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If images are a must on a web site, then there should be a way to use those images to increase your
web-site traffic or at least to improve your site ranking. And there is.
One technique that will help your SEO make use of graphics on your site is to tag those graphics
with alt tags inside the img tags.
Alt tags are the HTML tags used to display alternative text when there is a graphic present. Your alt
tags should be a short, descriptive phrase about the image that includes the keywords used on that
page when possible.
Img tags are the tags used to code the images that will appear on your web site. Here’s an example
of what an img tag, with an included alt tag, should look like:
<img src=”pic1.jpg” alt=”alternative text”/>
Here’
s how that tag breaks down:
<img src=”pic1.jpg”
is your image tag,
alt=”alternative
text”/>
is your alternative text tag. The alternative text tag is where your keywords should be
included if at all possible.
You want to tag your images as part of your SEO strategy for two reasons. First, crawlers cannot index
images for a search engine (with an exception, which is covered shortly). The crawler “sees” the image
and moves on to the text on the page. Therefore, something needs to take the place of that image, so
the crawler can index it. That’s what the alternative text does. If this text includes your keywords, and
the image is near text that also includes the keywords, then you add credibility to your site in the
logic of the crawler.
The second reason you want to tag your images as part of your SEO strategy is to take advantage of
image-based search engines, like Google Images. These image-based search engines are relatively
new, but they shouldn’t be undervalued. Just as a search engine can find and index your site for
users searching the Web, image-based search engines find and index your images. Then, when
users perform a search for a specific keyword or phrase, your image is also ranked, along with the
text on the pages.
Image searches are gaining popularity. So crawlers like the one Google uses for its Google Images
search engine will gain momentum, and image searches will add to the amount of web-site traffic
that your SEO strategies help to build. But while not discounting the value of images, don’t over-
use them on your web pages either. As with any element of a web page, too much of a good thing
is just not good.
Problem Pages and Work-Arounds
No matter how much time and consideration you put into your SEO strategy, there are going to
be elements of your web site that require special consideration. Some sites — like portals — need
a different approach than a standard web site might require. How you deal with these issues will
impact the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
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Building Your Site for SEO
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