How to optimize images in a post for SEO and increased pageviews is a question most movie website owners should ask themselves. Thirty to forty percent of the entertainment industry coverage they print will consist of some type of image from a film or a TV Show. We already spoke about Using SEO Optimized images in your Posts for Increased Pageviews but you could be missing out on pageviews from search engines if you are not properly naming your photos and tagging your posts that contain them. So many times I see photos with names like “zxxxxsx” or the like. Titles that have nothing to do with the picture it represents. The people naming the photos and tagging the posts containing the photos do not know of the traffic they are missing out on because of this practice. Then I look in the tags for the post, and there is nothing describing what photos are in the post (tags like that should only be used if the image or images in the post are the main subject of the post e.g. The A-Team (2010) Movie Poster or The A-Team (2010) 6 New Pictures). If you are using a header image or something similar to snazz up the post and make it more visually appealing, this is not necessary. Search engines read the names of those photos and display them in their image search results. They also read the tags in your posts. When a person searches for the name that picture is associated with, comes across your posted picture and clicks on it, you get a pageview. This is why celebrity websites that host thousands of pictures have high pageviews per month, especially if their pictures turn up on the front page of relevant image SERPs.
Properly naming and optimizing your photos means making them search engine friendly and making sure they accurately describe the content of the photos. One of the easiest ways to optimize your photos is the WordPress plugin SEO Friendly Images. SEO Friendly Images is
a WordPress optimization plugin which automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well.
I have never used this plugin as I manipulate alt and title manually but for the person with tons of photos already posted, they might want to give this a try to easily manipulate all of them at once. The neophyte that doesn’t want to be bothered with manipulating title and alt manually might also want to try this plugin. Remember, the more plugins you use, the slower your site loads.
2.) Manual Methodology
For the file name, if the picture contains a famous person, type their name – in all lowercase letters – as the file name of the picture and separate the different parts of the name with a dash. Ex. leonardo-dicaprio. If its a picture for a movie that you know is going to be heavily searched for, use that as the first part of your title or vice versa. Ex. shutter-island-leonardo-dicaprio or leonardo-dicaprio-shutter-island.
Once you have uploaded the image to your website, you will now see that file name in the title field. You can erase that and type in a something different. In this case I would type in Leonardo DiCaprio Shutter Island. In the Alt Text field I would do something similar. Hover over, click, and examine the Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island photo for working examples of the above.
Some very helpful rules of thumb when manually dealing with photos and SEO.
Whenever you insert an image in a page or post, focus not only on the appearance and placement of the image, but also on SEO. Here’s how:
- Stick with search engine preferred formats: PNG, JPG and GIF, in that order.
- Give image files recognizable names, such as volkswagen-beetle.jpg instead of something cryptic such as vwb1999.jpg. (Use a dash rather than an underscore to separate words, because search engines tend to treat dashes as spaces.)
- Always include keyword-optimized alt text in the “<img />” tag.
- If using the image as a link, include a keyword-optimized title tag.
- Correlate the words in your “<img />” tag’s alt text with surrounding text, the image name and the page title.
- Use width and height attributes to specify each image’s dimensions.
- Store files in a search engine accessible folder and insert them via the image’s URL rather than through your blog or CMS media library database.
- Use images sparingly on a page to maintain a high text-to-image ratio.
You can check the title text and alt text for a photo by right clicking on it and selecting Inspect Element.
3.) A Photo’s Surrounding
One site, Alternative Film Guide, always puts the name of the people and the film title directly underneath the photo they are using in a post. They also fully utilize title text and alt text for their images. I have seen their photos show up in quite a few Google image searches (traffic cha-ching) so they are doing something right with the way they present their photos. It might have to do with the bold keywords they have directly underneath their photos. As a personal practice, I always bold the film and the actors and actresses name directly under my header image, especially when it relates to the header image.
4.) Celeb Approach
Celebrity websites tend to use the actor or actress’ name plus what is being shown in the picture because the website owner believes that aspect of the image will be highly searched for. So if a female celeb is showing cleavage in a image for example or is in a popular magazine, they might write in the title text “x-cleavage” – x being the celebs’ name – and in the alt text ” x cleavage”. Since that is their trade and Core Competency, they are probably right. Another explain, Doutzen Kroes, Numero Magazine Toyko Edition. The title text could use some or all of those elements and the alt text might be Doutzen Kroes Numero Magazine Toyko, Doutzen Kroes, Toyko edition of Numero Magazine or (a little ambiguous yet descriptive) Doutzen Kroes, Toyko, Numero Magazine, black lingerie. This would bring up image search results of Doutzen Kroes from the Toyko edition of Numero Magazine, images the website owner is currently hosting given the tags for the post containing those images are accurate and properly written as well.
Tags for posts containing images are powerful because of the traffic they can draw. I usually use: photos, pics, fotos (for Spanish-speaking searches and traffic. Can be expanded upon for other languages and diversified traffic), pictures, photo, pic, foto, or picture, depending upon if its one image or multiple images. I haven’t come across someone looking for a picture that used the image tag to find it e.g. “The A-Team (2010) Image” but its possible. When a person is brought to one of my sites because of an image search, it is usually because of one of the above tags (not so much fotos) e.g. The A-Team (2010) Photo. Use tags that people commonly use to find images on the net, that you would use to find a particular image.
Image search image traffic can be very lucrative to your website in pageviews if approached properly. The first step in approaching it properly is naming your photos correctly (title and alt). The second step is tagging your posts properly that contain them so that they can be spidered and included in the correct image SERPs.