How to Optimize Images for Your Blog

The following post is from Jo-Lynne of Musings of a Housewife and DCR Design:

Let’s discuss posting photos on your blog.

Pictures Rock!

First of all, please consider posting at least one picture with each of your posts. Pictures help break up the text and make your posts more interesting to read.

I guarantee that if you start posting photos or graphic images with your posts, your traffic will increase. It’s just human nature. We like the pretty.

And also, when used throughout a post, they keeps a reader’s interest and help break up the monotony of the written word.

Not that YOUR WORDS would ever get monotonous…

Optimize your photos.

It is very important that you optimize your photos for web use and think of the all-powerful search engines when you post photos.

There are two steps to this process.

1. Resize your photo to fit in your post column.

Most blogging programs will allow you to upload HUGE photos and then choose the size at which you would like them to post. This is all fine and good for looking pretty on the blog, but those HUGE photos take up a lot of room on your server. Eventually they will cost you money.

So resize them to about 450 pixels wide, or whatever looks nice in your post column.

2. “Save for web”

To do this, open your photo in a photo editing program, be it Picmonkey(a great free web-based program) or Photoshop or whatever you use. Save for web or at 72 dpi. (dots per inch – it is how pixels are measured.)

Save your image with a relevant title.

Do not save a photo with a long string of weird numbers, like it comes off the camera. Instead, think about what people may search, and name it accordingly.

Maybe it’s Kate Hudson Golden Globes, or Best Chocolate Brownies, or Little Black Dress, or Little Girl Playing Dressup. Whatever it is, save it with a relevant title.

That is the only way Google’s spiders will know what it is.

For those who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. If you want people to find your site via search engines like Google and Yahoo, you will want to take a little extra time and properly name your images.

Add a descriptive text in the “alt tag”.

Since search engines can’t read pictures, you need to put a description of the photo into the alt tag. Here’s how:

After you upload the photo or image to your blog, go into the HTML view and find the code for the photo.

It will look like this:

<img title=”cabi” src=”” alt=”” width=”400″ height=”600″ />

When I uploaded the picture named “cabi”, WordPress automatically put “cabi” as the image title. This is good for SEO. But you also want to add keywords to the alt tag.

For example, I put “black CAbi top” in the alt tag. If I knew the name of that black CAbi top, it would be even better.

Now it looks like this:

<img title=”cabi” src=”” alt=”black CAbi top” width=”400″ height=”600″ />

By taking these simple steps, I bet you will find your google referrals increasing!

How do you optimize photos for your blog? What photo editing programs do you use?

Jo-Lynne Shane is a happily married mom to three lively school-aged children. When she’s not buried under piles of laundry or a kneading a mound of bread dough, she writes at Musings of a Housewife about faith, family, food and fashion, as well as blogging and design tips. As if that’s not enough, you can also find her beautifying the blogosphere at DCR Design.

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