search marketing

A Quick SEO Trick for Photos

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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Continuing on this month’s theme of Website Photography month, today I’m going to share a simple photography-related SEO trick anyone can do, but few do.

Google is very smart, but it can’t read images.

It can tell where the images are on your website but it doesn’t know what’s in an image.  So, it relies on website administrators to explain what’s in each image using what is called the “ALT attribute.”

The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a visitor for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, the URL of the image is incorrect, or if the user uses a screen reader).

Bad: Most website administrators overlook the ALT attribute and leave it blank.

Better: Some administrators put a few descriptive words in the ALT attribute.

Best: Smart website administrators who want their website to rank better in search engines include a few descriptive words that include keywords for which they want to rank well.

Here’s an admin view of an image showing the pastor of my church and his family.

The “Alternative Text” gives the name of the pastor, his wife and kids, which puts this image in the “better” category above.

The best alt attribute (alternative text) would be something like this:

Our church meets in Safety Harbor, FL.  We want to rank well for “church in Safety Harbor.” By including keywords in the alt attribute, it helps Google to understand that’s what our website is about, and help our church to rank better for that keyword phrase.

Note: this text is not a caption.  This text is not visible at all to a website visitor (unless they are using screen reader because they are visually impaired), so changing the alt attribute does not change what website visitors see at all.

Easy peasy, right?

On-page SEO is about helping search engines better understand what your website is about. -Paul Steinbrueck

Click to share this image on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Instagram

Now go through your website and add some keywords to the alt attributes of your images.  And when you add new images to your website, make sure to include a keyword-rich alt attribute with each one.

If you’re thinking you’d rather turn your SEO over to experienced professionals, let’s schedule a free consultation to talk about how we can help you with SEO for churches, schools ministries or businesses.


  • Have you optimized your images by including keywords in the alt attribute?  Why or why not?
  • What questions or comments do you have about optimizing images for better search rankings?
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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


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