How to Optimize Images for SEO & Blogging Success!

There is no doubt about it that having a blog for your photography business is your absolute best way to get your work seen by anyone surfing the inter-webs.  Of course, if you have a blog but never use it, you are only hurting yourself.  Blogging isn’t easy…trust me, I know!  But when done correctly, it will bring you more organic traffic than your super fancy flash based website.

Yesterday I received a question in the comment section of one of my other blogging posts – “Increase Web Traffic to Your Blog with These Quick Tips!” in regards to how to properly rename your photos and add alt tags to them.

Naturally I knew that this is a great question that many others may also need help understanding; so here we are today with this quick tip where you’ll learn how to easily optimize blog images for SEO so you can actually get more people to see your work!

The first step and easiest way to start seeing your photos showing up in Google image searches is by renaming your photos.

Your photos might come off your memory card with something like this: DSC_0945 or similar.  These photo file names are terrible for Google and search engines as they give absolutely no value with describing the photo it represents.  A better approach might be to batch rename your photos to something like: “Hotel Del Weddings_01.jpg” or; “El Centro Wedding Photographer_08.jpg” or “Sum 41 Live Photos_23.jpg”. If you are wondering why & how a number is added to the end of the custom name photos, don’t worry, it’s all done automatically when exporting from Lightroom or another program.

Do you see a trend?

If you want them to be seen by others, you have to make them searchable.   Once you do that you will be surprised at how easy it is for your photos to begin to show up in Google image searches.

Just about all photo editing programs give the option to rename your photos, my favorite program – Adobe Lightroom 5, lets you easily batch rename your set of photos as you are exporting the photos.  See the photo below to see my approach for giving my images a unique name every time I export them from Lightroom before being posted to my blog (or anywhere).
LR Export

Step 1 of renaming your images to unique file names is done!
Now on to Step 2, adding Alt tags to your images…

What is an Alt Tag?

Great question – according to Wikipedia:  “Alternative text is text associated with an image that serves the same purpose and conveys the same essential information as the image.  In situations where the image is not available to the reader, perhaps because they have turned off images in their web browser or are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment, the alternative text ensures that no information or functionality is lost.”

Alt tags are nothing to ignore, not only do they provide alternative information about the photo but also to help Google’s search algorithms find your photos/content and showcase them.

Adding an alt tag is super easy, especially within any WordPress website or blog.  Just simply click on the image, and write an alternate description in the provided box and hit save!
How to add an alt tag images in wordpressOptimizing your images and photos for SEO

That’s it!  Hopefully you will be happy with the results and begin to see your photos showing up in the Google image searches.  Here are a couple examples showing you how this exact method has worked for me.
Lightroom photo batch editing tipsNewborn SEO

If you do not have a blog yet or want to upgrade your blog into a WordPress hosted blog or website (like this Cole’s Classroom site and my wedding photography blog are) here are some awesome resources for you:
Blog Hosting – Blue Host (current special $4.95 per month)
Photographer Blog Themes – ProPhoto Blogs – For a ProPhoto Blogs coupon code, use CHUM6844 and save $10 off your blog!

I sure hope that implementing these two quick tricks into your photos help you increase traffic to your blog or website and you see awesome results as well!  If you found this tutorial helpful, please consider sharing this blog post on your favorite social media  by using the buttons below or emailing to a friend 🙂

…and of course, my favorite is discussion within the comments so if you have a question or comment, please let me know!

Talk soon!
Cole