17 April 2015
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Many of the images I am commissioned to provide are destined for web use, to get the best from these images I wanted to share a technical tip with you. Obviously the first step is to ensure that your product or service is displayed online with a high quality image which reflects the values that help make your prospects into clients. However there is another way your images can help to secure revenue for your company – by making your website more visible to search engines. Yes, we are entering the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) here. When an image is added to your site the code for the page will have an entry something like this:

< img src=”phone.jpg” width=”1024″ height=”512″ alt=”phone by Stephen Potts ” />

The image in this example is called {phone.jpeg} and by adding the text {alt=”phone by Stephen Potts “} we have given it an Alt tag. You will need access to the code of your site to do this or else you can have your web designer do this for you.

Doing this gives you 2 benefits, the search engines who crawl all websites to check for content will recognise the words and list you accordingly in search results and visitors with visual disabilities will be able to get some info on the image through audio software. To get the best from the search result improvement you will need to include some keywords in the Alt tag, these are words which you think your potential customers may use to search for a service or product which you provide – help with choosing these is available from Google and the best part is that it is free!

You will need to create a Google account, this is done by following the “sign in” link on the top right of the Google search page and following the steps to “create an account”. Once you have done this there are lots of handy tools to add to your free account but the one for keywords is called “AdWords”. When you have followed the steps to set this up select the “Opportunities” tab and then (down on the left hand menu) “Keyword Tools”. Here you can test how many people look for specific phrases and get excellent intelligence to help you choose the right keywords for your own site. It is useful to put a tick in the box for “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” at least to start with but you will soon be experimenting with the settings and options in here to help you get the search results your business needs.

Thanks for reading,

Stephen Potts

Belfast photographer and filmmaker