This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 13.
Today's tip could be a year long job for some of you! It's time to clean up your photos.
We're talking about titles, alt tags and image sizing!
Sounds super fun doesn't it? Not really - it can be very tedious but, it has a huge payoff. These things are all very important for SEO, both for your images, and for your posts as a whole.
Titles and alt tags are important for search and user experience. Image sizing has a big impact on your page speed. All of these things ares used by google to determine your page rank.
Before You Upload Any Images To Your Site
Before you upload any images to your site you need to rename them. You don't want any images to have a title like IMG87143.jpg. Title them to reflect what the image is.
You'll also want to resize your images. This is critical for page speed, which Google values highly. You should not be uploading images that are 1MB in size. Compress them down to be below 200kb in your photo editing software before uploading them.
There are also Plug-ins you can use in wordpress to help you with this like Smush or ShortPixel. They can compress your images even further as you upload them or do batch compression on old images on your site. They can also have your images lazy load (they don't load until the user scrolls to the image, which can help pages load faster).
Alt text is used in a number of ways - this is what assistive technologies read to people who can't see images on their devices. It's also used by google in search. So it's really important to fill it in and that the text reflects what the image is.
You won't want to miss this post on Using Photos to Improve your SEO - it's got tips and screenshots on how to fill in the alt text for your photos.
Alt Text and Pinterest Descriptions
For a long period of time, a lot of bloggers were using the alt text field for their Pinterest descriptions. This is not a good SEO practice. There are lots of plug-ins you can use for Pinterest descriptions (we like Social Pug). Your alt text descriptions should reflect what the images is and should be kept fairly short.
While many of us are taking these steps now on our blogs, a lot of us have old posts that could use a little alt tag love. Now is the time to go back and start fixing those old posts! If you're spending time working on SEO optimization this year, add image compression and alt text to your SEO checklist!