Blogging: Original Images As Important As Original Content?

Yes. The answer to the title’s question is an affirmative. When search engines crawl through a new blog post, it too sees the image for its description, not necessarily its appearance. What an image is named, in particular, what it is coded with alt text oralt tag is quite important.

Alt Tags Explained

Many people believe blogging is all about content. And, they are correct. But it’s not only about the content an Internet user sees in their browser, but the content search engine spiders seeing when crawling over a new post. Bloggers should know this about blog tags: they do help search engines to pinpoint relevant material when asked. But the images associated with that content should be complementary-adding to or completing the text. That’s where alt tags in the HTML code are useful.

For example, an image of a search engine spider should appear with a like description in the alternative attribute like “search engine spider”. This allows a search engine to pick-up the image by description as it cannot see the rendition.

Original Images

When creating a post for a personal blog, for a guest submission to another blog or for freelance sale, use original images when possible. And name/rename images appropriate to the material in the post. Using the above image of a search engine looking through a magnifying glass at a spider, the content in the post shouldn’t be about Canadian curling championships of the early 1900′s. The image and content would have nothing to do with one another. It would confuse both readers and search engines.

Original content is lacking without proper images. But the image itself must be named to fit the content. The name of the image in a post must be relevant to the text. So a post about gluing fabric to scrapbook pages should have an image of fabric and a scrapbook or a post about the price of gasoline and downward sticky pricing should contain an image of a gas station price board/sign.

Size Matters

Blog image sizing is also important to making the post attractive. While search engines only know the raw dimensions of the image, readers will see how it impacts the text. Too large and the post’s text becomes de-emphasised. Too small and the reader must squint to take in the details. An image shouldn’t be a distraction. Some take advantage of eye candy to get attention. Readers will quickly abandon a blog that promises information on one subject but uses deceptive images to rack-up clicks.

When it comes to images in a blog post remember these cardinal rules: name the image for what it is, not “image1.jpg”. Make good use of the alt tag/alt text and size the image so it fits in a neat proportion with the text.