You may have seen my post last week about using anchor text for search engine optimisation, well this week I’m looking at how you should upload optimised images, as this also contributes towards improving your ranking on search engine results pages.
It may seem unlikely, but the way you upload your image to the media library on your WordPress website will influence how you rank on Google and the other search engines. The fields that are most important are the file name, the title and the alternative title.
Before you even think about uploading an image you need to edit the name of the file you plan to upload. If you’re uploading a photo from your camera or phone then it’s likely to have a random file name attributed to it already, which may look something like this P1030671.JPG
Search engines like Google cannot read these, so you need to give the file a name, using hyphens to separate words and lower case text throughout. If appropriate you should use keywords here. The search engine can then read the file and your photo may rank on the image search results pages. This is another way to generate traffic to your site.
Once your image has been appropriately named you can then go through the process of uploading the image. I’d refer you to the official WordPress bible for more information about adding new media to your WordPress site if you’re not familiar with the process.
Once your image is uploaded you need to edit the title and the alternative title (aka the alt title). The title is the name that appears when you hover over an image on a website. The alt title shows on the website if the image can’t be uploaded for any reason. Both these fields are important to search engine optimisation so you must complete these fields each time you upload a new image to the media library. The good news in they can both be the same.
The title should be written in plain English so that Google and any visitors to the site can read it. Once again you should use keywords if you can. You should avoid using abbreviations, slang, unusual characters, text speak and you don’t need to fill the spaces between words with hyphens, underscores or anything else.
Like anything, once you get into good habits like this, over time it’ll become second nature.