Let’s face it, the whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” saying has never been truer than it is today in the age of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
What does this mean for you?
Well, if you’re throwing walls of text at your readers, they’re not going to spend much time with your content and your other SEO efforts are going to take a hit and that world-changing idea is never going to be heard.
Photos are no longer optional, but it’s not enough to just throw in an image and hope for the best.
Here are five tips for effective photography SEO.
1. Pick the picture perfect picture
Pictures have become a very important part of keeping your reader engaged in what you have to say and photography SEO has become a real focus.
That being said, you need to be sure that the pictures you are using are in fact engaging.
If the image doesn’t immediately grab your reader’s attention, you risk them leaving your site. This can affect your bounce rate, which has a huge impact on your overall search engine ranking.
- Focus on the same subject as your topic
- Illustrate a point that is difficult to explain when written out
- Enhance the reading experience, rather than complicate it
Use quality photos and, above all else, be sure that the images you use are relevant to what you’re writing about.
2. Where to find that perfect picture
Believe it or not, it’s important where you get these images too.
By now everyone should know it’s not okay to just do a Google search for an image. You need to be sure you have the proper permissions to use an image.
The easiest way to do this is to use stock images or your own photos. But…
You should try to avoid stock images whenever possible — the last thing you want is to use the same image as ten other people writing on the same topic.
3. Name your picture
No, “Brad” or “Paul” is not going to cut it when it comes to photography SEO. Neither will “file 1” or “unnamed.”
Name your pictures something that is searchable and relevant to your topic.
Separate words with a hyphen, not a space or an underscore. Search engines only recognize hyphens as separating words and this can affect how your images rank during a search.
4. Size Matters
The larger the picture, the longer it is going to take to load. Since nearly 20% of mobile users will bail if a page hasn’t loaded within five seconds, it’s important that you aren’t bogging down your page unnecessarily.
You want your image to be large enough to catch the reader’s attention, but not so big that it is the only thing that can be seen on the screen at any given time.
On the flip side, keep in mind that if the image it too small the resolution can be affected and you’ll lose how effective the image is.
5. It’s all about the details
The last thing you can do to boost your photography SEO is to add some detail to your XML sitemap.
You can add details such as a caption, a location, a title, and licensing.
While this may be delving deeper into your website than you thought was necessary to simply add an image, it makes a huge difference to photography SEO and how easy it is for search engines to find your images.