There are some things that I really wish I would have learned in my early days of blogging and one of them is how to improve blog traffic with alt text. Why, oh why did I not learn this -before- I wrote 635 blog posts?
Anyway, one great way to increase your blog's traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) is to tag all of your images with alt text. What is alt text? Glad you asked!
What is alt text?
Alt text is applied to an image when the image cannot be seen.
Some people call it alt tags, some call it alt text. Whatever you call it, alt text is basically a description of your image that allows people to easily find you when they look for images on google. People who use screen reading software need alt text to tell them what the pictures are.
What does alt text do to help you?
If you're looking for a photo of Salem North Star china on Google, Google won't find my photo if I name it "img00378" but if I use alt text "vintage Salem North Star dish collection", this photo, from my post on My Mid Century China Cabinet has a chance of showing up in your search. You might even decide to click it, find my blog and become a regular reader.
Even if people don't stick around to read all of your posts, you're still increasing those page views, which is a good thing. If they don't subscribe, they may still pin your image to Pinterest or share on another social network.
Get credit to your work
If you use alt text on an image, that text is filled in when someone pins something to Pinterest. We Pinterest users are generally lazy and we don't bother to change much of the alt text. This is especially important for artists and photographers out there. Add your name to your work and hopefully, that will help your work to be easily credited when shared by others. In this example, I might add "via Va-Voom Vintage"
How to add alt text to your images
Adding alt text is very quick and easy. You can add it to posts as you write them and you can go back through old posts (like I'm doing to all of mine) and add alt text to old pictures. Remember, those old posts still bring in traffic and readers if they can find you in a search engine so that old content is worth gold!
Alt Text Cautions
* When using alt text, be careful to not cram a bunch of keywords in. It's ok to use a keyword if it pertains to the image but Google will pick up on excessive use of keywords and can hurt your blog's SEO
* You don't need to use your blog's name in all of your photos. You can if you like, but it will take up valuable use of space that may be used more efficiently with other words. If you're posting an image of your art or something of that nature, always add your name and your website.
* Always use alt text! Even if you think it's not important. Any image should really have it.
Okay, back to the grind of adding alt text to old posts. It's going to take forever to finish but in the end, I think it'll be well worth the effort!
For more tips, check out my ecourse, Bloggerific: a Guide to a Beautiful, Successful Blog where I teach you everything I know about blogging!
Do you use alt text? If so, how has it worked for your traffic?