Everyone wants to see their website in the top rankings of every search engine. The immediate benefits are an increase in visits and its subsequent sales bonuses. The site can also be shared among those looking for similar products and services, giving it a wide reach. There are a lot of neat tricks one can use when it comes to optimizing your site for search engines, and by mastering those that work for your site you can see a significant rise in visitors. It is just a matter of figuring out which tips work for your site and charging into it.
Why Coding Matters to SEO
In the early days of the Internet, it could take a while for images to load due to modem and machine limitations. Because of this a lot of users would turn off images; the browser would then purposely neglect to load any images on the pages that the person loaded. In order to show what the images should have shown HTML coders used the “alt” tag to describe the picture; when the pictures did not load due to user request the “alt” text would be shown instead, enabling the visitor to get a good idea of what was supposed to be there instead. As connections became faster fewer users would turn off images and so coders stopped using the “alt” tags. However, their use has returned as SEO has come to rely on text; the tag gives the coder added ability to add text to the page without it looking wordy.
Every HTML code has its tags that modify how browsers treat it. The text following the alt tag for the “img” code is used when browsers are not loading images; the given text is used instead. However, now it has become part of the text that search engines read. The search engine goes through every line of code, using what they read to better decide how the site should be classified and ranked. The more relevant, better organized, and more hits, the better the site will do in the rankings. For our purposes here, we need to ignore the hits.
How To Use The Tag
A site that has everything documented is usually determined to be relevant and well organized. The more instances of keywords that a site also helps to make it seem relevant. While the search engines avoid keyword stuffing techniques, they do like to see a keyword used as often as possible. This means that you can take advantage of the “alt” tag to stuff in some keywords, but you need to do it the right way. This means that you need to properly label every picture on the site and that you need to be as accurate as possible; accuracy is good because it adds details. Keep in mind that while you want to as many words as possible you still want to keep it reasonable; about twenty to thirty words should make the search engine happy.
The key to remember is detail. “Apple” is just too little detail; there are a number of different types of apples. You need to add in how many apples, what they are doing, and the specific types of apples in order to get the most bang for your buck. You need to be as explicit as you can so have some fun with the description, but remember to keep it succinct; “An apple pie laced with cinnamon and served with vanilla ice cream” will be more effective than if you add information about the settings and napkins it is on. If you have a featured snippet then you could add that as well, especially if it is part of your brand.
However, keep in mind that basic English is your friend here. The better grammar and spelling is, the better that the search engine will read it, and the less likely it will be considered a junk site. While you can get away with some errors, in general the better the English the better the picture will help your ratings. This is definitely a good time to dust off your dictionary and grammar book and study up on your English so you can use it for maximum effect.
Words of Warning
Something that needs to be brought up is the sandbox. A number of search engines tend to be wary of when sites show a dramatic increase in the number of hits in a short period of time. While this means that SEO techniques are showing signs of success, the search engines want to make sure that the new numbers stick before they assign a new ranking to a website. Thus, they usually suspend the site for up to a month before assigning a new ranking. This just means that you should not worry if your site does not budge in the rankings for a few weeks after you make changes; the search engines will catch up with you in time.
By taking advantage of your pictures you can easily increase your ranking in the search engines. It is just a matter of making sure that you have the best pictures, text that is as detailed and succinct as possible, and the pictures are used to effect. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but a thousand hits; use them to effect and code them correctly and you should see a major change in your site's ranking in relatively short order.