was a redundancy and added duplicate storage on the computer. I’ll figure out a way to have Bridge be the automatic place my photos upload to. Thanks for the nudge in that direction!

        July 8, 2014
      • Your photos aren’t stored in Bridge in Photoshop Mary, it is like a viewing thing, so if you are taking raw images, then you can see them in bridge. I don’t have a Mac, so for the PC it is the only way of seeing raw images, just to view them, well you can also use Lightroom. Lightroom is where it will store your photos, so that is something you need to be careful about. Maybe we can help each other out with this.

        July 8, 2014
      • Great – thanks Leanne! I’ll let you know if I have questions as I get more familiar w Lightroom!

        July 8, 2014
      • Okay.

        July 8, 2014

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